Key Milestone Reached in Airlander’s Return-to-Flight Programme

Key Milestone Reached in Airlander’s Return-to-Flight Programme

2016 will be a momentous year for the future of aviation with the innovative Airlander 10 taking to the British skies for the first time; our pioneering team of experts continues to make ground-breaking progress on a daily basis – most recently attaching the Mission Module to the iconic hull.
  • Mission Module (which includes the Cockpit and Payload bay) is the latest external structure to be attached to Airlander’s hull
  • Readying for Airlander’s First Flight
  • Airlander on time and on budget
Already this month there have been a number of major attachments under the hull in preparation for the forthcoming First Flight of Airlander in spring, beginning with the fuel module at the rear of the aircraft, followed by the payload beam, (which will support bulky external cargo) and finally, the cockpit and payload bay (which we term the Mission Module) were attached this week.

“It’s very satisfying for the team and me to get another milestone under our belts.  We’re hugely excited about the forthcoming Airlander First Flight this year.” – Mike Durham, Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Technical Director
 
How are these essential components attached to the hull? With pioneering British technology. The mass of the aircraft is supported from strengthened features built into the hull during manufacture. Multiple attachment points on each part of the structure allow the load to be distributed evenly.
 
Unlike traditional airships, the Airlander has no internal structure but it becomes rigid through being filled with helium, at just above atmospheric pressure. The super-strong hull material has been especially designed for us by Warwick Mills and assembled by ILC Dover, the company who make NASA spacesuits. Its innovative composition includes a woven fabric for strength on the inside, and a Tedlar layer for protection on the outside, sandwiching a mylar film to retain the helium.

The very latest materials, which are both strong and light, are used throughout the manufacture of our cutting-edge Airlander 10, ranging from the bespoke hull fabric to the mainly carbon composite Mission Module, Fuel Module, Ducts and engine support battens. 

Hybrid Air Vehicles are the world leaders in hybrid aircraft, combining the best of aeroplanes and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to bring brand new capabilities to aircraft.  An Airlander produces 60% of its lift aerostatically (by being lighter-than-air) and 40% aerodynamically (by being wing-shaped) as well as having the ability to rotate its engines to provide an additional 25% of thrust up or down; this means the Airlander can hover as well as land on almost any surface, including ice, desert and even water!  We produce less noise, less pollution, have a lower carbon footprint than conventional aircraft, and have longer endurance and better cargo-carrying capacity than any other flying vehicle. 

As you can see from the pictures, our state-of-the-art Airlander is beginning to take shape now, with the next stage of development being the attachment of the fins and engines, which will make the Airlander look complete.  We will release another Press Release shortly, when these are attached. 

In the meantime, if you wish to follow us during the final crucial stages of our exciting journey to First Flight, then please contact us for further information:

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

For images, please contact: philippa.murrey@hybridairvehicles.net (01234) 336430

For videos, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnvPhACVf7t4Ykgx1OxgRiQ

For general media enquiries, contact Chris Daniels, Head of Partnerships and Communications at chris.daniels@hybridairvehicles.net or on 01234 336415.
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HAV Reserves Production Slots
Today, Hybrid Air Vehicles announces plans to hold three of the first year’s Airlander 10 production slots for commercial customers. The company has also unveiled a cabin demonstrator to support customer discussions in this sector.   This decision comes as demand for Airlander 10 in the commercial market has been growing rapidly, with interest coming from major cruise lines, hotel groups, and tour operators. “We recognise that there is a lot of interest in purchase or lease of Airlander aircraft in the commercial market,” comments Executive Director Tom Grundy. “Our confidential conversations with customers in other sectors are progressing well and these customers could easily absorb our early production capacity. We have taken the decision to preserve three production slots to ensure that the first commercial operators of Airlander have an early opportunity to satisfy the significant public appetite for unique luxury travel experiences.”   The increased interest in the passenger variant of Airlander 10 has followed from the launch of the concept cabin interior at Farnborough International Airshow last year. HAV has since brought a new Commercial Business Development Director, George Land, on board to address this demand and bring the first commercial Airlander 10s into the market.   “The desire for Airlander 10 in a variety of commercial tourism and hospitality markets is now clear,” notes Land. “With a limited number of aircraft available as production capacity ramps up in the first years, holding three slots ensures that the first commercial operators to order aircraft will have an opportunity to take delivery of Airlander 10 in the early 2020s.”   HAV is also supporting the development of facilities to offer leasing options and operational support for Airlander 10. These facilities open up additional ways for the commercial market to access the aircraft. “We’ve seen the growing trend toward experiential travel,” Land adds. “Airlander 10 is the perfect platform for companies to provide their customers something unique and meet their business goals.”   HAV has also today unveiled a full-scale cabin demonstrator to provide prospective aircraft purchasers or lessors the opportunity to experience the available space and interior quality offered by Airlander 10.

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.
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