| GEO Amazing and Insteresting|
| Largest airship in final completion stage|
| Updated at: 1707 PST, Friday, May 21, 2010|
NEW YORK: The Bullet 580 vehicle, the largest inflatable airship in the world, has just finished inflating inside the Garrett Coliseum, of Montgomery, Alabama.
The impressive ship, which is 72 meters (235 feet) in length, is planned to function as a high stratosphere satellite, the people managing it say. As large as a 23-floor building, the Bullet can easily catch on speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour, or 80 miles per hour, and can stay in the air for extended periods of time without needing to lower its altitude.
The inflation process took more than six hours to complete at high gas pressure, but the behemoth is finally ready to take on wings whenever needed. It has numerous potential applications, ranging from acting like an eye-in-the-sky (monitoring and surveillance missions) to conducting science and related operations. “Our airships are radically different designs that move beyond the performance limitations of traditional blimps or zeppelins by combining advanced technology with simple construction and the ability to fuel with algae, protecting our environment,” explains Michael Lawson. He is the chairman and CEO of E-Green Technologies, the company that designed the airship.
The vehicle carries its payloads inside an external envelope system. Kevlar was chosen as the building material for the enclosure, and this allowed designers to reduce weight, and also create walls that are 1/16th inch thick. In spite of having such a reduced thickness, the envelope is still 10 times stronger than it would have been if made of steel. The airship can carry up to 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms) of equipment to a height of 6,096 meters (roughly 20,000 feet), and it represents the latest in blimp/balloon technologies. Over the past few years, numerous government and military representatives have taken a renewed interest in these machines.
According to officials from E-Green Technologies, their new series of ships could be used for both civilian and military purposes. These applications include, among others, battlefield surveillance and monitoring, missile defense warning systems, electronic countermeasures, weapons platforms, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS)-related services, weather monitoring, broadcast communications and communications relays. The Bullet 580 was developed by 21st Century Airships, which was bought by E-Green Technologies not 7 months ago, Space reports.