Work on the 40E Sky Dragon airship is expected to be completed later this year and the vehicle will enter service after FAA type certification. Photo Worldwide Aeros Corp.
23 February 2015 aerospace-technology.com
Lighter-than-air aircraft manufacturer Worldwide Aeros (Aeros) has commenced production of its latest airship, 40E 'Sky Dragon', at its engineering and production complex in Montebello, California, US.
The fabrication and vehicle assembly comes after the company completed critical design review (CDR) of the airship.
The company is currently working on supporting structure for the vertical and horizontal stabilisers, and will soon perform envelope and gondola fabrication activities.
Work on the 40E 'Sky Dragon' airship is expected to be completed later this year, and the vehicle will enter service after type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
"The company is currently working on supporting structure for the vertical and horizontal stabilisers, and will soon perform envelope and gondola fabrication activities."
Aeros engineering director Tim Kenny said: "During the recent CDR Aeros' technical experts from engineering, production and quality control found that the aircraft design was sound, met desired safety levels and demonstrated new system integration successfully, and I'm excited to see the aircraft quickly taking shape."
The 40E is the third-generation of Aeros' family of 'Sky Dragon' airships, and follows the 40B and 40D versions designed for multi-role mission capabilities and surveillance / reconnaissance support.
Built on strengths of the 40D 'Sky Dragon,' the 40E is said to incorporate operational enhancements, including flexible payload integration for radar, EO / IR and communications equipment with useful payload, vectored propulsion and control, onboard data workstations, and enhanced landing gear design.
Other design enhancements include added levels of safety, pilot empowerment, and crew and passenger comfort.
Powered by Lycoming AEIO-320-D engine, the 40E is a single-pilot aircraft with twin engine / vectored propulsion, and can fly up to 510km at maximum speed of 54kts.
Aeros' product portfolio includes advanced airships, tethered aerostats and the Aeroscraft cargo airship.