Disk-shaped helium airshipLarge, disk-shaped UFO reports need to be carefully vetted now that we know the Pentagon is building airships shaped like the traditional flying saucer.  Developed by Aeroscraft, the 230-foot-long prototype airship called the Pelican is designed to lift up to 10 tons of cargo across long distances, using a fraction of the fuel needed by an airplane.  The project, run by the Pentagon’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office, has been underway for a few years now.  The Pentagon claims the new airship will be used for cargo missions but envisions it as a “potential tool for surveillance and reconnaissance missions” too.

The 36,000 lb. prototype is much smaller than the final airship which will exceed 450 feet in length (much larger than a football field) and use an advanced helium-filled structure giving it the ability to travel very long distances without refueling.

Aviation Week explained how the vehicle worked:

“The Aeroscraft controls its buoyancy by pumping helium between lifting-gas cells and pressurized tanks inside the composite aeroshell. Compressing the helium makes the vehicle heavier than air for easier ground handling and cargo unloading. Releasing the helium displaces air inside the vehicle and makes it neutrally buoyant. The buoyancy control system can vary the Pelican’s “static heaviness” by 3,000-4,000lb, says Pasternak, enough to allow the prototype to take off vertically, yet be heavier than air for landing and unloading.”


Here are a couple of videos from Aeroscraft demonstrating the new airship.


Aeroscraft saucer-shaped airship


Aeroscraft disk-shaped airship defense video


Sources: Aviation Week, Aeroscraft

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