Todays patent is one of the more unusual modern LTA patents.
Unlike Colting’s earlier airship patent, all Figures apply to a
Hokan Colting, was co-founder of Thunder and Colt in England.
He founded 21st Century Airships, Inc., in Canada in 1988.
His prototype 2-man low-speed spherical airship was followed
by a large four-engine spherical airship.
The company’s current website (www.theflyingyacht.com) provides
some of the history of his airships, but the company now concentrates
on developing a very low altitude flying boat, which it defines as not
an airship. (Supposedly not requiring FAA or CAB certification).
NOTE: All twenty-five claims apply exclusively to a “substantially
spherical airship”. None of the ten issued patents which cite it mention spherical airships:
7,487,936 Buoyancy control system for an airship,
7,552,893 Airship & method of operation,
7,866,601 Lenticular airship,
8,052,082 Optimized aerodynamic, propulsion, structural and
operations features for lighter-than-air vehicles,
8,109,462 Lenticular airship,
8,297,550 Lenticular airship and associated controls,
8,418,952 Lenticular airship,
8,448,894 Method and apparatus for a mobile aerial sustained
8,453,449 Vertical axis solar powered generator, and
8,459,589 External pressurization system for lighter than air vehicles.
Colting and 21st Century have obtained Canadian, German, and
other international patents on this unusual high-altitude spherical
N.B. Several of the approved claims are obvious or nonsensical:
The ship can carry sensors; communications equipment; it may reflect
E/M radiation; It might be operated remotely; It may be refueled in
flight (if a refueling machine could approach and maintain station
with it. No mention of reballasting.)
Neither the text, nor any of the 25 claims, indicate that the lifting gas
might be contained in more than one inner cell or at different pressures.
Only a single pusher propeller (electric or otherwise) is claimed; no
indication of force or maximum airspeed delivered.
No mention of towing or reshaping the profile while repositioning.