Airship to carry tourists, cargo
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.