August 6, 2008 Aeros, the go-to designer for cool-looking dirigibles, has announced that its airship model Aeros 40D Sky Dragon MSN 21 has entered the flight testing phase. The craft will take flight at San Bernardino International Airport, and will be used as an airborne lab for the development of the new breed of variable buoyancy air vehicle – the Aeroscraft systems.

After completing its scheduled flights, the Aeros 40D will be tested by the FAA in order to qualify for a standard airworthiness certificate. The Aeros 40D significantly reduces the pilot’s work load, and is designed to deliver multiple functions with minimal operating cost, including advertising, tourist rides, surveillance and broadcasting.

The MSN 21 flight testing puts Aeros one step closer to launching the Aeroscraft, a variable buoyancy air vehicle designed to control lift in all stages of air or ground operations. The craft will have a rigid structure, vertical takeoff and landing capability, the ability to operate at low speeds and hover, plus it will be able to off-load payload without taking on-board ballast. The Aeros 40D Sky Dragon will act as a technology demonstrator for the planned Aeroscraft model.

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