Finally, one of the blimp hangers in Tustin is actually housing an airship. These structures from World War II should have been taken down years ago, and the land put to housing or tax-productive commercial use — but as the old cliché goes, “what goes around, comes around” and a Montebello firm is on the verge of a breakthrough in lighter-than-air technology per the LA Time$:
“This is truly the beginning of a vertical global transportation solution for perhaps the next 100 years,” Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said in a statement. Worldwide Aeros, a company of about 100 employees, built the prototype under a contract of about $35 million from the Pentagon and NASA. The Aeroscraft is a zeppelin with a 230-foot rigid skeleton made of aluminum and carbon fiber. It’s a new type of hybrid aircraft that combines airplane and airship technologies and doesn’t need a long runway to take off or land because it has piston engines that allow it to move vertically and a new high-tech buoyancy control system. Ultimately, the company wants to be able to carry up to 66 tons.
Here’s the Register’s story from November: Airships of the future take shape in Tustin.