from the Not-so-heavy-metal dept.
"BBC News has a video report that a UK company, Hybrid Air Vehicles, is developing helium-filled hybrid airships for passengers and cargo.
The first prototype was 91 m long, and was built for the US Army. However, the military project was scrapped due to budget cuts, and the airship was returned to the UK. A larger vehicle is on the drawing board.
One of the companies shareholders is... err.. Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden!"
Airships may indeed be well-suited to tasks like cargo transport, surveying and surveillance, but what really captures peoples' imaginations is the thought of travelling aboard one as a tourist. Well, according to Britain's Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), such a scenario could soon be a reality.
HAV is the developer of the Airlander 10, which is currently the world's largest aircraft. It's powered by four 325-hp (242-kW) turbocharged diesel engines and uses aerodynamic lift like a conventional fixed-wing aircraft to take off, with helium keeping it aloft once it's in the air. Additionally, it can carry payloads of up to 10,000 kg (22,050 lb), stay in the air for five days at a time with a crew, and doesn't require a purpose-built runway.
the company revealed that next year, UK-based Henry Cookson Adventures (HCA) will become the first private excursion company to trial the Airlander 10. HCA will be taking the aircraft on its first international flight – an "expeditionary journey" – with an eye towards ultimately using a type-certified version of it for transporting paying customers to remote and exotic locations around the world.
Fancy a sight-seeing flight to Kamchatka?
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