If you like big and green, NASA's Ames Research Center will soon have something for you: the world's largest and greenest airship.
The space agency announced today that the Mountain View, Calif., research center's Moffett Field will soon play host to a mammoth 265-foot-long and 65-foot-diameter airship from Kellyton, Ala.'s E-Green Technologies. The Bullet Class 580 will be developed and tested at Ames in 24,000 square feet of Ames' famous Hangar 2.
The new airship, which has a planned first flight date of early 2011, is expected to run on algae-based biofuel, and fly at speeds of up to 75 miles an hour at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet.
Ames and Moffett Field are becoming a hotbed for airships. Already, the facility is the home of Airship Ventures, and its own giant zeppelin. And, of course, Moffett Field has a storied history of hosting airships, stretching back to 1933, when the U.S. Navy's Zeppelin ZRS-5 785-foot-long zeppelin resided there.
The E-Green Technologies Bullet Class 580 is expected to fly with "a joint NASA Langley Research Center and Old Dominion University payload, the Radar Oxygen Barometric Sensor Project, a remote sensing instrument for measuring barometric pressure at sea level--an important meteorological measurement in the prediction and forecasting of tropical storms and hurricanes."