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China’s AS700 airship completes maiden ferry flight 

China’s new civilian airship, the AS700, completed its maiden ferry flight on April 2, 2024. 

The flight took off from Jingmen and landed at Jingzhou, both in Hubei province of Central China, after a flight of one hour and 46 minutes.  

The AS700, which is the first Chinese thrust-vector-control airship to be certified, can carry 10 people, including crew, in a single capsule. With a maximum takeoff weight of 4,150 kg and a maximum flight range of 700 km, the AS700 can stay aloft for up to 10 hours. 

Its developer, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), has orders for 18 units of the type and expects the AS700 to enter service commercially before the end of 2024.  

The AS700 airship will first be used in the tourism market, although it is likely that other applications, such as search and rescue missions, will be developed at a later date. 

Airships are also making a commercial aviation comeback in the West, where companies such as United States-based LTA, Britain’s Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) and France’s Flying Whales are all developing new generation airships for passenger and cargo transportation.  

The post China’s AS700 airship completes maiden ferry flight  appeared first on AeroTime.

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