French shipping company Louis Dreyfus Armateurs is the latest company to show an interest in emerging new generation airship technology.
The shipping firm has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a fellow French company, airship developer Flying Whales, to explore the use of its new generation helium filled LCA60T airships in multi-modal transportation.
Although they fell out of fashion decades ago, airships have begun to regain the interest of aerospace entrepreneurs, who see them as a flexible and low-emissions way to reach remote locations in places with limited ground infrastructure.
In fact, both Flying Whales and Louis Dreyfus are involved in separate projects to decarbonize aerospace supply chains.
In January 2023, Flying Whale signed an agreement with space company Arianespace to carry parts and components for the new Ariane 6 medium-heavy space launch vehicle to the European Space Agency launch facility in French Guiana.
Meanwhile, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs has been working with Airbus to launch a new generation of ships that will partly use wind power to move aircraft sections between its factories in Europe and the final assembly line it has in Mobile, Alabama, in the southern United States. These newly bult ships will be fitted with large Flettner rotors, cylindrical structures capable of harnessing wind power for propulsion.