Speaking to Gizmag, company Communications Director John Kiehle says that the first untethered test flight will be “very soon – within a few weeks” and should see the airship fly around the airfield at a height of about 100 ft (33 m). First flights will not include operating the Aeroscraft’s trademark variable buoyancy system, but that system has been successfully tested inside the large hangar where the airship was built at Tustin, California.
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Aeros Corporation, a company based near San Diego, has received experimental airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin flight testing the Aeroscraft airship, and it appears that the company has wasted no time getting started.
Aeros has provided these photographs of the Aeroscraft airship outside undergoing tethered testing on Saturday, September 7, 2013, and they clearly show the airship off the ground and under control. The large bag structures under airship are landing pads, a type of inflated hovercraft skirt that allow the airship to rest on the ground – or water, or ice – without wheels.
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