Charles Bombardier is a prolific designer. Grandson of Joseph-Armand Bombardier, the founder of Bombardier Inc, he has created numerous concept vehicles over the years, ranging from cars and motorcycles to submarines and spacecraft. His latest creation is an enormous airship called ALERT.
The ALERT military airship is designed to carry out long-range patrols, and transport men and machines over the vast Canadian arctic. The idea behind the concept is to provide assistance along the recently opened Northwest Passage, a trade route which is almost completely devoid of infrastructure. The ALERT could carry out critical missions and provide search and rescue capabilities along this increasingly important route.
The airship has been designed with long duration missions in mind. Bombardier envisages a 200 ton cargo capability, and a range of 5,000 nautical miles. It could fly in most weather conditions, and the large load bay doors would allow bulky machinery to be loaded with ease. Other interior configurations would allow the airship to be used for a variety of uses, including living quarters, labs, surveillance, of passenger cabins.
To keep the skin of the ALERT free from ice build up, the fabric would be treated with a Superhydrophobic coating. Infrared heating in critical areas would also help prevent ice build up.
Providing thrust and directional control for the ALERT airship are four Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbo prop engines, each delivering 2,000 horsepower. These would be mounted on pivoting arms to provide full control of the aircraft in flight.
Interestingly, and although it works great for the concept, ALERT isn’t just a name plucked from the air (no pun intended). It is in fact named after a military and scientific outpost in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada, and is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world.