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History of AEREON
AEREON’s founders, airship men, purposed to advance the art in airship technology towards a practical and economically useful cargo transport, by augmenting buoyant with aerodynamic lift.  They would gain fuel economy and heavy-lift capability; improve schedule reliability and reduce ground-handling problems. They began with a legacy concept and then advanced the art. 

AEREON III was designed and built, 1959-1965, a hybrid containing helium cells in three joined hulls which formed a rectangular wing/body.  It was the first rigid airship built since the Zeppelins of the 1930’s.  It was runway-tested before being dismantled in 1967.  The triple-hull had been state-of-the-art, dating from the 1860’s when AEREON I was built and flown over Manhattan with passengers.  The inventor, Dr. Solomon Andrews of New Jersey, coined the name, which means “AIR AGE,” because he saw that being able to fly into the wind, in this balloon, meant air transportation would be possible.  He formed the first U. S. air transportation company, whose motto was: “Time flies; why not man?”  He eventually gave his patents to the nations of the world to benefit humanity.

Evolution of the Aerobody

In the period 1967-1970 (Project TIGER), several wind tunnel experiments were performed to measure the aerodynamic performance, stability and control characteristics of AEREON’s deltoid aerobody.  Flight tests with a dynamically scaled model were performed further to evaluate some of the controllability aspects of the aircraft, particularly in ground effect.  A variable stability airplane simulated the 1200 lb. manned AEREON 26.  Results of these experiments guided the final design of the AEREON 26 flight test vehicle then under construction.  Manned flight tests of the AEREON 26 at the FAA's NAFEC facility in 1970-1971 documented AEREON’s aerodynamic performance predictions. FAA Designated Engineering Representatives confirmed that.. 

As a very large (semi-buoyant) “DYNAIRSHIP”, this concept (patented in 10 countries) was studied by AEREON in the 1970’s (under Navy contracts) for long-endurance Open Ocean Surveillance.

During the 1980’s the deltoid aerobody was patented (U.S. Patents 4,896,160 & 5,034,751) to incorporate three large phased array antennas within the triangular hull.  This design - a manned AWAC’s size surveillance aircraft – (WASP/AF) for cruise missile defense, was studied using CFD and FEA tools under two SBIR contracts ($833k) for the Air Force.  Because it showed 10 times the power aperture product of the AWACS, the Air Defense team at Hanscom AFB asked more funding from OSD's Air Defense Initiative office.

In the mid -1990’s, the Office of Naval Research funded ($248k) preliminary design of a manned, CV-based “WASP/N”, offering 10 times the power aperture product of the E-2C.

As world-wide technological capabilities progressed, it became apparent that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) were emerging as the transformational aircraft of the future.  Recognizing this potential for future operations, AEREON Corporation, with private funds, began work in the late 1990’s on a new deltoid aerobody Unmanned Air Vehicle configuration. WASP UAV builds upon AEREON’s 40+ years of aerodynamic design.

VectoRotor Concept

During the 1980’s AEREON recognized the need for an improvement over the economics and safety of current heavy lift helicopters.  VectoRotor is AEREON’s response to that necessity.  Integrating buoyant and rotary wing technology, VectorRotor offers the potential for reduced operating and ownership cost, improving maneuverability, and greater safety.

Innovation and “out-of-the-box thinking” will continue to drive AEREON Corporation toward achieving efficient, affordable aircraft concepts with revolutionary capabilities for the future.
AEREON Corporation's Board of Directors is as follows:
William McE. Miller, Jr.
Chairman & President  
Jeffrey C. Milanette
George Moffitt, Jr. CFA
William F. Putman
Richard L. Rumpf
Paul D. Shein


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