A hybrid airship is an aircraft that combines characteristics of heavier-than-air (HTA) technology, fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter, and lighter-than-air (LTA), aerostat technology. No production vehicles have been built, but several manned and unmanned prototypes have flown and successfully demonstrated the concept. New and exciting developments in transportation propulsion systems promise to deliver higher performance, be more efficient and unshackle human energy consumption from the burning of fossil fuels.
Electric motors are highly efficient, robust and do not lose power at higher altitudes. They are also quiet and emission free. Perhaps most important for aviation, electric motors are relatively light weight. The heavy weight of batteries is even more of a problem in airplanes than in automobiles. But battery technology has been advancing by leaps and bounds, driven primarily by the auto industry. According to Boeing, hybrid propulsion similar to the engine-battery pairings increasingly seen in passenger cars could be aviation’s answer to the fuel burn and emissions dilemma.
Engineers Russian Urals have created a new concept of air hybrid technology that combines classic airplanes and airships. This new device, named “BARS” by its designers, working mainly with helium and can reach a cruising speed of about 300 km / h. The heart of the device consists of a toroidal ring in which helium injected provides a vertical thrust to lift the craft and two flight engines leading the movement to reach cruising speed.