Airlander Unveils Two significant Enhancements ahead of Hangar Exit

The Airlander Team can today announce two significant enhancements to the aircraft ahead of its imminent Hangar Exit and resumption of its Flight Test Programme.
  • The all-new Auxiliary Landing System
  • The Mobile Mooring Mast
An Auxiliary Landing System (ALS) has been added which allows the aircraft to land safely at a greater range of landing angles. This is a pilot-deployable two airbag landing system, which the pilot can deploy as an extra cushion to land on. The airbags are over 3 metres in length and contain 15 m³ gas (less than 0.1% of the entire hull volume). There is an airbag on each side of the Flight Deck, which offers enhanced protection to the cabin and Flight Deck. It will be deployed on most landings in the flight test programme. It uses the existing ballonet fans to inflate, and takes under 20 seconds to be ready for use.

Another major accomplishment is the commissioning of the Mobile Mooring Mast (MMM). The MMM is an integrated tracked vehicle and mooring mast, which makes it much easier to control and ”push back” the Airlander when manoeuvering it around the airfield. It has a single pivot interface with the Airlander, so makes a much simpler mechanism than we previously had.

Both of these pieces of equipment are new to Airlander, and have been developed as a direct result of learnings the team have established since the flight tests last August. They will make Airlander easier to manoeuvre and safer to land.
“Both of these enhancements are great engineering innovations, and show the creativity and ingenuity of the team working on Airlander to great effect. We look forward to using them for real very soon.” Steve McGlennan, CEO Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd.

Hybrid Air Vehicles expect to take the Airlander out of the Hangar during April and she will be flying again very soon after that. Our focus remains the safest early flight, and we will not announce a next flight date in advance.

Hybrid Air Vehicles is in the final stages of an £8 million equity financing raise from its existing shareholders, which has gone very well and is already well over half way to completion.

About Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd

Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best of the characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport.

Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally-friendly. They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments. 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 shareholders without whom return to flight would not have been possible.

The Airlander project was selected for 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.

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.

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 Chris Daniels, Head of Partnerships and Communications at chris.daniels@hybridairvehicles.net or on 01234 336415.
Back to News Archive

Also in About Us

Useful Site Links

Aircraft Airlander Club Careers




Get In Touch

Call us today for further information +44 (0)1234 336400 or you can email us on info@hybridairvehicles.net

Invest In Us

Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited is a privately held UK company and at this stage in our development we undertake periodic fundraising activities. Please click here for further information.
Invest in us

Our Sponsors

Latest News

Plans for the Growing Airlander Business
Anyone living close to Cardington cannot help but notice the huge changes that have happened since HAV moved in nearly 4 years ago. We now have over 100 people on the site most days, and share our hangar with a very busy Warner Bros film studio and storage site. Next door in Hangar 2 the film industry is also making great progress, so busy days at Cardington now see over 1000 people arrive for a day’s work. With new roads and new housing coming, the pace of change will not slow down any time soon. At HAV, our focus now is on building from the great success of the initial Airlander 10 testing, and preparing to produce Airlander aircraft and deliver them all over the globe. So this is a natural time for us to make sure that we are set up for the future with the right site and the right facilities and we have been reviewing our needs to ensure that we can do just that. As a result we have concluded that we now need to begin a process of moving HAV to a new site, away from Cardington. We have worked with everyone on and around the site to make every effort to find a way to stay here, but after that extensive exercise we believe that moving is the right and pragmatic decision for us. We are proud of what we have achieved in the last 4 years and we couldn’t have done it without Cardington. We are constantly amazed by the support and affection of the vast majority of people and businesses in our area, and we are pleased to bring jobs and, we hope, other benefits including our STEM work and other activities to Bedford. We also benefit from the great transport links of this area and its proximity to London. So we’re very pleased to say that we don’t plan to move far. We will make further announcements in the coming weeks, and these will start with a new location for our Engineers and our other office-based teams to work from locally as from the beginning of December. You will also hear in the coming weeks that we will start to use other airfields a little further away to undertake testing and other operations of Airlander. We have been preparing for this transition for a long time – including right from the start by designing Airlander to be maintained and supported outside without need for a hangar after it is built. We’ve been busy this year proving all of our maintenance techniques work without coming back in to the hangar and have made very good progress with that. With extended flight testing and customer demonstrations about to start, some of which need more take-off and landing distance than Cardington allows, this is the right time for Airlander to start visiting some new locations. Finally, we hope to announce at a later date where our planned production location for Airlander will be sited. This location will be the focal point of new employment both in HAV and our supply chain providing nearly 2000 additional jobs in the UK, delivering parts and sub-assemblies for building, testing and delivering 12 or more aircraft per year. We plan to do this from “right-size” hangars, purpose designed for Airlander 10. We are now working to finalise the design for these and will reveal more in future issues. For now, though, we can reveal that our approach to this has been as innovative as you would expect, and we have turned to the event structures industry to develop a road-transportable hangar that can be erected very rapidly in a new location. This gives us - and our customers - the flexibility to respond quickly to demand for hangars here, or in the future operating locations for the aircraft. All this makes it a very exciting time for HAV and the Airlander project. This is, of course, tinged with real sadness to be starting to move away from Cardington and gratitude to everyone in and around us for their support and help over the years here. We hope that Cardington can remain a testing and mooring site for Airlander – as we believe it should - long into the future. With 100 years of heritage behind it, and Airlander just beginning its journey into the world, who knows what new chapters of our industry will be written at Cardington in the future?

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.
RT @CorpsSTEM: I bet was hugely interesting! An amazing aircraft and design. I wonder what the future holds for this form of travel... agai…
RT @1066HitchinSqn: Tonight the Squadron welcomed Robin Evans to talk to us about #Airlander and introduce us to @AirVehicles #whatwedo @Co…
RT @BBC3CR: Airlander 10 to fly 'higher, faster and further' from Cardington base https://t.co/roF55WVDPi