Construction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned

A new blimp-like airship is being constructed by Worldwide Aeros in a World War II-era blimp hanger at a former military base in Tustin. The airship will be used by the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world.

A massive cargo-carrying airship has taken shape inside one of the 17-story wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin.

According to aircraft maker Worldwide Aeros Corp., construction is complete on a 36,000-pound blimp-like aircraft designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world.

The Montebello company hopes to have a first flight in the coming months and to demonstrate cargo-carrying capability shortly thereafter.

"This is truly the beginning of a vertical global transportation solution for perhaps the next 100 years,” Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said in a statement.

Worldwide Aeros, a company of about 100 employees, built the prototype under a contract of about $35 million from the Pentagon and NASA.

The Aeroscraft is a zeppelin with a 230-foot rigid skeleton made of aluminum and carbon fiber. It's a new type of hybrid aircraft that combines airplane and airship technologies and doesn't need a long runway to take off or land because it has piston engines that allow it to move vertically and a new high-tech buoyancy control system.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-aeros-airship-tustin...

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