Can a new airship unlock the Amazon?

Can a new airship unlock the Amazon?

Chamber Articles Category: Miscellaneous Post Date: 07/11/17 Source: BBC By: Mark Piesing
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Standing in the middle of what used to be a sugar cane field four miles from the south Brazilian city of São Carlos is a huge arched hangar. Inside the purpose-built structure is an aviation first for Brazil – a new design that could change the way the country develops.

It also happens to be a form of flying machine that has all but disappeared since the 1930s. It is the first manned airship ever built in Brazil. It has already flown in private and is now due to make its first public flight this July. This is part of a £35m ($44.6m) project to make Brazil a centre of the airship industry. The company behind it has even built a new factory ready to manufacture a fleet of airships.

The ADB-3-3 looks like the kind of airship you find in a faded photo in a history book - or flying over the Super Bowl. It is about the size of a small Airbus airliner and underneath its huge helium-filled envelope is a gondola that can take six people, and two engines that can move it through the air at a maximum speed of 55mph (95km/h).

It is the prototype of the smallest of a range of airships that its developer, Airship do Brasil (ADB), hopes will soon lead to a giant design that can carry 30 tonnes of cargo – or even a small tank. Their first goal is to get the ADB-3-3 certified safe to fly commercially and into production. Then in 2018 they hope to begin development of the cargo airship. Read Full Article