Wings Magazine

Nortavia develops environmentally friendly airship

Oct. 26, 2011, Oporto, Portugal - The world aeronautical industry is taking its first steps towards the re-birth of the dirigible airship as a means of transport for people and cargo.

October 26, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

Combining safety and versatility it will become the sixth form of transport in modern times.


In the last five years and realising the movement in this industry, the Portuguese company Nortavia-Transportes Aereos developed an innovative project which is publicly announced today at Oporto (Portugal). Portuguese engineering was behind the construction of a 1/10 scale prototype, six metres long, three metres high and three metres wide named after the Earth Goddess, GAYA. Nortavia created a Research&Development team which developed its own concept of airship. This differs from the competition on several levels, the aerodynamics, the conceptual structure and the use of a hybrid non-pollutant propeller. All of which make this airship safe, efficient, versatile, economical and environmentally friendly.

The project differentiates itself from others and make for a scientific and technological advance. Not only because of the studies done towards developing it as well as the use of the most advanced materials available at the time of construction.

By contrast to the first airship built in the last century, the new generation meets a high safety standard. It uses helium, a non-flammable gas, inert and lighter than air making it extremely safe. The airship is made up of several modules filled in with helium which allow it to stay in the air enough time to serve its purpose and land in safety, even in the case of a gas leak. The efficiency of the airship developed by Nortavia is noticeable in the type of missions it can undergo, from people transport on business or leisure to medium to large size cargo, especially to areas of remote access either by land, sea or air.


The airship is versatile as it allows access to remote areas where no other aircraft can go as it can land and take off vertically. And this without needing a complex airport supporting infrastructure. The propulsion system chosen to be used on the Nortavia airship makes it very economical since power consumption is lower than aircrafts and helicopters. In fact, it is the revolutionary propulsion system that makes this airship different from other projects. It emits minimal CO2, making it environmentally friendly. The Nortavia airship combines a generator running on bio-fuel and photovoltaic cells. These generate energy which in turn powers the vector electric motors responsible for navigation.

Cassiano Rodrigues, president of Nortavia states: "The project which is being developed by Nortavia fills a gap in the current transport system. Rather than an alternative to the existing ones we are talking about a sixth form of transportation which is safe, efficient, versatile, economical and environmentally friendly."

The development of this project with its world presentation set for December 2011, in Seattle, USA has been favourably commented on by international experts.


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