Customer story - ZLT Zeppelin
ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik, a German-based company, develops, builds and markets the Zeppelin NT. This modern airship is a descendant from the helium-filled aircraft that flew around the beginning of the previous century. In 1997, 60 years after the last flight of the first Zeppelin version, ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik was responsible for a new milestone in aviation, with the maiden flight of the newest Zeppelin, the Zeppelin NT.
The new Zeppelin NT is a unique piece of engineering. It is 75m long, 19.5m wide, weighs only 1,900kg and can reach a maximum speed of 125km per hour.
The Zeppelin NT is a multi-purpose passenger airship, certified by European and US-American aviation authorities to transport up to 15 passengers or up to 2 tons of mission equipment. It features a semi-rigid design principle, consisting of a high-tech pressurized external hull and a rigid internal framework, made from aluminum and carbon fiber. The large cabin provides ample space for passengers as well as missions. Its smooth and gentle flight characteristics distinguish it from fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. At the same time, it can hover, take-off/land vertically (VTOL) and cruise at up to 125 km per hour just like the others. The airship features a state-of-the-art cockpit with large MFD screens and fly-by-wire controls.
Because of its exclusive but versatile character, the Zeppelin NT can perform various roles. The prime usages for the Zeppelin NT are still aerial tourism and passenger services, but the other possibilities are limitless. The hull surfaces of the aircraft have been used for advertising purposes. The Zeppelin NT has also been used as an observation platform for aerial photographers and television commentators covering major events. And due to their capability for low-vibration flight for up to 24 hours at a time, the airship is suitable for research missions for environmental observation, troposphere research and natural resource prospecting. No job is too big for the Zeppelin NT.
The NT in the official name stand for "New Technology", meaning the new design of the Zeppelin NT looks similar to the old design, but it has the highest level of quality and security, comfort and performance. To obtain the highest safety level for the pilots in the cockpit, the engineers behind this project turned to ScioTeq.
We chose ScioTeq because their COTS product offering provides all the required interface capabilities, in combination with a certified open software framework, called MOSArt®.
"We chose ScioTeq because their COTS product offering provides all the required interface capabilities, in combination with a certified open software framework, called MOSArt®. This open software architecture allowed us to have a certified real-time operating system and driver package, uniquely facilitating 3rd-party software applications development, which was needed for the development of the Zeppelin NT". says the head of engineering at ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik.
The Zeppelin's engineering team has been well supported during the development, integration and certification steps of this system. The Zeppelin NT is equipped with two ScioTeq CHDD-268 DAL B displays. Both displays are driven by ScioTeq's PU-2000 Mission Computer. The open architecture MOSArt® makes it easy to integrate with the other functionalities in the cockpit.
Since 2001, the team of well-trained and experienced pilots has welcomed more than 250,000 passengers on board. A commercial flight in the Zeppelin NT can carry a maximum of 14 passengers, and takes 30 minutes to 2 hours. In 2021, the Zeppelin flies commercially in Germany over Munich, Rhineland, Düsseldorf, Monchengladbach and Frankfurt.
Due to the first-class readability in marginal weather conditions, during flights in bright sunlight or night flights, the pilot workload is significantly lower compared to all other systems we used before.
A flight in a Zeppelin NT is a great experience, not just for the passengers, but also for the pilots.
"The Zeppelin NT Airship is a unique aircraft. The fly-by-wire and vectored thrust control systems offer flight characteristics comparable to a helicopter, despite the aircraft's length of 75 meters. The modern cockpit, with its ScioTeq mission computers and the large-sized color-coded display interface, which is nicely integrated into the cockpit, offers a reliable, readable and easy to operate platform during all kind of flights", says the Zeppelin NT chief pilot. "The combination of controllability and the displayed system information, in particular the versatility for different display options, offers the pilot an outstanding aircraft to fly, during all kind of flight missions, such as passenger flights, arial work or scientific missions. Due to the first-class readability in marginal weather conditions, during flights in bright sunlight or night flights, the pilot workload is significantly lower compared to all other systems we used before."
If you want to know more about ScioTeq's avionics visualization solutions, please visit our Avionics page or contact us. For more information on the Zeppelin NT and its flights, go to www.zeppelin-nt.de.
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