||It has been suggested that this article be merged with High-altitude airship to High-altitude platform. (Discuss) Proposed since August 2011.|
A stratospheric airship is a powered airship designed to fly at very high altitudes (30,000–70,000 ft or 10 – 20 km). Most designs are remote operated aircraft/unmanned aerial vehicles (ROA/UAV). To date none of these designs have received approval from the FAA to fly in U.S. airspace.
Stratospheric airship projects
Stratospheric airship efforts are being developed in at least 5 countries.
The first stratospheric powered airship flight took place in 1969 reaching 70,000 feet (21.3 km) for two hours with a 5 lb (2.2 kg) payload. On December 4, 2005 a team led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), sponsored by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command (ASMDC) successfully demonstrated powered flight of the HiSentinel stratospheric airship at an altitude of 74,000 feet (22.6 km).
Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the United States Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency to construct a high-altitude airship (HAA) to enhance its Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
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