Flying saucer-like blimp could haul 150 tons through the air

The aeronautical engineers at Australia's Skylifter have come up with a way to transport 700 times what a heavy cargo helicopter can: fix it to a blimp. The massive disc is almost 500 feet across, and its flying saucer-like shape makes it less susceptible to wind while hauling 150 tons.

Skylifter isn't just riding a flight of fancy, either. The company has a 10-foot-wide prototype of the craft — the tiny one is named Betty — finished to show off how it'd work. The tiny version can only carry a little more than a pound, though it shows how its larger cousin would act as a parachute during descent, with a low-hanging pod that keeps it from being too heavy up top.

Skylifter hopes to have the real deal built in the next three years, and the plan is to have it carry massive loads over 1200 miles at a time.

Economist, via Pop Sci

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