Two days after receiving experimental airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration Aeros Corp. began flight-testing the reports.airship. For safety, the current flights are tethered, and, according to John Kiehle, communications director at Aeros, untethered flights are expected to follow within few weeks. Francis Govers of Gizmag
The Aeroscraft is a fully rigid airship, of the type that has not been seen in the air since 1940. A rigid airship has a stiff outer frame that maintains its aerodynamic shape regardless of the amount of helium inside the ship. The Aeroscraft maintains a given capacity of helium in pressurized containers. When loaded with cargo, helium will be expanded into buoyancy containers, like air is used to float submarines. The company calls this system COSH, an acronym for “Control of Static Heaviness.”
The rationale for bringing back this type of airship relates to its ability to deliver heavy, outsized cargo to remote locations without needing an airport to land at. Communities in locations like Alaska, the north of Canada, Africa, and the Australian outback are rich in minerals but lacking in infrastructure. It is the vision of Pasternak and his crew that the Aeroscraft will transform the delivery of cargo to mines, wind farms and oil fields in remote areas like these.
The Aeroscraft has been under development since 2006, and the US Government has contributed some $35M for research, along with expertise in aerodynamics and control systems from NASA.