Ever since the words, “Oh, the humanity” were uttered, airships (more commonly known as blimps) have been seen as something of a novelty. You’d see shots from overhead at big sports events, courtesy of this or that blimp, and the occasional publicity or advertising run. What you were unlikely to see was an airship offloading cargo or being used as any sort of transport vehicle.
Now, Aeros aims to change all that with the Aeroscraft. This new breed of airship has been designed while under contract from the Pentagon, and is ready to begin testing. Dubbed The Pelican, the 230 ft.-long prototype weighs in at 36,000 lbs. and has already completed basic maneuverability checks.
Why an airship? According to Aeros:
What makes the Aeroscraft unique is that it has an Internal Ballast Control system, which allows it to offload cargo, without using ballast. Built with a rigid structure, the Aeroscraft can control lift at all stages with its Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities and carry maximum payload while in hover. These capabilities make the Aeroscraft more advanced compared to Airships and Hybrid Airships. The Aeroscraft also needs no hangar facility or airport, nor any excessive maintenance — making it the pinnacle solution for transport services.
The company envisions multiple uses for the Aeroscraft. Along with cargo transport, Aeros foresees luxury flights for travel, similar to a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. The VTOL feature also has potential military applications, particularly when combined with the airship’s ability to operate sans airport, which is no doubt why the Pentagon is interested.
Below you’ll find a video about the Aeroscraft.