Aeroscraft Zeppelin Could Revolutionise Air Travel, Humanitarian Aid And Even Warfare

An American company is promising to revolutionise air travel with a gargantuan hydrogen filled, bullet-proof zeppelin.

The Aeroscraft ML866 combines the range and cargo capacity of planes with the landing and take off versatility of a helicopter.

Although Zeppelins have been flying since 1900 - some more successfully than others - the latest version overcame the significant obstacle of being able to control its own buoyancy.

The 800-ft beast has received experimental airworthiness certification from the FAA

Traditional Zeppelins require complex ballast systems, ground infrastructure and runways but makers Aeros have invented a way to compress hydrogen, doing away with all this.

When compressed inside the Zeppelin hydrogen is heavier than air and sinks, when it is released it becomes lighter than air and rises.

It can also do a respectable 115mph. Although this doesn't sound too fast overall journey times could be quicker than airplane as it can fly directly to where is needed.

The cockpit of the Worldwide Aeros Corp designed Zeppelin

This opens up the possibility of a transporter that can land and take off virtually anywhere - even on water.

As well as transport, the Aeroscraft also has clear military capabilities - which is perhaps why $3 million in funding came from the US government grant.

It also has pretty amazing implications for humanitarian operations as it could drop supplies and assistance in areas cut off from earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Tethered testing at its purpose-built hanger in Tustin, California

As for the rest of us, who wouldn't want to cruise gracefully in the sky looking at amazing views and it's perhaps inevitable that they could become the super-yachts of the future.