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Airships pass pre-launch milestones

LOS ANGELES, CA/BEDFORDSHIRE, UK: March 23, 2016: Airship manufacturer Aeroscraft Corporation (Aeros) has received a U.S. patent for its 'Aeroshell' sub-system for cargo airships. Meanwhile Hybrid Air Vehicles' (HAV) Airlander has completed its re-assembly and will begin ground testing prior to first flight later this year.

Airlander US ArmyHAV says the Airlander, originally funded by the U.S. Army, combines the best characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology "for a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport".

Founded more than 25 years ago, Aeros produces FAA-certified aircraft including airships, tethered aerostats and the Aeroscraft cargo airship.

The company said its patented Aeroshell provides aerodynamic stability compared with the cigar shaped hulls of earlier zeppelins, increasing payload, airspeed and maneuverability, particularly in high wind conditions.

The structure also provides attachment and support for aircraft engines, canards, empennage structures, cockpit, and other auxiliary systems while the lift- producing rigid hull enables an airship to take off where the hull and payload weight exceed the maximum buoyancy supplied solely by helium.

Established in 2007, HAV has benefited from a £60 million investment from the U.S. government and approximately £7 million in grants from the EU and UK government.

The company says the 302ft Airlander 10, which first flew at Lakehurst, New Jersey in 2012, is designed to stay airborne for up to five days to fulfill a wide range of communication and survey roles as well as enable last mile cargo delivery of up to 10 tonnes. HAV's proposed 390ft Airlander 50 will carry 50 passengers, or 60 tonnes, 2,000 nautical miles.

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