Hybrid Airship Nears Completion In Ohio

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The Dynalifter, a hybrid airship that combines aerodynamic lift -- wings and body lift -- with aerostatic lift -- helium -- is under construction in Alliance, Ohio, and is expected to be finished later this summer, according to its builder, Ohio Airships. The 120-foot prototype is about 75 percent assembled and the company says it has funding for completion. The prototype is designed to carry a 1,000-pound payload, including a two-person crew, and will take off and land from a runway. No ground crew is required, as for a blimp. The Dynalifter could stay airborne for up to 10 hours, carry bulky payloads, and is cheap to build, the company says. The aircraft could be used for airborne advertising, border patrols and freight. The Dynalifter prototype has a rigid airframe, with internal cells to hold the helium. Even if all the helium was lost in flight, the aircraft could land safely and under control, the company says. Cockpit controls are similar to those in an airplane.