American Blimp lines up A-150 production

American Blimp, of Severna Park, Maryland, has launched production of the nine-passenger Lightship A-150 having "-clearly identified" customers for the first five airships.

The A-150 was awarded US certification in September, and the first airship has been delivered to The Lightship Group, a joint venture set up between American Blimp and Virgin Lightships, for use on a long-term advertising contract.

The company is aiming the nine-passenger, single-pilot A-150 at what it describes as "growing interest" from the air-tour industry, and expects the Lightship to "-re-open airship passenger service". The craft is powered by two Tectron Lycoming IO-360 piston engines driving five-blade MT propellers.

The A-150 has a 4,200m3 (150,000ft3) translucent envelope, but the Lightship series is available with 3,200m3 and 4,800m3 envelopes.

Under the name Spector, the airships are being marketed for surveillance missions, including border and maritime patrol and law enforcement.

Source: Flight International