The Hamilton Airship Company (THAC) was founded by Jonathan Hamilton
in 1995. The company is based in Bryanston, South Africa, north of
Johannesburg. Design of the two million cubic foot HA-140 prototype
was 80% complete in January 1998. Construction of a 180 meter long
hangar on a 50 hectare site is planned.
The pricipal idea of the Hamilton Airship design is to separate compression
loads from tension loads. The rigid airship includes a tubular central
spine made from carbon reinforced plastic. The spine is the main bearer
of compressions loads. A number of ring girders (probably 10 or 11)
are held in place by tension wires emanating from the central spine and
connecting the rings to one another. The helium lifting gas is to be
held in 22 individual cells.
Directional control of the Hamilton Airship is achieved with
inverted Y tail surfaces. The main propulsion engine is an ADE444 diesel
engine of 588 kW mounted on the aft end of the central spine. Two
additional engines are located on the fron of the lower fins. While the
multideck passenger compartement is located in lower front third of the
ship, the cockpit is located in the nose. A lateral bow-thruster is
hoped to be integrated into the design soon.
Hamilton HA 160-TA rigid airship. (Image courtesy of
For more detailed and up-to-date information, please visit the official
Hamilton Airship Company
contact the Hamilton
Airship Company directly.