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Blimp-like Flying Whales can offload a mobile hospital without landing

Flying Whales recently announced that it's developing Flying Care, a mobile hospital that can be delivered by airship to remote areas. The self-sufficient hospital will measure 630 m2.

An airship can hover like a helicopter, enabling cargo to be picked up or offloaded without landing. Since it's capable of vertical take-off and landing, no infrastructure is required, making the vessels ideal for disaster response in areas that aren't easily reached by plane or boat or that are temporarily inaccessible due to flooding or damaged roads.

Unlike inflatable blimps, Flying Whales airships feature a rigid shell. They get their lift from helium cells and are controlled by hybrid-electric propulsion. At 100 km/hour, they're not fast. But they're capable of carrying massive objects and up to 60 metric tons. Freight can either be held in a cargo bay or suspended below the airship.

While mobile hospital units are the French startup's newest project, its airships were designed to carry any large object that's difficult to move by road, like wind turbine blades. Flight tests of Flying Whale's first model, the LCA60T, will commence in 2024, with commercial operation to follow by 2026.