You have never seen anything like this
The Pentagon and NASA have signed a contract with Aeros worth $35 m. What for these organizations have paid so much money? It turned out that these money was spent on the developing of the Aeroscraft ML866 military transport airship with ballast system that can carry heavy loads to remote undeveloped areas. Besides, the airship can observe and explore the territory.
At the moment, the development project is still under way. The airship has already demonstrated its capabilities in the hangar. This carrier is equipped with the VERTICAL (internal stowage technology with vertical lift and avtoballastom) function. The first airship was called "Pelican". Its length is 70 m, weight - 16 329 kg. The airship’s movement is controlled from the ground.
According to the plan, the full-scaled Aeroscrafts will be 137 meters long and will be able to carry 66 tons cargo on a distance of 5556 km without refueling at a speed of 220 km/h. Ceiling is 5400 m.
Aeroscraft is a successful combination of airplane and airship. It has rigid construction made of aluminum and carbon fiber. Its airshell is filled with helium. Buoyancy control system can escalate or reduce the amount of helium, thereby varying the height of the movement.
Aeroscraft alternative is a similar project of Lockheed Martin – C-5B Galaxy. Features C-5B Galaxy are seemingly better - 6359 km range without refueling, 122 tons lifting capacity. But, C-5B Galaxy requires a 2440 m long runway, while Aeros has vertical take-off.
Under the contract Aeros will hold three more tests of the project, including the vertical takeoff and lowering of airship on the distance in 3-4.5 m from the ground during the next week. Besides there will take place cargo carrying testing before the airship will see the sky.
The developing will be ended by 2016.