Skyship 500 model had proved to be very successful
in a very short time, so a new model was needed, and
also shown that there was a need for airships in the
600 emerging from Cardington shed 1
of the Skyship 600 gondola
Configuration of Skyship 600
configuration of Skyship 600
600 scale compared to a 744 and the R101
600 Marine configuration, showing the patrol boat under the
600 lowering patrol boat
600 with Marine livery
600 Santos Dumont with news Textron Lycoming IO-540 engines
fitted in 2002
fill the demand for more airships, the designers at Airship Industries
agreed that an new ship was required with alarger payload capacity.
It was agree that the original design of the ship was indeed very
sound, and so with a few simple alterations, the Skyship 500 design
was enhanced to become the new Skyship 600.
The main alteration was with the envelope. To offer a greater
payload, the airship benifitted from an advantage in physics over
heavier than aircraft. The extension of the envelope by some 30%
would give an increase in lift by 50%.
new Skyship 600 was born. With an increased payload, the main
role of the ship, passenger trips, could be enhanced by the ability
to carry more passengers. The gondola enhanced by streching the
original design and adding three round windows at the back of
the main cabin.
passenger accommodation increaded to carry up to 18 passengers
in comfort and crew. With the ability to not only carry more passengers
on a Skycruise but to also carry more “multi-role” tasks, the
600 was in demand. Even though the ship now carried more wieght,
it's performance matched that of the 500 by the two porche engines
benifitting from being "turbo charged".
Passenger Layout - Skyship 600
The Skycruise tours were so successful, Airship Industries operated
a scheduled air service over the major cities of the world. However
the multi role aspect of the airship was accepted. With all of
the ships benifitting from such a large envelope the aerial advertising
revenue was a good benifit for the company, however this was not
their main role.
ships were used for scheduled passenger flights over many capitals
of the world, the airborne coastal surveillance was an additional
role. The airships were also seen as very stable and enduring
camera platforms used by many television companies for boradcasting
of major events. Unike helicoptors, the airship provide a durable,
low noise, vibration free platform for broadcasters.
first Skyship 600 (600-1 registration G-SKSC) took to the skies
with a maiden flight in March 1984, and a second ship (600-2 registration
VH-HAA) was launched in September 1985.
Off Shore Configuration - Skyship 600 - Marine
Government interest in the airship grew as they were proving a
reliable and cheaper alternative to existing facilites. Thier
low cost, long flying durations and stability as aerial platforms
were becoming more attractive for fisheries protection, and surveillance.Important
trials were carried out with the French Navy and American Government
during the 1980’s.
Skyship 600 was adapted with a winch system in the gondola whereby
the ship sucessfully lowered and recovered a small maritime patrol
was seen as a great success in the role of the airship being able
to operate in a multitude of enviroments.
ship The Skyship 500 & 600 can still be seen today, 20 years
after the initial prototype took off. In 1988 the 600 series were
distributed throughout the world. Many of them are re-fitted and
still in operation today operated by many airship management companies.
enhancements to the Skyship 600 - December 2002
December 23rd 2002 the FAA certified the apty named "Santos-Dumont",
new Skyship 600, with Lycoming engine propulsion system. Based
out of Elizabeth City N.C the ship operated by Airship Management
Services was launched with new outfitted with Textron Lycoming
IO-540 engines, a vectorable thrust outboard propulsion system
that required a Supplemental Type Certificate. FAA officials awarded
the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) following a series of
flight performances on Skyship N606SA.
new Textron Lycoming IO-540 twin outboard vectorable thrust
are mounted in swiveling, ducted fans, and each produce 300 hp.
They replace the original Porsche 930 turbine inboard engines
of 255 hp that have powered the Skyship 600 series since its introduction
The new propulsion system enhances the aircraft's capability for
hovering and holding station; facilitates faster takeoffs, quicker
response in landings, and boosts overall in-flight maneuverability.
new airship was named in honor of Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian
aviation pioneer who won the Deutsch Prize in Paris by becoming
the first to fly a dirigible in controlled flight around the Eiffel
Tower more than 100 years ago (in 1901) and who later introduced
powered fixed-wing flight to Europe.
Outfitted with a new envelope from TCOM L.P., "Santos-Dumont"
made its maiden test flight on January 18 of 2002.
Currently, Skyship 600s are the largest and most comfortable passenger-carrying
airships in the world, offering a spacious cabin with abundant
headroom, windows that open in flight, first class seating, a
galley for serving food and beverages, and a lavatory.
have the highest rated payload capacity available today and have
proven their reliability all over the world.