Airlander Aims High with Luxury Tourism Variant

  • The Airlander Team have made two significant deals this week to make a tourism version of their unique low carbon aircraft a reality.
  • Airlander are announcing that Henry Cookson Adventures will be the first to trial an expeditionary journey in 2018 as a pre-cursor to Airlander’s use in the luxury travel and adventure sector.  Henry Cookson Adventures is the pioneering British luxury travel expert with a number of firsts to its name.
  • As part of a British Government Innovate UK investment in engineering design, HAV and aircraft interiors designers Design Q have been awarded a UK Government grant to design an interior for the tourism variant of the Airlander. 
  • Furthermore, Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd announces Design Q as its preferred supplier for design and manufacture of the luxury cabin interiors created as a result of the Project.  This unprecedented project has been awarded to Design Q due to their extensive experience in specializing in the early stage design and build of luxury aircraft interiors. 

“I have flown Airlander a number of times now, and am really excited about the possibility of taking the first passengers on board.  I can imagine the awe and excitement of seeing the world in luxury, with amazing views, quietly and whilst respecting the environment.” Says Dave Burns, Airlander Chief Test Pilot. 
Henry Cookson Adventures
Pioneering British luxury travel experts, Henry Cookson Adventures, are setting a new world first, taking the Airlander, the world’s largest aircraft, on its maiden international flight. 
In 2018, Henry Cookson Adventures (HCA) will become the first private excursion company to trial Airlander 10, anticipating her arrival to revolutionise ultra-high-end travel. Having identified Airlander 10’s unique capabilities, HCA is working alongside a team of scientists and engineers to ready her for launch.  HCA has a string of world firsts and pioneering feats already set by the company and founder, Henry Cookson. From ski races to the Magnetic North Pole to taking private submersibles to the Antarctic, Henry’s team of experts have been pushing the boundaries of high-end travel for over a decade.

Design Q

Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. and Design Q have been awarded a £60,000 Design Foundations Round 2 grant by the UK’s Innovation Agency, Innovate UK. This funding is going to be used in a unique and original ‘Airlander Luxury Tourism Design Development Project’. Design Q is one of the leading independent design consultancies with automotive and aviation clients throughout the world, including BAE Systems, Bombardier and Virgin Atlantic.

Design Q will become Hybrid Air Vehicles preferred supplier for design and manufacture of the luxury cabin interiors created as a result of the Project. 

“We are excited with the prospect of working on such a unique project, not only is it the largest flying aircraft in the world but it demands an interior that truly breaks new ground and provides an experience that will be unlike anything seen before. This will be something that passengers will treasure all their lives.” Says Howard Guy, C.E.O and joint founder of Design Q

The Future

The wide-ranging and unique capabilities of Airlander mean HAV can provide a brand new option for high-end, luxury tourism. The ability to stay aloft for days at a time, in virtual silence, with floor-to-ceiling windows and fresh air make Airlander perfect for cruising in exceptional locations.

Using innovative technology, Airlander 10 is the first in a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft. Though potentially capable of staying in the air for weeks at a time, it is her ability to land anywhere that truly sets her apart from traditional aircraft. These twin assets make her perfect for exclusive adventures, bringing guests to hard-to-reach locations in unprecedented levels of comfort.

Design Q will be working closely with the project team to ensure the perfect cabin layout is realized for passengers. 

On completion of the trial flight in 2018, HCA ultimately plans to take the type-certified Airlander 10 to a range of destinations at client request, experiencing landscapes that vary as diversely as the North Pole, Bolivian Salt Pans and Namib Desert. By collaborating with leading scientists, explorers and conservationists, HCA is able to deliver often inaccessible experiences to clients; sharing hidden corners of the world with a select few and promising genuine next-level travel.

Airlander 10’s highly anticipated launch as a tourism and expeditionary aircraft is now becoming a reality thanks to these two significant steps forward. 

Innovate UK Design Foundations grant

This grant is one of the winner’s in Innovate UK’s investment of up to £1 million in early-stage, human-centred design projects. These projects will help businesses identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate ideas for new products, services or business models that align with customer demand.

The competition rules state that grant award winners should use, “recognised design processes to understand customer motivations and behaviour, inspire new ideas, support decision-making and inform innovation strategy.”

This project is expected to last no more than 6 months. 

About Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd

Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft.  Airlander’s create new capability in the air with ultra-endurance combined with large payloads.  This gives unprecedented surveillance, search and communications aspects, and will ultimately lead to passenger and cargo carrying roles. 

The Airlander 10 combines the best characteristics of fixed-wing aircraft with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient and sustainable aircraft, with significantly lower pollution – including noise, its carbon footprint or other particles.  This green aircraft also has significantly lower operating costs and maintenance needs than standard forms of air transport.  They can take off and land from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments in a short distance.  Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights.

Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded both UK and European* grant funding to support the Airlander project.  In addition the company has carried out two ‘crowdfunding’ rounds and is proud to have more than 2000 enthusiastic shareholders. 
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd was recently accepted onto London Stock Exchange’s ELITE programme for high growth companies looking to seek a listing on the AIM Stock Market.

Over the past few years Hybrid Air Vehicles has won a number of awards which validate our technology, and the great workforce that have created a unique concept and product. Our award successes reflect our remarkable achievements, won through dogged entrepreneurial determination and private investment spanning 40 years.

Hybrid Air Vehicles recognise the critical role Airlander plays in inspiring future Scientists, Technologists, Engineers and Mathematicians and we actively educate and encourage young people into STEM careers through collaboration with industry leaders, government bodies, educators and individuals.  HAV currently employs 3 Apprentices, who are studying at Bedford College. 

*The Airlander project was selected for EU funding through a dedicated SME Instrument of Horizon 2020, which the European Commission uses to invest in and support high growth and highly innovative small businesses. The technology is also fully in line with activities under the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020, which aims to boost the competitiveness of the European transport industries and achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate-and-environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society.

Please visit for more details about investment opportunities.

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For general media enquiries, contact or call 01234 336400.

Henry Cookson Adventures

For HCA press enquiries please contact Emily Dungey at or call +44 (0)7730 585 604.

About Design Q

Design Q has a wealth of experience and talent in the automotive and aviation sectors making them one of the leading independent design consultancies with clients throughout the world.
Design Q has successfully delivered numerous programmes over the last 20 years similar in nature to that required by Hybrid Air Vehicles, all of which are rooted in customer-focused insight driven design.

Design Q has a number of well-respected designers and engineers within the company with a flair for developing subtle forms that articulate the core brand values of the product. Design Q uses state-of-the-art surfacing software (Alias, ICEM Surf, 3D studio Max, and CATIA) to generate forms and release production standard surfaces for tooling and manufacture. They have a highly skilled team of modelers, carpenters and craftsman to work on physical build programmes.

Their clients are among some of the world’s best known brands and Design Q have become accustomed to working around and within language, time and distance constraints. Designers and engineers are routinely located at client sites to aid with communication and consequently, more effective programme deliverables.

Visit http://www.Design for more details.

Email Info@Design or you can call +44 (0) 1527 501 499 for more information.
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HAV Awarded Design Organisation Approval
Hybrid Air Vehicles achieves significant milestone with the award of a Design Organisation Approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has awarded Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd a Design Organisation Approval. This is an important milestone on our path to getting the production Airlander 10 in service with customers. It is also a major achievement: just eight other organisations hold an EASA Design Organisation Approval (DOA) for type certifying large aircraft. Being granted a DOA gives HAV the ability to undertake a full flight test programme towards the type certification of Airlander 10. While HAV has previously operated the prototype Airlander under both CAA and EASA permission, the DOA is a critical step towards type certification. Throughout the process, HAV and EASA built a good working relationship. "As an organisation, we have worked hard to make sure that we were thoroughly prepared for every step of the DOA process. As a result, we have succeeded in securing our DOA," comments Safety & Airworthiness Engineer Nikky Pittkin, who was a key part of driving the programme forward within HAV. "Now we are working with EASA specialists to establish the certification basis for our aircraft so that we can work towards type certification of Airlander 10." "Achieving our DOA was always an important milestone in our Airlander 10 production plan," adds Executive Director Nick Allman. "Working directly with EASA, we have made excellent progress on developing the appropriate regulations for an aircraft like Airlander. Having our DOA will support our preparation for a type certification programme as we move ahead with the production aircraft." HAV expects the type certified production Airlander 10 aircraft to be in service with customers from the early 2020s, with the order book currently open to both organisations and individual purchasers. About Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander hybrid aircraft. Airlander can take off and land from virtually any flat surface and offers a powerful combination of flexibility, persistence, payload capacity, and efficiency. Suitable for roles from surveillance and border patrol to search & rescue and expeditionary tourism, Airlander is an aircraft that encourages customers to Rethink the Skies and consider new approaches to solving some of the toughest challenges facing aerospace today. Please visit for more information. For media enquiries, please email

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