Air­ship to carry tourists, cargo

China Daily European Weekly - - News Digest -

Avi­a­tion In­dus­try Corp of China, a State-owned de­fense con­glom­er­ate, is de­vel­op­ing a large manned air­ship and plans to con­duct its maiden test flight in 2020, ac­cord­ing to its de­sign­ers. “The air­craft will be tasked with car­ry­ing out ae­rial sight­see­ing or freight trans­porta­tion, and will also be suit­able for min­eral sur­veys, ma­rine sur­veil­lance, emer­gency re­sponse and coun­tert­er­ror­ism op­er­a­tions,” says Zhang Ming­wen, head of the Spe­cial Ae­rial Ve­hi­cle Re­search In­sti­tute, an AVIC sub­sidiary in Jing­men, Hubei prov­ince, that is de­sign­ing the air­ship. Pro­pelled by two en­gines, the air­ship will be ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing 840 kilo­grams and will be able to stay air­borne for 24 hours, Zhang says. He adds that it will have a flight range of 1,000 kilo­me­ters and will be able to fly at an al­ti­tude of more than 3 km. It will come in two types, one pi­loted and one re­motely con­trolled, he says. De­tails of the air­ship’s size were not dis­closed.

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