Australian firm Skylifter is developing a piloted airship that could change the face of cargo transportation forever. The company claims that its massive balloons will be able to carry up to 150 tonnes more than 1,200 miles. Unlike a conventional cigar-shaped airship, this new one here is designed like a disc to make steering carry heavy loads under different wind conditions easier. Measuring some 500ft, nearly the size of a football stadium, the Skylifter zeppelin could possibly carry even entire buildings someday.
The blimp will move using propellers, which can be adjusted to change direction while the heavy weight of the load hanging underneath keeps the airship steady. It will carry payload, which is 700 times that of a heavy cargo helicopter. There are plans to launch a full-sized prototype, nearly 150ft wide, within the next three years. Skylifter has already developed a prototype called Betty, which is just under 10ft across and can carry a load of over a pound. The firm is hopeful that the airship will carry rural hospitals and disaster-relief centers to remote areas one day.