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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Minter Field hosting airship


Last updated 4/10/2022 at 4:12pm | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The airship has two engine and can carry up to six passengers.

If you happen to be looking in the sky around Shafter in the early evening on a calm night, don't be alarmed if you happen to see a giant balloon-like structure floating in the sky.

The aerospace company Lighter Than Air is housing one of their airships at Minter Field. According to Minter Field Air Museum President Ronald Pierce, the company is certifying pilots on the airships, as well as renewing their certifications. They also are teaching ground crews how to operate the behemoths.

The airships have two engines and can carry up to six passengers at a time. They are mostly holding their teaching and certifying sessions in the early evening when the wind is calm. The pilots they are certifying are commercial pilots who are looking to get certified on the aircraft, as well as getting those who are already certified a renewal if needed.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Alan Anderson and Ronald Pierce pose with the airship.

Pierce said that the aircraft is too big to be housed in a hangar, so the beautiful airship is grounded on the Minter Field property, in between runways. Due to the location, the area is not open to the public, but those on the lookout may get a glimpse of the gentle giant in flight.

Lighter Than Air is researching, developing and manufacturing advanced technologies to dramatically increase the capabilities and lower the cost of 21st century airships.

They are striving to improve humanitarian aid delivery and reduce carbon emissions, while providing economic opportunity and new jobs to Americans.

Airships have the ability to complement, and even speed up, humanitarian disaster response and relief efforts, especially in remote areas that cannot be easily accessed by plane or boat due to limited or destroyed infrastructure.


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