China’s 3,500-cubic-meter manned airship for civilian service has passed its feasibility assessment and is expected to conduct its maiden flight in 2020, according to the website of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
The airship was developed by the China Special Vehicle Research Institute under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. It has a payload of 840 kg and can carry 10 passengers. Its flight duration can reach 24 hours, with a maximum range of 1,000 km and a flight altitude of 3,050 meters.
Through installing unmanned flight control system equipment, the airship can quickly switch from manned to unmanned mode. It can be controlled remotely from the ground or through program control.
While in unmanned mode, its seats and other equipment can be quickly removed to increase the payload and flight duration.
The airship is expected to conduct its maiden flight in 2020 and obtain a certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in 2021.