Tustin Firm Moves Closer To Flight Testing Blimp-Style Cargo Aircraft
An Orange County aerospace firm will soon begin flight tests for a new high-tech blimp-style aircraft designed to carry oversized cargo.
Tustin-based Worldwide Aeros Corp. designed the 266-foot-long Aeroscraft, a 36,000-pound, blimp-like aircraft made of aluminum and carbon fiber, as part of the “Dragon Dream” project.
The Aeroscraft, which incorporates a “buoyancy management system” that will allow the lighter-than-air vehicle to vertically airlift up to 66 tons of cargo, is part of a $35-million partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, DARPA and NASA. It will provide new ways of moving heavy and oversized cargo from point-of-origin to point-of-need, even to areas with damaged infrastructure or those lacking it altogether, according to company officials.