Zeppelin ready to take wing. Or, uh, airbag.

The Christian Science Monitor (a surprisingly good source for tech news) is carrying a report on the newest advances in old flying technology – the world’s largest inflatable vehicle is prepared to launch:

The 235-foot (72 m) long airship, known as the Bullet 580, has a top speed of 80 mph (129 km/h) and can serve as a high-flying sentinel that stays aloft for long periods of time. Getting the new sky behemoth inflated required six hours inside Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, Ala.

“Our airships are radically different designs that move beyond the performance limitations of traditional blimps or zeppelins by combining advanced technology with simple construction and the ability to fuel with algae, protecting our environment,” said Michael Lawson, chairman and CEO of E-Green Technologies.

The airship is designed to carry payloads of up to 2,000 pounds (907 kg) at altitudes of 20,000 feet (6,096 m). Any cargo aboard the airship would sit within an outer envelope made from a new type of Kevlar, or the same material used to build bulletproof vests. That allows the envelope to have a width just one-sixteenth of an inch thick, but still be 10 times stronger than steel.

They plan to use it to do some of the jobs we’ve been relying on satellites to do, only without all the fuss of a space launch. And, you know, with a touch of class.