Think fantastic flying freighter — twice as long as an Airbus A380 — with the ability to drop 60 tonnes of heavy goods into hard places no other craft can reach. That’s the promise of the LCA60T, an airship that will soon be all-electric powered. Interview with Olivier Specklin, Alexis Levesque, Stéphanie Loisi et Clémence Taillardat, Flying Whales.

 Reducing CO2 emissions

Environmental protection, social ethics and technological innovation are the three pillars of Flying Whales. The company’s mission is to design, develop and build an airship that can carry wind turbine bladesets or a field hospital while minimising its carbon footprint.

 “The point is to bridge economically and socially remote parts of the world to facilitate genuine human development and access to healthcare, education and energy, while helping reduce the green impact of cargo transport”, Olivier Specklin, head of high-level architecture, says.

To achieve this, the challenges are numerous: consolidating access to data around a single repository, reducing the environmental footprint at every stage of the project, facilitating internal collaboration with all industrial partners, digitising R&D processes to reduce time-to-market and the number of iterations in the innovation process.

“In 2021, we started looking at the airship’s total lifecycle. The aim is to find all the ways we can to reduce the impact of our solution,” says Alexis Levesque, production engineer.


The collaborative 3DEXPERIENCE Platform on the cloud

Flying Whales has chosen Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform for its many global innovations. It helps the Company integrate the digital models sent by partners directly into the main model.

“The collaborative cloud saves a lot of time because our partners work with the digital model in the same place as us,” says Clémence Taillardat, installation engineer. “The 3DEXPERIENCE® platform in the cloud lets us store and organize our data and link together all our requirements and documents in one space”, says Stéphanie Loisi, Overall airship design engineer.

Collaboration is undeniably the driving force behind a dynamic of innovation in which all the internal and external players in the project work together as a single unit. Flying Whales has all the cards in its hand to become one of the air freight leaders of tomorrow, in line with the United Nations Global Compact.


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