Two days after receiving experimental airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration Aeros Corp. began flight-testing the Aeroscraft airship. For safety, the current flights are tethered, and, according to John Kiehle, communications director at Aeros, untethered flights are expected to follow within few weeks. Francis Govers of Gizmag reports.
The Aeroscraft half scale prototype is 266 ft (79 m) long and 97 ft (29.5m) wide. The final design is expected to be more than 400 feet (121m) long and be able to lift a cargo weight of 66 tons. The prototype is powered by three swiveling engines – two on the sides and one in the back – that provide both lift and thrust to lift the airship into the air and propel it forward. The rear engine gives control at low airspeeds by pushing the tail around, side to side or up and down. Two sets of wing-like control surfaces are mounted fore and aft, and two large rudders push up vertically from the tail end. These aerodynamic surfaces will be used at higher speeds (above 20 mph / 30 kph).
Read more at Defense Update