Airlander 10 airship – the future of aviation?

It is 92 metres long and can stay in the air for weeks
Could this be the future of aviation? In a secret hangar near Bedford, England, a new kind of airship is being developed. The company behind it says it will change the world.
Airlander 10 is 92 metres long, compared to a 71-metre Boeing 747-400, and can stay in the air for weeks. It can land almost anywhere that’s flat and its four engines burn only a fifth of the fuel of a typical aircraft. It can travel up to 160 km/h, so it’s slower than a plane but greener, quieter and potentially more direct.
Hybrid Air Vehicles is now looking for additional funding for further development via crowdsourcing, having already been given a 3.4 million pound (€4.7 million) UK government grant to get it off the ground. Bruce Dickinson, pilot and singer with the heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has also sunk some of his cash into the project.
Advances in new technology mean a super-tough skin to keep in the helium, a cockpit made from lightweight composite materials and a computer-created aerodynamic hull. Sweden is also getting involved, soon to trial the airlifting of wind turbines.
The Guardian
[illustration courtesy Hybrid Air Vehicles]


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