High-Tech Cargo Airship Being Built in California

10:45 AM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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TUSTIN, Calif. (AP) - A hulking cargo airship is undergoing flight testing at a Marine Corps air station in Southern California.

The designers of the Aeroscraft say it has the potential to one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft built before.

The Department of Defense and NASA have invested $35 million into the lighter-than-air airship because it has the potential to deliver cargo to forward military bases and disaster zones.

The blimp-like aircraft has a rigid structure made out of ultra-light carbon fiber and aluminum underneath its high-tech Mylar skin. Inside, balloons hold helium that give the vehicle lift.

Flight control engineer Munir Jojo-Verge says the biggest challenge is making sure the airship is able to withstand high winds and weather. It still must go through several more rounds of testing.

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