none

PRODUCTION BEGINS ON THE WORLD’S LARGEST AIRCRAFT

16-09-2015
by 
in 

Production has begun on the Aeroscraft ML866, the world’s largest aircraft.

Built by California-based airship maker Aeros, the ML866 is 169m long and stands 36m tall, with a wingspan of 53m.

The blimp has entered a “design freeze,” with the company now focused on building the airship’s patented buoyancy system, called COSH (control-of-static-heaviness).

“We are excited to reveal production is underway on the ML866, and committed to achieving FAA operational certification for the first deployable Aeroscraft in approximately five years,” said Igor Pasternak, Aeros CEO, in a recent media release.

When built, it will be capable of a maximum speed of 222 km/h, with a cruising speed at 185 km/h and a maximum altitude of 3.65 km.

While it’s definitely exciting to think massive airships like the ML866 will soon take to the skies again, it’s unlikely we’ll get to go along for the ride any time soon.

The Aeroscraft blimps are intended for cargo transport purposes only, with VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) capabilities specifically designed to enable the lifting and deployment of heavy payloads in environments that don’t have runways or other forms of critical aircraft infrastructure.

Capable of carrying close to 60 metric tonnes in cargo, the ML866 follows successful testing of a half-scale prototype called Dragon Dream in 2013.

If all goes well with the full-size ship, Aeros plans to build even bigger aircraft down the line.

The proposed ML868 at 230m long would dwarf the already huge ML866 while carrying up to 181 tonnes. Another future concept, the ML868X, may carry payloads over 450 tonnes.

Unlike the infamous breed of mid-20th-century airships that used highly flammable (and thus extremely dangerous) hydrogen for their lift – most spectacularly demonstrated by the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 – contemporary airships use helium, which is less buoyant but a lot safer.

The ML866’s buoyancy control uses a system where helium compression can be increased or reduced depending on the scenario, enabling the airship to be heavier-than-air during ground operations or lighter-than-air during flight, with its makers likening it to a “flying submarine” in terms of its manoeuvrability.

Related news & editorials

  1. EMISSIONS image coal
    22.04.2021
    22.04.2021
    by      In
    The Morrison Government is set to invest a further $539.2 million in new clean hydrogen, carbon capture, use and storage (CCS/CCUS) projects. This will support Australian industry, create jobs, help cut emissions and drive investment.
    The added investment for new clean hydrogen and carbon capture... Read More
  2. australian made week
    22.04.2021
    22.04.2021
    by      In
    The “Australian Made, Australian Grown” logo has established itself as something of an industry legend, with the iconic green and gold kangaroo logo having now promoted Australian products for more than 35 years. Ever since the roo’s launch in 1986, nothing else has proudly signalled Aussie... Read More
  3. Jobmaker Hire
    22.04.2021
    22.04.2021
    by      In
    The economic recovery is going better than most dared to hope, with over 300,000 new jobs created since October 2020.
    But while the outlook is positive, we’re not out of the woods yet.
    One issue to watch is the impact of the conclusion of major stimulus and industry support measures such as... Read More
  4. pedestrian
    20.04.2021
    20.04.2021
    by      In
    The workforce is not subject to casualisation, nor is it experiencing a growth in independent contractors, says Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group.
    Despite the view of some commentators, “the proportion of the total workforce engaged as casual employees has... Read More
Products
Suppliers