- Even though the Aeroscraft dwarfs the largest commercial
airliners, it requires less net space on the ground than any plane because
it doe sn't need a runway The airship takes off and lands like ahelicopter
straight up and down This is not a Blimp It's a sort of flying Queen Mary
2 that could change the way you think about air travel.
- It's the Aeroscraft, and when it's completed, it will
ferry pampered p assengers across continents and oceans as they stroll
leisurely about the one-acre cabin or relax in their staterooms. Unlike
its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. It's
14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two-thirds of the craft's weight.
The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body, driven by huge rear-ward
propellers, generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and
its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising During takeoff and landing, six
turbo-fan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.
- This two-football-fields-long airship is the brainchild
of Igor Pasternak, whose privately-funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros
Corporation, is in the early stages of developing a prototype and expects
to have one completed by 2010.
- Pasternak says several cruise ship companies have expressed
interest in the project,and for go od reason - the craft would have a
range of several thousand miles, and, with an estimated top speed of 174
mph, could traverse the continental United States in about 18 hours.
- During the flight, passengers would view national landmarks
just 8,000 feet below,or, if they weren't captivated by the view, the
cavernous interior would easily accommodate such amenities as luxury
staterooms, restaurants - - even a casino. To minimize noise, the aft-mounted
propellers will be electric, powered by a renewable source such as hydrogen
fuel cells. A sophisticated buoyancy - management system will serve the
same purpose as trim on an airplane, allowing for precise adjustments
in flight d ynamics to compensate for outside conditions and passenger
movement. The automated system will draw outside air into compartments
throughout the ship and compress it to manage onboard weight.
- ( On a pressurized plane, windows like these would explode
outward The Aeroscraft would not fly high enough to need pressurization
- The company envisions a cargo-carrying version that could
deliver a store's worth of merchandise from a centralized distribution
center straight to a Wal-Mart parking lot, or, because the helium-filled
craft will float, a year's worth of supplies to an offshore oil rig .
- " You can land on the snow , you can land on the
water , " Pasternak says . " It's a new vision of what can be
done in the air . "
- Aeroscraft Purpose - Long-range travel for passengers
who are more concerned with the Journey than the destination.
- Dimensions (feet): 165 H x 244 W x 647 L