Aeroscraft Taking Cargo Transport to New Heights

January 31, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Remember blimps? They used to arouse curiosity in the early days, and many have mistaken one for a UFO.

Now there’s a more futuristic-looking airship, with a metallic outlook, that would gain more open-mouthed stares than the good ol’ blimps. This airship is settled in a large warehouse in Southern California and is touted to be the next big thing in cargo transport industry.

First float maneuvers were done earlier this month in a controlled in-hanger exercise. That was the first time Aeroscraft prototype model ML866 took to the air, becoming the world’s only Rigid Variable Buoyancy Air Vehicle.


The vehicle, a lighter-than-air transport system, is designed with oversized freight transportation in mind. It might, as the years go by, take to a more luxurious form of air travel.

The vehicle is said to have a 20-ton lifting capacity, which is pretty high when u consider air transport. DARPA, NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense and several other US agencies are pointing at Aeroscraft to modernize the world’s heavyweight projects.

With a new, sturdier cargo ship in tow, transport of heavy machinery and equipment, as well as supplies to urban, remote and ecologically sensitive locations is possible. The aircraft is made from aluminum and carbon fiber, which makes up for the lightness, and it is filled with pressurized helium.

The Aeroscraft is a massive 230-foot monster which is covered in a reflective Mylar skin, which gives it a sci-fi UFO look.

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