Ohio Inventors Prepare To Launch "Flying Truck"

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The prototype of the Dyanlifter, a 120-foot-long, two-seat blimp/airplane hybrid, is complete and ready for flight testing, its inventors said last week. The airship will not be lighter-than-air but will carry part of its load via aerodynamic lift generated by the wings and hull. This will make it possible for the ship to land like an airplane, without any need for the ground crew required for a traditional airship, say designers Brian Martin and Robert Rist. Future versions of the ship could be as large as a 200-ton freighter (which might stimulate its own ground-handling questions). Other uses for the design include aerial advertising, personal transportation, search and rescue, temporary "cellphone towers," firefighting, and military support. The designers hope the (air)ships could also be used to transport natural resources from remote areas of Canada and Asia, which have so far been minimally exploited due to the high costs of transportation.