Airship development joint venture Sanswire-TAO has completed testing of its STS-111's propulsion system at 9,000ft (2,750m) with a goal of operating at 15,000ft. The next step will be testing of the propulsion system at increasing altitudes.

The company says that flight tests to date, with its 23m scale-model prototype at 3,000ft, have increased manoeuvrability, reduced overall drag through its own adaptive trim system and extended endurance.

 © Sanswire
Concept image of Sanswire's airship

The adaptive trim system automatically senses and alters the centre of gravity throughout flight. The company is a 50-50 joint venture between Ft Lauderdale-headquartered aerospace communications specialist Sanswire and lighter-than-air unmanned air vehicles maker TAO Technologies, of Stuttgart.

airship-production Sanswire 
  © Sanswire
Airship in production


Source: Flight International