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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Worldwide Aeros Completes New Zeppelin

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.

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.

Ultimately, the company wants to be able to carry up to 66 tons.

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