DARPA FINANCES AIRSHIP RESEARCH.Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer
PALMDALE - Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. and a Tarzana company have been hired by the Pentagon to study possible designs for a giant airship airship, an aircraft that consists of a cigar-shaped gas bag, or envelope, filled with a lighter-than-air gas to provide lift, a propulsion system, a steering mechanism, and a gondola accommodating passengers, crew, and cargo. capable of transporting soldiers and gear around the world to battle areas.
Code-named ``Walrus walrus, marine mammal, Odobenus rosmarus, found in Arctic seas. Largest of the fin-footed mammals, or pinnipeds (see seal), the walrus is also distinguished by its long tusks and by cheek pads bearing quill-like bristles. ,'' this wouldn't be your great-grandfather's zeppelin.
``In distinct contrast to earlier-generation airships, the Walrus aircraft will be a heavier-than-air vehicle and will generate lift through a combination of aerodynamics aerodynamics, study of gases in motion. As the principal application of aerodynamics is the design of aircraft, air is the gas with which the science is most concerned. , thrust vectoring and gas-buoyancy generation and management,'' the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. government agency administered by the Department of Defense (see Defense, United States Department of). said in a statement announcing the contract awards.
DARPA DARPA: see Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) The name given to the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency during the 1980s. It was later renamed back to ARPA. , the Pentagon agency that financed the early development of the stealth fighter, awarded a $2.9 million contract to Lockheed Martin in Palmdale and a $3.2 million contract to Aeros Aeronautical aer·o·nau·tic also aer·o·nau·ti·cal
Of or relating to aeronautics.
aero·nau Systems Corp. of Tarzana for the first phase of work on Walrus.
Airships have a military history dating back more than two centuries.
Hot-air balloons were used to watch enemy forces for Napoleon's armies and served both the North and the South during the U.S. Civil War The U.S. Civil War, also called the War between the States, was waged from April 1861 until April 1865. The war was precipitated by the secession of eleven Southern states during 1860 and 1861 and their formation of the Confederate States of America under President Jefferson Davis. . Germany sent airships with rigid frames - the zeppelins - to bomb London and Paris during World War I.
The United States had rigid-frame airships after World War I, but they crashed and burned. During World War II, the U.S. Navy hunted Nazi submarines with frameless blimps. Through the first years of the Cold War, blimps with radar watched for Soviet bombers.
The new type of operational airship is envisioned to be capable of carrying more than 500 tons of personnel and equipment around the world to battle areas. Able to travel nearly 14,000 miles in seven days, the airship would also be able to operate from unimproved landing areas and with little in the way of support equipment or facilities, DARPA said.
Aeros, based in Tarzana, has done work in Palmdale recently. The company conducted flight tests and pilot training for one of its airships out of the former B-1B bomber assembly site during the spring.
Aeros officials said the Palmdale site would be an ideal location to conduct flights with a Walrus technology demonstrator airship.
Lockheed Martin said the contract award will not result in any perceptible change in employment numbers at the company's Palmdale plant.
During the program's first phase, the two teams will look at design concepts and come with a technology development plan to reduce technical risks.
DARPA will then select one contractor to continue the program's research, which will include building a technology demonstrator airship.
Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743