A hybrid aircraft combines the advantages of aerodynamic lift from its lifting body hull shape (like an airplane) and the efficiencies of lighter-than–air derived from the buoyancy of the helium-filled envelope (like an airship or blimp). Forty percent (40) of the hybrid aircraft’s lift is generated from aerodynamics and sixty (60) percent from helium buoyancy. When fully loaded the aircraft is heavier than air and operates much like an airplane.A very important and useful feature of AeroCat is the air cushion landing system (“ACLS”) (like a hovercraft) instead of conventional aircraft landing gear. This enables the aircraft to land and takeoff from virtually any reasonably flat surface. When landing on a solid surface, reversing the ACLS engines creates a suction that facilitates loading and unloading and eliminates the need for ground crews or elaborate tie downs. The widely spaced dual ACLS pontoons (like a catamaran) provide stability while on the ground and for taking off and landing.
- Able to take-off and land from virtually any nearly flat surface: desert, snow, ice or even water.
- No ground infrastructure required; no runway, airport or mooring apparatus
- Able to stay airborne 3-5 days depending on configuration.
- Non-eventful landing in case of multiple system failures while airborne.
AeroCat R12 – Minimun Specifications
A Green Aircraft:
Aerocat is an environmentally friendly aircraft in numerous ways. The buoyancy system allows the pilot to adjust the aircraft’s weight so that Aerocat actually places less pressure on the ground (grass, tundra, frozen lakes, etc.) per square inch than an ordinary bicycle. Aerocat does not require prepared runways (asphalt, cement, etc.) or landing areas, its ducted propellers are more efficient and create less noise than a standard turbo-prop aircraft and the ability to operate outside of congested airways and airports reduces traffic and congestion in these areas.
Aerocat is also more efficient than conventional aircraft. Cruising at 85-90 knots, the cost is 60% to 75% less per pound delivered as compared to fixed wing aircraft.