Introduction

Airlander 10 is underpinned by the company’s numerous patents vested worldwide. From the latest materials technology, to the aerodynamic effects of its shape, it is full of innovation. There is no internal structure in the Airlander – it maintains its shape due to the pressure stabilisation of the helium inside the hull, and the smart and strong Vectran material it is made of. Carbon composites are used throughout the aircraft for strength and weight savings.
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Airlander 10 In Action

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Airlander 10 - FAQs

Airlander 10 is described as a ‘hybrid aircraft’ – what does that mean?
A hybrid aircraft derives its lift from a combination of aerodynamic lift (like an aeroplane), lifting gases (like an airship) and vectored thrust (similar to a helicopter). Airlander generates up to 40% of its lift from aerodynamics by the passage of air over the hull and the remainder from buoyant lift from the lifting gas. At lower speed and closer to the ground, vectoring engine power is used to provide additional lift and manoeuvrability for take-off, landing and ground handling.
What is the point of a hybrid aircraft?
The idea is to have the best of all worlds. The lifting gas reduces the net weight of the aircraft meaning that less energy is required to keep it aloft. Like an airship, this means that it can carry a lot of payload, burn very little fuel and fly for a long time.

The use of aerodynamic lift means that Airlander can generate more or less lift as required. This means that, unlike an airship, it is normally heavier-than-air. It can therefore stay in place on the ground while it is loaded, unloaded, fuelled and maintained, meaning that it requires little or no expensive, fixed infrastructure.

In this way, Airlander combines the efficiency, capability and environmental friendliness of an airship with the practicality of a normal aircraft.  Airlander minimises the need for expensive ground infrastructure to operate the aircraft in remote places, while enabling safe, quiet, efficient and capable flight. Its low cost, low environmental impact and unique flight capabilities enable us to Rethink the Skies.
Why is Airlander kinder to the environment than conventional aircraft?
Airlander typically burns about 1/3 to 1/4 of the fuel of conventional aircraft when undertaking similar roles. This is because the lifting gas it contains reduces the net weight of the aircraft and therefore the amount of energy needed to keep it aloft. In addition we are moving forward on a project to convert the Airlander to electric propulsion further reducing its already low carbon footprint.
As a passenger in Airlander, what would I notice, compared to other aircraft?
Firstly, we have a lot of space at our disposal. The size and shape of the cabin gives huge flexibility in passenger accommodation. Anything from a high density 90 seat layout to an apartment in the sky for a couple is possible. 

Secondly, Airlander does not fly at a high altitude. This means that the cabin does not have to be pressurised. You would notice the very large windows providing horizon-to-horizon views for viewing – and you would be surprised to find you can open them and let the fresh air in in flight.

Airlander will cruise at 50 knots (55mph), a similar speed to a car on an open road, and can operate as slowly as 25 knots or accelerate to more than 70 knots. The aircraft doesn’t bank steeply when turning and it flies smoothly through the air. This creates a platform from which more relaxed viewing of the scenery is possible than on a conventional aircraft.

Finally, the Airlander cabin is a quiet place. Airlander’s engines are far from the cabin and their noise and vibration is largely insulated from it. At low cruise speeds, some of the engines may be turned off. Airlander will bring the sights and sounds of the world outside into the cabin. We are working on a project to transform Airlander into a truly green aircraft via the adoption of electric propulsion which will further reduce the noise in flight.
Does Airlander use airports and runways?
It does not need to. Although large, Airlander needs only an open space to take off and land and can ‘land away’ in remote locations as part of a fascinating trip. This flexibility in operations is another advantage of Airlander’s hybrid design. When not moving forward, its weight allows it to sit on the ground.
This is something new. How do I know it is safe?
Airlander is designed and manufactured to the same standards of safety as every other aircraft. Airlander will have an EASA type certificate, and Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd, its manufacturer, is approved by EASA to design and build aircraft. Equally, in operation, its operators will be subject to the same regulations as apply to other aircraft.




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Latest News

Airlander Takes Step Toward Electric Propulsion
  Zero-carbon aviation is one step closer with the award of a UK Aerospace Research and Technology Programme grant to develop electric propulsion for Airlander 10.   A partnership of Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), Collins Aerospace, and the University of Nottingham (UoN) has won grant funding in excess of £1m from the UK Aerospace Research and Technology Programme to develop electric propulsion technologies using Airlander 10 as the initial platform. The project, named E-HAV1, will deliver a full-sized prototype 500kW electric propulsor for ground testing and technologies ready for future productionisation. These technologies will be directly applicable to a future Airlander 10, with the goal of replacing its fuel-burning forward engines as the first step towards an all-electric version of the aircraft.   Utilising a combination of buoyant lift from helium, aerodynamic lift, and vectored thrust, Airlander 10 already operates with a significantly lower fuel burn than other aircraft of similar capability. The integration of electric forward propulsors will increase this advantage. Airlander 10’s ability to support a broad range of activities from passenger travel to fisheries protection makes it the ideal platform for pioneering electric propulsion in civil aircraft.   Project E-HAV1 will address key goals of the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy: strengthening the UK’s aerospace capabilities, positioning the UK for developing future generations of civil aircraft, and advancing a new generation of efficient propulsion technologies. Each of the three partners is a leader in their sector: HAV in whole-aircraft design capability, Collins in electric power system development, and UoN in electric propulsion research and testing.   This collaboration demonstrates the commitment all three organisations have to the future of sustainable aviation. “Reducing our carbon footprint is one of the biggest challenges facing aviation today,” says HAV’s CEO Stephen McGlennan. “While Airlander 10 is already helping customers Rethink the Skies with incredible efficiency, we have to find ways of further reducing the impact we have on our environment. This project will move us closer to our goal of zero-carbon aviation.”   “As the innovation leader in electric power systems for the aerospace and defense industry, Collins Aerospace is proud to join with our partners in advancing this critical initiative,” said Marc Holme, Motor Drive Systems Engineering Director at Collins Aerospace. “Together, we’re developing innovative technologies that will pave the way for the hybrid-electric and all-electric aircraft of the future.”   Prof Pat Wheeler, Head of the University of Nottingham’s Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group, commented, “we are really looking forward to the exciting challenges of applying our technological knowledge of electrical machines, power electronics and power systems to the Airlander propulsion application.  This project will also benefit from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (RPIF) investment in our new Centre for Power Electronics and Electrical Machines, which will open early in 2020”.   Business Minister Lord Henley said: “The UK has world-leading capabilities in aerospace manufacturing. The testing of this new electric engine, is our modern Industrial Strategy in action. This is a vital step in aerospace manufacturing to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of hybrid-electric technology, using the best talent, industry and innovation to transform the way people, goods and services move across the UK.”   The E-HAV1 project is supported by the UK’s Aerospace Technology Programme, a joint Government and industry investment to maintain and grow the UK’s competitive position in civil aerospace design and manufacture. The programme is delivered through a partnership between the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK; addressing large-scale technology and capability challenges, principally over a rolling 5 to 15-year timeframe.   About Collins Aerospace Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Created in 2018 by bringing together UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins, Collins Aerospace has the capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. For more information, visit CollinsAerospace.com.   About the University of Nottingham’s Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group The Power Electronics, Machines and Control (PEMC) Research Group at the University of Nottingham is one of the largest and most recognised groups in its field worldwide. The PEMC Research Group undertakes research in Power Electronics and Electrical Machines/Drives that are fundamental to our technological advancement. These technologies underpin the electrification of transport and all renewable energy strategies and are vital for a sustainable future. For more information, please see www.nottingham.ac.uk\pemc.   About the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) is at the heart of UK aerospace research and technology (R&T). Working collaboratively with Government, industry and the wider UK aerospace eco-system, the ATI sets the UK’s aerospace technology strategy (Raising Ambition) to reflect the sector’s vision and ambition.   The ATI is responsible for developing the UK Aerospace Technology Strategy, supported by a network of advisory groups, and stimulating industry-led R&T projects that align with this strategy and maximise the potential to deliver UK economic benefit. The ATI provides strategic oversight of the R&T pipeline and portfolio, co-chairing the Strategic Review Committee with BEIS and advising on project investment.   As well as setting the UK’s technology strategy, the Institute identifies global opportunities for UK organisations through its international engagement programme, and helps to connect the UK to the global sector   About the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) The budget holder, BEIS, is accountable for the final decision regarding projects to progress and fund with Government resources, as well as performing Value for Money (VfM) assessment on project proposals when required.   About Innovate UK Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.   UK Research and Innovation is the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UKRI brings together the 7 Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

Video Channel

How Collaborative Expertise Launched the Airlander Project
A video from The Institution of Engineering and Technology explaining how Hybrid Air Vehicles has been working with Forward Composites to apply decades of race-bred British carbon composite expertise in the development and manufacture of the revolutionary Airlander.
We're thrilled to be working with @CollinsAero and @UoNEngineering to develop electric propulsion for #Airlander10!… https://t.co/wS8wrcfxt4
We've got some exciting news to announce today...keep an eye out around lunchtime! #Airlander10
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