Wednesday - Apr 26, 2017

Meet the World’s largest aircraft the ‘Flying Bum’


Airlander 10

On the 17th of August 2016, Airlander 10 successfully completed it’s first flight accomplishing all test objectives. After a brief flight starting around 19:45 and landing at 20:00, Airlander 10’s first flight marked the onset of it’s Flight Test Programme which should last a couple of months. After the project has successfully been completed, prospective customers can join the extraordinary experience in a sequence of Trials and Demonstrations.

A lot of people are interested in the evolutionary potential of the Airlander and with good reason. The Airlander provides a stable platform and comes with a huge amount of power. It also allows for more than enough space for search & rescue or communications equipment. An overwhelming passenger experience is also included in the huge aircraft.

The Airlander 10 is Hybrid Air Vehicles’ newest model in the Airlander series. It doesn’t have any internal structure which might make you wonder how it keeps it’s beautiful shape. The helium inside the hull combined with the smart and strong Vectran material it’s made of is what keeps this aircraft in shape.

The two test pilots were absolutely thrilled to have been a part of this flight. In the words of Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns, ” It was a privilege to fly the Airlander 10 for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I’m really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream.”

The magnificent Airlander 10 used an area around Cardington Airfield, England, to fly ‘the Bum’ for the first time. Chief Test Pilot David Burns managed to reach a height of 500ft and a maximum speed of 35 knots together with Test Pilot Simon Davies. The Airlander 10 flew around in a 6 mile radius for 19 minutes before landing safely on the ground before dark.

The pilots were able to fulfill all objectives which were given for the test during their flight which included a safe lift off, flight, touch down and a sequence of soft turns at increasing speed. Naturally, they also made sure some tests on it’s hull pressure were made.

The Airlander is already on such a level of success that the UK Government is using it in their “GREAT Britain” campaign in order to bring the spirit and innovation in engineering in the UK to light. An estimate has been made of 400 new aerospace jobs and lots of potential for export thanks to this extraordinary aircraft.

Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) are known for their skills in combining lighter-than-air technology with the best of aeroplanes and helicopters. This allows them to showcase new and improved capabilities to aircraft. They aim for less noise, less pollution, longer endurance, better cargo-carrying capacity and a smaller carbon footprint. HAV was established in 2007 and, as you can see, is still working on ground breaking concepts. They have around 40 years of lighter-than-air experience and are now focusing exclusively on hybrid aircraft like the Airlander 10.

HAV wants to change the way things fly by adding capabilities which no other aircraft vehicle has and providing a low carbon footprint in the process. They have earned a great amount of awards over the past few years, awards like the Sir Barnes Wallis medal, EEF’s Smart Product Award, Top 1000 companies to inspire Britain, and more.

The great thing about the Airlander 10 is that it’s able to land on all kinds of surfaces like a desert, a sea and if it’s thick enough it can even land on ice. It’s constructed in such a way that it’s able to stay in the air for a maximum of five days per flight.

Hybrid Air Vehicles didn’t pay for this project on their own. They received funding from both the UK and Europe as a reward to aid the Airlander project. Of course, this alone wouldn’t be enough to pay for such a large and game-changing project so HAV also completed two crowdfunding rounds and they now have 2000 investors. Without these shareholders, the Airlander wouldn’t be anywhere near as completed as it is right now.

HAV advertises the Airlander as an aircraft vehicle with a low carbon footprint. This can be justified with the fact that the resources and technology used to build the Airlander are completely in agreement with the activities given by the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020. This challenge attempts to raise the competitive capability of European transport companies and eventually realise a European transport system which has a low carbon footprint making it climate- and environmentally friendly while also using the resources as efficiently as possible.

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