High-tech cargo airship being built in California

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TUSTIN, Calif. — The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testings.

Still, the fact that the hulking 230-foot-long Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation. The Department of Defense and NASA have invested $35 million in the prototype because of its potential to one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft to disaster zones and forward military bases.

The airship is undergoing testing this month at Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, and must go through several more rounds of flight testing before it could be used in a disaster zone or anywhere else.