HAV and NPS have recently signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to explore the impact that hybrid aircraft technologies may have on mobility resilience and flexibility in support of the US Navy and Marine Corps expeditionary warfighting capability.

Highly efficient and with a combination of payload capacity and endurance that is unmatched by other types of aircraft, Hybrid Air Vehicles leaders believe the Airlander family of aircraft have unique characteristics that are well suited to the applications this three-year CRADA seeks to explore. The aircraft’s ability to take off and land from virtually any flat surface, even if unprepared, can facilitate operations from remote and austere locations.

NPS students and staff will engage fleet units across the Navy and Marine Corps to develop scenarios based on real-world exercises and deployments. Developing multiple scenarios will allow the team to consider multiple geographies as well as both logistics and mobility applications. These scenarios will then be modelled, and performance evaluated against jointly developed criteria. NPS and HAV will also generate a joint plan for field experimentation and demonstration of capability.

A unique aspect of this CRADA is the inherently inter-disciplinary nature of the technology exploration. Multiple interest groups across NPS will be able to collaborate with HAV on a variety of subjects within hybrid airship technology, from electric engines to material resilience. Additionally, NPS and HAV intend to utilize the emerging field of digital twin technology to explore how requirements development of large-scale transportation platforms can be made more efficient.

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