A California company is developing the Aeroscraft, a plane that will take off and land like a helicopter, but will use 14 million ft3 of helium to hoist two-thirds of the craft's weight.
According to the company, the rigid aerodynamic body driven by huge rearward propellers will generate enough lift to keep the leviathan and its 400-ton payload aloft. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines will push the ship up or ease its descent. The two-football-fields-long airship is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak whose firm, Worldwide Aeros Corp., Canoga Park, Calif., plans to complete the prototype by 2010.
Worldwide Aeros Corp.,