Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

China-developed manned airship AS700 completes first ferry flight


 , Updated 16:36, 02-Apr-2024

China's independently developed civil manned airship AS700 successfully completed its first ferry flight in central China's Hubei Province on Saturday, according to its developer, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the country's leading aircraft manufacturer.

The airship took off from Jingmen City at 7:04 a.m. Beijing Time and landed smoothly at Jingzhou City after a flight of 106 minutes. It returned to Jingmen after a brief stay, completing its first ferry flight.

Adopting a single-capsule design with a single-point landing gear, the AS700 airship is expected to meet demand in air touring, emergency rescue, and urban services. 

It has a maximum takeoff weight of 4,150 kilograms, a maximum flight range of 700 kilometers and a maximum endurance of 10 hours. It can carry up to 10 people, including one pilot, at a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

The AS700 civil manned airship. /AVIC
The AS700 civil manned airship. /AVIC

The AS700 civil manned airship. /AVIC

The ferry flight comprehensively verified the airship's performance and tested the capabilities such as ground support and airspace coordination, paving the way for subsequent long-distance and long-time flights.

"This flight has completed all predetermined tasks, fully verifying the AS700's air-ground communication, facility loading, and takeoff and landing capabilities in different locations. It further tested the support capabilities of the technical team," said Zhou Lei, chief designer of the AS700 manned airship project.

With the thrust vector control technology, the airship is able to take off and land vertically in narrow spaces, which will largely save operating costs as land is now expensive, said Lin Hong, pilot of the flight.

The AS700 civil manned airship. /AVIC
The AS700 civil manned airship. /AVIC

The AS700 civil manned airship. /AVIC

The AS700 airship obtained a type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in December 2023, making it the country's first civil airship that was independently developed and certified. 

"The obtainment of the type certificate has received a good response at home and abroad," said Du Wei, manager of the AS700 manned airship project. "Some large Chinese tourism platforms and 5A-level scenic spots have contacted us to seek cooperation."

Du said they have received about 20 intended orders, with the first airship scheduled for delivery by the end of this year.

The development team will take low-altitude sightseeing as a typical demonstration scenario for the airship, hoping to further expand its application to fields such as emergency rescue and urban public services, said Du.

Zhou said he believes that the AS700 airship will promote the development of tourist spots and attract more visitors, helping to boost a "low-altitude economy."

Search Trends