July 22 - The Aeroscraft is a new type of rigid variable buoyance air vehicle currently under-development by California headquartered Aeros. The Aeroscraft has the ability to lift and offload heavy cargoes without the need to re-ballast, fly over 3,000 na

The US House of Representatives and the US Senate recently released its FY2014 National Defence Authorization Act, in which they both praised the development of the cargo airship technology.

The House of Representatives thoughts on the developmental technology included: "The committee is aware that hybrid airship technology has the potential to provide much needed capability for the Department of Defense, particularly with regards to cargo lift and logistics.

"The committee encourages the Air Force and Transportation Command to work with industry to more fully develop the capability requirements and mission analysis needed to pursue such an operational prototype."

The US Senate says: "The Pelican program recently demonstrated a limited capability of the underlying technology for controlled variable buoyancy," adding that "the committee directs US Transportation Command and the Air Force Mobility Command to monitor progress in this area and report to the congressional defense committees no later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act".

Aeros' ceo, Igor Pasternak, commented: "(We are) very pleased that the United States Congress recognises our developments that have demonstrated innovative buoyancy control capability, and that the Congress is encouraging the Pentagon to work with the industry toward realising an operational vehicle."

On July 12, 2013, HLPFI reported that a scale model of the 250-tonne lifting capacity Aeroscraft - named Dragon Dream - left the its hangar for the first time and is currently completing pre-flight preparations. The Aeroscraft is expected to embark upon its maiden voyage later this summer (http://tinyurl.com/lz24uy4).