Monday, May 31, 2010

The Bullet 580 - the world's largest Airship

E-Green Technologies' Bullet 580 is the world’s largest airship at 230ft (70m) long and 65ft (19.8m) diameter. Each Bullet 580 costs US$8M (€6.3M), the company plans to build eight airships to rent at US$290,000-800,000 (€230,000-630,000) a month.

Suggested applications for Bullet 580’s unique low speed and lifting capabilities include sightseeing, carrying heavy cargo and flown on high altitude remotely piloted observation missions carrying up to 2,000lbs (907kgs) at 20,000ft (6000m), or 15,000 to 2,500ft (760m).

Buoyant lift comes from seven helium filled bags with the outer Kevlar hull made rigid by pressurized air. The 35mph (56kph) cruising speed and maximum 80mph (129kph) comes from engines using algae-produced bio-diesel fuel.

The first mission to fly will take NASA and Old Dominion University crew, on a soil moisture measuring research flight. Test flights are planned to begin this summer.

Technical Specifications:

•Approximate length = 230 feet
•Specially manufactured in various lengths to meet sustained altitude and payload requirements.
•Maneuverable—vertical takeoff/descent; capable of reversing directions.
•Diesel-powered generators provide a power budget for payloads exceeding 4kw.
•Payload bays designed for easy access and modification.
•Dual-redundant flight control system for manned and unmanned operation.
•Ground Control Systems and data links provide full control during unmanned operation.
•Water Condensate Recovery System reduces need for helium replenishment.