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 http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/about-us/invest-in-us for more details about investment opportunities.

Please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com and Hybrid Air Vehicles on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on Instagram.

For images, please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/press/image-downloads.

For general media enquiries, contact media@hybridairvehicles.net or call 01234 336400.

Henry Cookson Adventures

For HCA press enquiries please contact Emily Dungey at emily@yellowandbluelimited.com 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 Q.co.uk/ for more details.

Email Info@Design Q.co.uk or you can call +44 (0) 1527 501 499 for more information.
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Airlander Review of 2017
Our goal at Hybrid Air Vehicles is to change the future of aviation through Airlander. Therefore at the start of 2018 we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and achievements demonstrated by Airlander and her dedicated team in 2017, as it is these that will enable us to deliver robust, reliable, efficient and effective solutions to our customers in the future. Following last year’s ground incident, Airlander has now been recovered into the hangar. At present, our team of experts are finalising the investigation into what happened, in tandem with our insurers. Further details will be made public after the full investigation is concluded and reported to relevant authorities later this year.   February – April   Repairs & Improvements Unveiled – At the outset of 2017 the Airlander team were busy completing the final repairs and upgrades to the aircraft before they were officially unveiled in February. The BBC were invited to Cardington Hangar 1 to introduce the two significant enhancements to the public for the first time - the new Auxiliary Landing System (ALS) and the Mobile Mooring Mast (MMM).   “Both of these enhancements are great engineering innovations, and show the creativity and ingenuity of the team working on Airlander to great effect.” Steve McGlennan, CEO Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd.   Hangar Exit – Having received approval to fly once more from the CAA, Airlander emerged from Cardington Hangar 1 in darkness and took up residence on the airfield once again. The new MMM and extensive ground crew training paid off as the move was accomplished rapidly and easily. ELITE & Fundraising – In April Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) joined London Stock Exchange Group’s international business support and capital raising ecosystem, ELITE. This is a full-service programme designed to help ambitious companies prepare and structure for the next stage of growth through the access to long term financing opportunities. It is a unique offering for scale-ups across Europe and beyond, providing a comprehensive training programme and extensive access to the business and financial community.  The ELITE Club Deal private placement platform, launched earlier in 2017, will also help streamline the capital raising process for ELITE companies including Hybrid Air Vehicles.   May   Project LOCATE Completion – This specialist grant programme administered by the Aerospace Technology Institute began in May 2014 and was named LOCATE, standing for LOw CArbon aircraft with Lighter-than-air TEchnology. It has enabled crucial research and development that has firmly positioned the UK as the global leader in hybrid aircraft. HAV is the only company to have flown a full-sized hybrid aircraft in the world and front-runner in a pioneering field that has an independently-valued market of over $45 billion. This research grant helped to develop and enhance the Airlander 10 for its future commercial operations, and maintained the UK’s lead in this technology.   Flight Test Resumption – Within a month of emerging, Airlander returned to the skies once again with a spectacular three hour flight. Over the course of the summer a further three flights took place, providing huge amounts of valuable data to calibrate our knowledge of flight in this brand new type of aircraft. “It was truly amazing to be back in the air. I loved every minute of the flight and the Airlander itself handled superbly. I am eager to get back into the cockpit and take her flying again,” said Chief Test Pilot, Dave Burns.   June   Airlander’s Flight Test Programme Continues - This was the Airlander 10’s fourth flight and second in 2017.  Test Objectives revolved around further expanding the flight envelope and further testing of the flight characteristics. We reached 3700 feet altitude and 37 knots speed.    “It was great to be airborne again and we enjoyed a really successful test flight. We gathered a lot of data during the flight which helps us to optimise and define the performance of this magnificent aircraft.” – Dave Burns, Chief Test Pilot   July Fifth Test Flight - On Tuesday 4 July, Airlander undertook its 5th Test flight. The flight included the proving of an alternative landing technique in preparation for when we commence heavier flight trials (this technique had been developed in the simulator based on data from previous test flights). The flight also included a level-flight acceleration and deceleration run.   August   Innovative Maintenance Techniques – While the pilots took a well-earned break in the summer, it was time for the Airlander’s team of technicians to put their extensive training to good use whilst maintaining the world’s largest aircraft. Hybrid Air Vehicles has developed deep understanding of the tools and techniques needed to maintain Airlander outside, without need for a hangar.  Ascending onto the 26m tall hull to carry out inspections and maintenance is now routine, rapid, safe – and spectacular. “Being up on the hull is a fantastic experience – I didn’t want to come down! It was a privilege to be part of the small team that performed the scheduled safety checks.” – Ivor Pope, Maintenance, Modification and Ground Operations Manager   November   Extended Test Envelope – Following validation of our flight test data analysis, EASA granted permission for Airlander to embark on its second phase of flying at the end of the summer. This allowed Airlander to fly further, faster and higher than before, with extra personnel on board, and to fly for the purpose of demonstrating, as well as testing the aircraft. “We’re thrilled to have commenced the next round of testing; our world class team have really done well.” – Steve McGlennan, CEO Late on Friday 17th November 2017, Hybrid Air Vehicles’ (HAV) highly trained test team sprang into action and Airlander was expertly guided into the sky by Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns on her sixth test flight, the first in the next planned stage of expanded flight tests.   Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns was joined by Andrew Barber, as Flight Test Engineer (Andrew’s full working title is Airworthiness and Flight Safety Engineer), whilst Allistair McDicken, Interim Head of Flight Test Organisation & Lead Flight Test Engineer, looked on from the ground.   Incident – On 18 November, there was a ground incident with the pre-production Airlander aircraft, which resulted in extensive damage to the hull and selected assemblies. The aircraft detached from its moorings in light winds for reasons that will be determined from our ongoing investigation. HAV have gathered a great deal of data from all of our flying and ground operations to date which is being used to inform our flight simulation, analysis and design tools ready for the next phase of Airlander development.   December Move – Following a happy four years at Cardington Hangar 1, a decision was taken to move the business HQ to Technology House, Bedford, whilst a small production team has remained in Hangar 2 to work directly with the Airlander. The move went well and the team are settling into their smart new home.   General STEM – Our team of three dedicated volunteer STEM Ambassadors have been hard at work this year and as a result we have engaged with thousands of young enthusiasts across the country through a series of workshops, lectures and events. Highlights include a project with Cambridge UTC, a series of high profile workshops in local schools, cadet and scout groups, presence during events at The Shuttleworth Collection, and heavy involvement with the Wiltshire Festival of Engineering at the behest of their local MP Michelle Donelan. We are proud of our ability to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and our STEM programme is set to expand in 2018 so be sure to keep an eye on progress. Capabilities for our Customers – Attendance at the Dubai Air Show, DSEI and a host of other events in 2017 has continued to demonstrate demand for the efficient, low-cost, low-noise capabilities of Airlander. Airlander is designed to fly for ultra-long endurance flights, with low fuel burn, and to be able to access remote areas for delivery of people, freight and humanitarian aid. We were pleased to announce that Henry Cookson Adventures is to trial Airlander in a luxury tourism capacity and to launch a Design Foundations product to specify the cabin and interior fit of a luxury passenger variant of Airlander. Hybrid Air Vehicles will build on these successes in 2018 in pursuit of our goal to change the future of aviation. Imagine the possibilities. 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 http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/about-us/invest-in-us for more details about investment opportunities. Please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com and Hybrid Air Vehicles on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on Instagram. For images, please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/press/image-downloads. For general media enquiries, contact media@hybridairvehicles.net or call 01234 336400.

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