Unique and Large
The Airlander 10 is the largest aircraft in the world, extending 302 feet (92 meters), or 65 feet longer than the largest passenger airline, the Airbus A380 (also called the Superjumbo). It combines the best of fixed wing aircraft technology with lighter-than-air tech to create a brand new, hyper-efficient form of air travel, according to Hybrid Air Vehicles, the U.K.-based company that is building Airlander. On March 23, 2016, company officials announced the Airlander was ready for ground testing before its 200 hours of test flights.
"I'm extremely excited and looking forward to taking Airlander on what I’m sure will be a very successful First Flight," said Chief Test Pilot, David Burns, in a statement. [Read more about the Humongous Airship]
Light and Powerful
Due to its design and the materials used, the Airlander 10 can be used lift and move heavy objects. Its helium-filled hull does about 40 percent of the lifting, while four diesel engines can propel the airship up to 91 mph (148 km/h).
Two engineers oversee the attachment of one of the Airlander 10's fins in the hangar near London. A crane was needed to lift the giant fin onto the hull of the airship.
Greening Up Air Travel
The new airship offers military and commercial worlds a significantly lower carbon footprint for air based transportation, say company officials. The vehicle also has the ability to land on various terrain: "Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally-friendly," company officials said in the March 23, 2016, statement. "They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in [the] desert, ice, water, or open field environments."
Discussing the Details
A team of engineers discuss as one of the four 350-horsepower V8 diesel engines is prepared for mounting. Once the craft is aloft, it will be able to stay there for five days if manned and up to two weeks if unmanned.
Sturdy and Secure
An engine mount for one of the Airlander 10's diesel engines is secured in place.
Steady as She Goes
The Airlander 10 floats gently above the facility floor.
Testing the Waters
Two engineers inspect the Airlander 10 as it floats inside the facility.
The Airlander 10 offers innovation from the materials used to create it to the technology used to design it. It also offers a more environmentally friend way of traveling through the air.
The Airlander 10's flight deck offers control and good visibility in all directions.
The Airlander 10 can stay in the air for 5 days during a manned flight, unmanned, the craft can remain in flight for more than 14 days.