France has entered the global race to develop a viable cargo airship with a 500-foot blimp designed to lift lumber from deep woodland.
Flying Whales is joining a contest that includes defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. and a clutch of smaller players. What’s different about the latest project is the combined benefit of the blimp being able to lift an industry-leading 60 tons, but without any requirement for mooring pylons.
The company has already secured about 200 million euros ($246 million) in capital. It plans an initial public offering in 2021, when a prototype is slated for its first flight.