The Aeroscraft is a planned 400-ton hybrid Airship, to be built by the Worldwide Aeros Corporation. A scaled-down prototype is planned for 2008, and a full scale passenger craft for 2010.

The current design of the Aeroscraft


The Aeroscraft is 850 feet (260 metres) in length, and has a top speed of 174 miles per hour, faster than conventional airships (top speed around 90 mph) but slower than jet aircraft (500 mph). It has a flight ceiling of 8000 feet.

The Aeroscraft uses a combination of aerodynamic and aerostatic principles to remain airborne. Approximately two-thirds of the craft's lift is provided by helium gas. The remaining lift is provided by the forward thrust of the craft's propellers, in combination with its aerodynamic shape, and its canards (forward fins) and empennages (rear fins).

As well as its horizonal propellers, the Aeroscraft has six downward-pointing turbofan jet engines for vertical take-off and landing. The craft also uses Dynamic Buoyancy Management, a novel technology which controls buoyancy by taking in air from the surrounding atmosphere and holding it in pressurised tanks. These systems make the Aeroscraft capable of landing on rough or snowy terrain, or on water.