The AS700 manned civil airship, independently developed by China, successfully completed its first flight between destinations in central China’s Hubei Province.

The equipment took off from Zhanghe Airport in the city of Jingmen and landed at an airport in Jingzhou after a flight lasting one hour and 46 minutes, according to the developer, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

“His performance was very smooth, as planned. The airship demonstrated good maneuverability,” said Lin Hong, mission pilot, adding that the AS700 has the ability to take off and land vertically in a narrow field, and is more mobile and flexible than other types of airships.

Zhou Lei, chief designer of the project, said that communication with the AS700, loading of facilities and take-off and landing capability could be fully verified, laying the foundation for subsequent flights of greater distance and longer duration.

Since the AS700 obtained its type certificate in China last year, the company has received orders for 18 units of the airship. Customers are mainly related to the low-altitude tourism sector. The first aircraft should be delivered by the end of the year.


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