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Flying Whales raises 122 million euros for its giant airships

Flying Whales must be able to transport medical containers to sites that have suffered natural disasters.

The startup Flying Whales announces this Thursday that it has completed a funding round of 122 million euros. The company is developing a new generation of airships capable of carrying very heavy loads, especially in hard-to-reach areas. It is closely linked to the Gironde, where it built an assembly plant in Laruscade near Bordeaux.

Third very significant funding round for Flying Whales. The French nugget is carrying out a development project for an airship called LCA60T capable of carrying very heavy loads (up to 60 tonnes). A transport tool that can be very useful for accessing hard-to-reach areas, such as mountainous areas, theaters of operation. Eventually, the “flying whales” of Flying Whales will be required to convey wind turbine blades, loads of wood, medical containers… These 200-meter-long airships run on non-pressurized helium and are capable of carrying out stationary flights.

The French State comes on board

This new fundraising involves in particular the French State via the French Tech Sovereignty fund and the France 2030 plan, as well as the Principality of Monaco via its National Financing Company. Historical investors, in particular Quebec via Investissement Québec, or the ADP Group (Airports of Paris), Air Liquide, etc. are also participating in this round of funding. In total, some forty industrial players, particularly from the world of aeronautics, form a consortium participating in the Flying Whales adventure.

On the way to industrial production

This fundraising should make it possible to finalize the development of the airship before a first flight hoped for at the end of 2024 and an operation which could begin in 2026. In the meantime, an IPO is envisaged. The company is therefore taking an important step that takes it from R&D to industrial production.

Flying Whales is preparing the construction of three factories around the world. The first will see the light of day in Gironde, in Laruscade precisely, north of Bordeaux. The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region is one of the public players who have invested in the startup.

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