In 2017, the American company Egan Airships presented a prototype of a new type of aircraft at the InterDrone exhibition. It could be called "plimp" (plimp is a combination of two English words meaning "airplane" and "airship"), but the startup's authors have already reserved this word as a trademark and require it to be used as an adjective. In fact, it is a soft airship with rigid wings, a tiltrotor power plant and a helicopter take-off and landing.
The idea for such a flying unit came to James Egan as a child, when he launched balloons and model airplanes from plywood. By attaching a large and light ball to a rigid airplane landing gear, the latter will always glide gently and the risk of a hard landing with disaster is eliminated. This formed the basis of "plimps" - after successful testing of the prototype, the company has already developed a commercial model and now needs investors for its construction.
Plymp uses helium to generate lift, but only 50%. The rest of the work is done by the motors - during takeoff, they are oriented vertically, the car does not need a takeoff run for lifting. Then the pilot puts the consoles in a horizontal position, by analogy with Bell Osprey tiltrotors, and the device flies like an airplane. When landing, the reverse process takes place, and the very design of the machine insures it from a hard collision with the ground.
The current Model J can take a ton of cargo aboard and take it 420 km in 3 hours. Or fly 2, 100 km empty, acting as a mobile communications repeater or billboard. This machine has lower fuel consumption than airplanes and helicopters, and it handles much better in bad weather than an airship. The area of application of plimps is also extensive, and the construction of one copy is estimated at only $ 4 million.