Flying Whales is one of the growing number of players in the airship market. The company is developing the LCA60T airship which uses 14 non-pressurised helium cells to ascend and remain in the air. The cells expand and inflate throughout the ascent due to the decrease in atmospheric pressure at high altitudes. The company believes that each airship will require between 6.4-8.8mmcf. Flying Whales has initially planned to assemble 12 airships per year, beginning manufacturing in France, then Canada, and eventually in Asia. This adds up to a requirement of ~90mmcf/y (1.5% of current global supply) of helium from just one company. Furthermore, the company does not specify any re-filling but we believe that there would be leakages which will add an additional amount of helium needed by the company. Flying Whales is expected to begin commercial sales in 2-3 years followed by another 1-2 years to ramp up to its target of 12 airships per year. There are several companies developing airships such as LTA, Lockheed Martin, and Air Nostrum to name a few, and all these companies would have similar helium requirements. This shows the high demand potential of helium from the airship market. Recently, Louis Dreyfus, a freight forwarder, partnered with Flying Whales to commercialise an air cargo transport solution based on the LCA60T airship.
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