Flying Whales to showcase innovative cargo airship at Expo 2020 Dubai

Flying Whales, developer of the LCA60T – a unique cargo airship – has become an official partner of the France Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

As part of its role under the French flag at the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, the Suresne, France-based company will have a permanent exhibition setup at the France Pavilion (October 1, 2021-March 31, 2022) at the sprawling Expo 2020 site in Dubai South district.

Backed by an industrial consortium, and with financial support from shareholders and the French government Flying Whales launched its LCA60T programme in 2017, after four years of feasibility studies.

Logistics solution

Flying Whales aims to develop and industrialise the 200-metre long and 50-metre width LCA60T cargo airship as an environmentally sustainable freight transport solution, to transport and deliver heavy loads to landlocked and otherwise isolated locations throughout the world.

With a net cargo capacity of 60 tonnes in its cargo hold or under slings, the LCA60T features unique airborne loading/unloading and vertical take-off and landing advantages in almost any land-based geographical location.

This low-cost logistics solution essentially eradicates the need to work around ground-level obstacles when transporting high-volume or heavy loads from one location to another.

The helium-filled cargo airship features multifunctiomal materials, has a new multilayer envelope specifically developed for the LCA60T programme and can carry a crew of three.

Hybrid electrical propulsion

The cargo airship is powered by a distributed hybrid electrical propulsion.

Beginning with the LCA60T, Flying Whales seeks to launch disruptive technologies that address world challenges: low environmental impact and low operating cost by harnessing French aeronautical industrial know-how.

Flying Whales is simultaneously developing Flying Whales Services, a company to oversee LCA60T fleet operations globally.

Erik Linquier, Commissioner General for France at Expo 2020 Dubai, and Chairman of Cofrex (French Exhibition Company), said: “I am delighted to have Flying Whales as an official partner of the France Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The involvement of this young industrial firm at this international event fully demonstrates our desire to bring together all of our country’s talents in order to showcase French excellence and expertise,” Linquier added.

France Pavilion
The France Pavilion is showcasing French excellence at Expo 2020 Dubai. Credit: France Pavilion

 

Sébastien Bougon, Chairman of Flying Whales, stated: “Flying Whales and the 40 companies making up the consortium behind its aviation programmes would like to thank the French authorities for choosing us as part of the drive to promote the new wave of French industrial engineering.

“We are proud to be showcasing this unique solution at Expo 2020 Dubai,” Bougon added.

Bougon also noted: “By enabling up to 60 tonnes to be loaded or unloaded while the vessel is still in the air – either in cargo bays or under slings – this innovative programme [LCA60T] will help to develop the economies of landlocked areas or regions with limited infrastructure, and to reduce the environmental footprint generated by transporting cargo across the world.”

National role

The France Pavilion’s role at Expo 2020 Dubai is to promote the European country’s innovations, talents and assets on the global stage that the World Expo offers.

France also positions itself as an international driving force for the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to rebuild the post-health crisis world.

As part of this approach, the France Pavilion is highlighting initiatives and innovations to address the challenges of economic, social, ecological and cultural transformation in society.

With its unique solution for opening up access to isolated or landlocked regions around the world, Flying Whales is fully in line with this ethos.

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