Designs for hybrid ‘Red Zeppelin’ Atlant airship

By 2018, a new but strangely familiar sight could start floating across the skies above the wastes of Siberia and Russia’s Far East – the 130-metre long Atlant airship,  a hybrid descendant of the old Zeppelin that came to prominence before and during the First World War.
Unveiled earlier this week,  the new “Red Zeppelin”  vertical  take-off and landing (VTOL) design will be capable of carrying 200 people or 60 tonnes of cargo at speeds of up to 105mph.
The new airship is  being  developed by Augur RosAeroSystems whose VP Mikhail Talesnikov claims that, at $15m,  the Atlant will be as much as 30% cheaper to produce than Russia’s standard Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter.
But comparisons with the ill-fated Zeppelin are misguided, he insists. “It uses different principles of flight, ” he said. “During the unloading of the weight at the point of arrival, for instance, the airship will be able to increase its weight via controls without needing ballast….so it  will not soar into the stratosphere.
“We also came up with the decision to make the airship harder by using special balancing system (SAB). It has a hard shell – not a cloth-covered frame  but a composite body.”  Atlant is, crucially,  being designed to be able to withstand outside temperatures of -40 Celsius not uncommon in the Russian winter
Oil and gas operators in the Far East have also already expressed an interest in using the Atlant to carry payloads and ferry personnel around.