Walrus HULA

Walrus HULA

The Walrus HULA is a proposed Hybrid Ultra Large Aircraft. The goal is to create an airship capable of traveling up to 12,000 nautical miles (about 22,000 km) in range, while carrying 500-1000 tons of cargo. In distinct contrast to earlier generation airships, the Walrus HULA will be a heavier-than-air vehicle and will generate lift through a combination of aerodynamics, thrust vectoring, and gas buoyancy generation and management. As of April 2006, the project is in danger of termination. The 2007 Budget request from DARPA calls for the termination of work on WALRUS after completion of the current Phase I contracts. Fact|date=April 2007

DARPA says that advances in envelope and hull materials, buoyancy and lift control, drag reduction and propulsion have combined to make this concept feasible. Technologies to be investigated in the initial study phase include vacuum/air buoyancy compensator tanks, which provide buoyancy control without ballast, and electrostatic atmospheric ion propulsion.

The WALRUS could potentially expand and speed up the strategic airlift capability of the United States substantially while simultaneously reducing costs. However, while such a project has not been seriously attempted before, costs are still uncertain. A smaller scale demonstration is scheduled for 2008, when a small scale version of the WALRUS designed to carry only the capacity of a C-130 Hercules (i.e. 18,000 kga or about 40,000 pounds) is expected to fly.

See also

* P-791
* Aeroscraft


* Defense Industry Daily (Oct 21/05) - [http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2005/10/us-cbo-gives-ok-to-hula-airships-for-airlift/index.php US Congressional Budget Office Gives OK to HULA Airships for Airlift] . Offers comparisons of the WALRUS HULA with other air and seaborne transport options.

* Defense Industry Daily (Oct 21/05) - [http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2005/10/walrus-heavylift-blimp-getting-off-the-ground/index.php WALRUS Heavy-Lift Blimp Getting Off the Ground] . DID's focus article offers in-depth and updated coverage of the WALRUS project.

* Defense Industry Daily (July 6/05) - [http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2005/07/usaf-looking-at-nearspace-blimps/index.php USAF Looking at Near-Space Blimps] . A 90-day USAF study has concluded that there is "military utility" in this technology.

External links

* Gizmag article about Walrus [http://www.gizmag.co.uk/go/4538/1/]
* Gizmag article on Aeros HULA [http://www.gizmag.com/go/6430/]

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