Feeds

'World's largest' airship inflated in colossal Alabama cowshed

New NASA ship features hover-slats, water harvesting

Top three mobile application threats

The "world's largest airship" - according to its makers - was inflated for the first time yesterday and is undergoing ground tests inside a mighty roofed exhibition hall in Alabama which in normal times offers "the space for 1500 cattle".

The "Bullet 580" ship measures 235 feet long and 65 feet in diameter. It is intended to carry payloads of almost one tonne to altitudes of 20,000 feet on surveying or surveillance missions.

The Bullet design was developed in Canada by a company called 21st Century Airships, spawned by well-known ballooning and airship enthusiast Hokan Colting (he was partnered in the balloon biz with fellow Swede Per Lindstrand - noted aerial daredevil and chum of beardy bizlord Richard Branson - in 1970s Britain). Colting achieved a 20,000-foot-plus airship height record in a spherical 21st-century airship above Alberta in 2003.

The Bullet design, based on a 21st-century flying prototype called Voyager, offers various special sauces compared to a standard helium-filled blimp. Its propelling ducted fans are mounted along the centreline of the hull rather than beneath it, so that the nose doesn't lift when more power is applied.

Concept art of the proposed Bullet airship. Credit: E-Green

The zeppelin - finally sorted out?

Slats also allow the pilot to control the airflow emitted by the ducted fans, meaning that traditional tailplanes and rudders aren't required - and that the ship can still be controlled even when not moving foward through the air. This is supposed to offer good manoeuvrability even when hovering, and to mean that the large ground handling crews required by normal airships are unnecessary.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery
SpaceX reports Falcon booster made controlled touchdown in ocean
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.