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21st Century Airships
The company 21st Century Airships claims that its high-altitude airship can stay aloft for a month and will soon be able to stay on flights that could last as long as a year. The company builds its airships in a spherical shape, saying they have less surface area and will leak less, turn quicker and move faster than tradition cigar-shaped models.
Football analyst John Madden may have a fear of flying, but you can see his face broadcast over a 70-by-30-foot LED screen on the side of a blimp. The Lightship Group's A-170 lightship recently received Federal Aviation Administration clearance to fly with the wide screen. Stronger lift power and lighter electronics have made the bigger screens possible.
High Altitude Airship
Lockheed Martin is developing a high-altitude airship (HAA) for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. It could be used as a surveillance platform, telecommunications relay, weather observer or telescope platform. The 400-foot long, 140-foot diameter airship is expected to float for about a month above the jet stream, at an altitude of 60,000 feet. The HAA could observe an area of 600 square miles and millions of cubic miles of airspace. The prototype and test delivery is scheduled for 2009.