For many years, Columbia Industries has engineered and manufactured a variety of custom equipment projects for several different industry fields. Perhaps one of the most exciting and long anticipated projects at Columbia Industries has been the manufacturing of a Mobile Mast Trailer in partnership with LTA Research, a company building the next generation of airships. This special project is unique in situation as the airship needs to land in often remote areas where airports and runways are not always available or accessible. With Columbia Industries’ track record for pioneering, crafting, and honing industry-revolutionizing technologies, we knew we could create a solution that brought the airport to the airship.
FEATURES AND CAPACITY
Fully extended, the Mobile Mast can carry a max load of 20,800 lbs. while stationary, in winds up to 50 knots. Designed to allow for docking and transport, the Mobile Mast can move the 400-foot-long Airship at a travel speed of 5 mph in winds up to 20 knots. The system consists of a trailer frame, main mast structure, 2 lateral outriggers, genset, HPU and winch. The rear suspension utilizes 12 tires mounted on steerable axle assemblies. The outriggers are mounted on steerable axles as well, which allows for precise maneuverability. The system is also designed to allow for over the road travel when the mast is stowed, capable of mounting to a standard semi-truck. Impressively, the process of set up from travel configuration to deployment configuration takes under 30 minutes.
Pathfinder 1 is a proof-of-concept airship that demonstrates the novel design, engineering, and manufacturing that will usher in a new generation of airships. Pathfinder 1 uses modern materials like carbon-fiber tubes, titanium hubs, and laminated Tedlar for their light weight and strength. Twelve electric motors form its electric propulsion system, providing an efficient, reliable method of steering the airship. The purpose of LTA Research’s airships is to reduce carbon emissions in aviation and aid humanitarian efforts, assisting remote areas that have been struck by disasters. With their ability to carry large amounts of cargo across long distances and land with minimal infrastructure, airships make for an ideal delivery system for disaster-stricken areas. Columbia Industries is proud to be a part of this exciting and innovative mission.
SIMILAR PROJECTS IN THE PAST
This is not the first time Columbia Industries has delivered an incredible solution to the aerospace industry. In the 1980’s, Columbia Industries worked with NASA to engineer and manufacture solid rocket transporters. Many times, Columbia Industries has created trailers to assist in hauling these large objects. Though, we specialize in Tipping Solutions and Oilfield Transport solutions, our engineering and manufacturing departments have exceeded expectations when it comes to custom transport solutions. Often times, a challenge is presented, and Columbia Industries’ team works diligently to deliver an incredible solution to meet the specific needs of the customer. We view ourselves as a solution company, asking the ‘What if…’ questions which often steers us in the direction of innovation.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
As Columbia Industries continues to grow, we accept any challenge our customers bring our way. We view these challenges as an opportunity to prove our skills and capabilities, all while providing an incredible and reliable solution to our customers that they can depend on for years to come. We have transformed the Solid Waste, Recycling, Oil and Gas and Aerospace industries and look ahead to a bright future where we continue creating incredible solutions that will transform other industries. What will Columbia Industries do next?