Construction complete in Calif. on massive military airship

From AviationWeek.com
Aeroscraft prototype
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Updated: 1/06/2013 7:04 pm

TUSTIN, Calif. (AP) — Construction is complete in Southern California on a massive blimp-like airship that the military hopes to use to carry cargo around the globe.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a first flight for the 36,000-pound aluminum and carbon fiber Aeroscraft could come in the next few months.

It was built by Montebello-based aircraft maker Worldwide Aeros, under a $35 million contract from the Pentagon and NASA. Construction took place inside a 17-story wooden blimp hangar at the former military base in Tustin.

The newspaper says the Aeroscraft is a new type of hybrid aircraft that combines airplane and airship technologies. The 230-foot airship has piston engines that allow it to move vertically and a new type of buoyancy control system.

The company says it will ultimately carry up to 66 tons.

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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