Answering questions about the Model J

 We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about our aircraft below.

What are the brief expert anticipations for this amazing ultra-safe aircraft?

Fast cruise: 86 mph, 260 mile range carrying 10 people (including pilots). Best cruise: 63 mph, 320 miles, 5+ hours flight time. Best cruise with no passengers: 1300 miles – Los Angeles to Dallas or Boston to Miami! Carries up to 2000 lbs, with vertical take-off, fast speed for an airship, and smooth acceleration. About 140 feet long; requires landing zone 200 feet long, on any open lot, beach, or platform on the water. Unlike a helicopter, you can jump in this aircraft whenever you wish. The aircraft will be so quiet that you do not need to have ear protection. The flight will be exceedingly smooth – if you have ever been in a blimp it will be comparable, but much faster than any blimp can travel.

Can I be an agent for someone to purchase an aircraft?

Yes, you can, and you should identify who that is, and assert that you may be contacting us on that person’s behalf. If you wish to have someone negotiate with us on your behalf, and you are otherwise a qualified buyer, please ensure that your agent has all the necessary information to apply!

What is the timeline for production and delivery of the aircraft?

We anticipate four years for building an aircraft production facility, testing the airship, and obtaining FAA certification.

Do you think the FAA will object or prevent certification?

Not at all. The FAA is about public safety and public purposes as two of their missions. The FAA understands and certifies airships already (blimps) and under these same standards the Plimp ™ airship design hits the FAA’s safety requirements with flying colors. We anticipate the FAA will fast track us given the airship flies in an ultra-safe manner.

What would overages cost beyond the $4m aircraft?

We intend to sell four year contracts for $1m per year plus overages and shared certification costs. Our overages may include aspects of the aircraft you want – like wider doors or a really high ceiling of altitude – and may also include specific underestimated costs that will be clearly documented. We intend to be transparent and not take more than what is typical industry standard in order to cover our own risks of product development. We may split the FAA certification costs for a type certificate between all our customers to expedite grant of the permission.

What if there are not enough buyers to justify production?

We know that we must have at least a certain number of ordered Model J Plimp airships to justify the expense of a production facility. We will first take pledges and determine numbers of people who are interested. If hypothetically we need 20 aircraft to justify a production facility, we will clearly ensure that we have a sufficient number of pre-orders before we give a green light to the project.

What kinds of rights will buyers have?

We commit to transparency of our production to buyers who are on the scheduled payment plan for purchase. This means you can choose in advance things like colors, details, interior, purposes, and slight variations in range or specifications you particularly want to include. You may want the aircraft to open a hatch and drop a cargo box with a line or parachute, for example, and this kind of purpose can be purchased through the process of financing your aircraft. We will have contracts that are transferrable to others under terms, so if you bought Production line number 12, for example, for $1m today, you might sell that same contract to another party wherein Egan Airships may take 20% of the difference of that sale to transfer to another qualified buyer. We will offer buyers quarterly reports until production, access to buyers’ meetings and parties, and other benefits you would expect from your private aircraft company.

Why do you charge a $1,000 administrative vetting fee?

Please understand that if we did not, we would get scores of inquiries from individuals who do not actually qualify, or who just want to pitch us something unrelated. By paying this nominal fee, you will allow us to focus attention on your legitimate interest. While we cannot promise you a sale, we can promise you reasonable attention, an NDA around our business dealings that you can rely upon, confidentiality in our discussions with no external disclosure outside Egan Airships except as mandated by law, and a good faith contract towards your ownership of a dream aircraft.

Is $4 million a fair price for an 8-10 person vehicle?

For comparison, the 8-12 person Airbus H155 costs around $10 million, and the 10 person Sikorsky S-92 Executive costs nearly $18 million new. The Plimp aircraft is a new approach, and yet it is not only cheaper and safer than a helicopter, it will have lower operational costs as well.

What if I want to buy a fleet of them?

If you want to buy more than one aircraft (i.e. 10) we are happy to accommodate. Please ensure that you have the necessary verifiable liquid assets.

Can governments purchase these aircraft?

Yes, and please contact us for government rates. Unlike private buyers, governments may not have a payment plan and may be able to pay a discount for the full amount.

Can the Plimp airship be used by militaries or police forces?

While Egan Airships’ Plimp aircraft could conceivably be armed, we do not envision them as battle vehicles. The aircraft could certainly fly as an ambulance to save people in hostile situations, and it could survive being shot. The airships could be fitted with sound cannons or tear gas to cause crowds to disperse.

What kind of export restrictions do you anticipate?

The US government has ITAR restrictions for certain technologies, but this aircraft will not be prohibited from selling abroad once we receive the type certificate. Your local country laws may be more restrictive than the US FAA, but probably not. Please consult your local Design Engineer Representative (DER) or comparable agent who communicates with your country’s Aviation Administration to learn of procedures which are most likely similar to US FAA “type certificate” procedures.

What happens if the Plimp airship loses power?

The maximum unpowered descent speed is about 9 mph or the speed of a parachutist descending. The aircraft will float in the water and will hold together on any hard impact. At a top speed of 85mph, from 1,000 feet altitude, if the airship loses power, it could be several minutes before it comes to the ground and could fly several miles, steer and glide to an open space or water, with the front of the aircraft protected by the large flexible airship envelope.

What is the chance the helium envelope will rupture?

Common blimp materials are very tough; they do not rip nor do they split open even if hit with gunfire. Rather, they tend to get slow leaks that could be repaired upon landing. The materials that contain the non-flammable helium on the Model J will be state of the art and even more reliable.

Will the propellers be vulnerable to impact?

The propellers will be caged entirely so that birds and other objects will not affect flight.

Will this aircraft require a ground crew?

Unlike blimps which can require a 20 person ground crew, Egan Airships Plimp Model J will require no one to secure it to the ground. The exact anchoring system may require consultation with the FAA over safety requirements. Refueling and refilling helium as necessary can be performed by one individual.

Can the aircraft be flown remotely/unmanned?

Yes. We don’t use the term “unmanned” although the aircraft is conceived to be mostly computer flown. You might be able to say, “fly to Venice Beach” and the aircraft would calculate the route, avoid other aircraft, and get you there safely, smoothly, and quietly. Then you could send the aircraft back to pick up another 10 people. The aircraft can be flown either occupied or unoccupied by people or other payloads.

What else will this aircraft allow me to do?

Include your ideas in your application and we’d love to discuss how we can meet your needs!