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After a 100-year dry spell in technological innovation, a pioneering inflatable airship is about to debut, promising an aerial experience for science experiments, as well as a sky-based platform to relay communications and to keep watch on oil spills, forest fires or even pirates at sea.
The 235-foot airship, called the Bullet 580, also could be used to transport heavy equipment to remote locations.
"We're kind of like a truck in the sky that can have different types of payloads for different requirements," Mike Lawson, chief executive of Alabama-based E-Green Technologies, told Discovery News.
A year ago, a start-up company developing an unusual airship for hauling cargo moved to Toledo Express Airport from northeast Ohio.
The company, Ohio Airships Inc., received a $50,000 grant from the Regional Growth Partnership's Rocket Ventures Fund to help it soar to the next business level.