May 24, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Photo by George Schellenger
Watch for a really big airship to fly somewhere in the Montgomery, Ala., area later this year. At 235 feet, builder E-Green Technologies claims it is, or will be, the largest in the world.
The airship can carry payloads of 2,000 pounds up to 20,000 feet at dash speeds of 80 mph. The Bullet 580 looks like, well, a bullet. The craft completed a successful inflation recently inside a domed stadium in the Montgomery area.
Conceptual drawing by Wade Buffington
Payloads are carried inside the outer envelope, which is one-sixteenth of an inch thick but 10 times stronger than steel. It is made of Kevlar. It is touted for a number of surveillance and communications uses, and can remain on station for hours at a time. The first mission is for NASA and Old Dominion University and consists of equipment to measure the moisture content of soil.
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg talks with AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy Jim Coon on his first 100 days and the top advocacy issues confronting AOPA.
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