Multi-million pound campaign launched to try and get world's biggest aircraft off the ground

Credit: ITV News Anglia

In a giant shed in the Bedfordshire countryside - sits the largest aircraft in the world.

This is the Airlander 10.

"It's a mix between the best of an aeroplane, an airship and a helicopter and we've combined them in a very clever way to come up with something that can do totally different things - it can fly for three weeks at a time, it can land and take-off anywhere, it can carry heavy loads and basically, we think it will transform the world of aviation."– Chris Daniels, Hybrid Air VehiclesIt's known to the engineers as Mary - and she's a very big girl.

At 92 metres long - she's about the same size as a football pitch and 25% bigger than a Boeing 747 aeroplane.25%. The Airlander 10 is 25% bigger than a Boeing 747 aeroplane.

The Airlander 10 can carry up to 10 tonnes of freight. She can carry up to 10 tonnes of freight and burns a fifth of the fuel of a conventional aircraft.

"There's all sorts of different uses for this - we're really efficient, we're really green and like a helicopter, we can fly anywhere, we don't need airfields or infrastructure to land on, so that's really good for disaster relief, it's really good for carrying heavy loads to different parts of the world and it's really good for flying for long periods of time."– Tom Grundy, Hybrid Air Vehicles

The Airlander 10's first flight in the UK is scheduled for next year. The Airlander 10 has flown once before under a US military programme - but its first flight in the UK is scheduled for early next year.

The developers have already got two big grants from the government and the EU - but they need to raise about £2million more - so they're now offering members of the public the chance to invest.

The project could create nearly 2,000 jobs in the county.

And in two or three years time - it could be taking off with passengers onboard.

Credit: ITV News Anglia
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Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded Production Organisation Approval from the Civil Aviation Authority. As 2018 came to a close, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) awarded Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd a Production Organisation Approval. Following the successful award of our Design Organisation Approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in October 2018, this latest achievement sees HAV starting 2019 in a strong position to launch production. A Production Organisation Approval (POA) considers the manufacture and assembly aspects of aircraft production. This includes supply chain management, processes relating to manufacture and assembly, and the production facility itself. Both the Design Organisation Approval (DOA), which covers design activities and flight test, and the POA, covering manufacture and assembly, are required to move forward into a type certification programme with the production Airlander 10. Being awarded the POA in 2018 is a remarkable achievement. It typically takes over a year to prepare a facility for a POA audit. HAV only moved into our production facility, the Airlander Technology Centre, in June and were able to be audit-ready in under six months. This success is down to the effort of the Production team, led by Ivor Pope. In addition to preparing the facility, the team at Technology House has been working to establish rigorous supply chain and quality assurance processes. "The POA approval is a significant milestone for HAV. It is the culmination of months of hard work and focused effort," comments David Lindley, HAV’s Head of Aviation Safety & Quality Assurance. "It demonstrates that the safety, quality assurance, and supply chain management processes are in place, along with the production facility." "Successfully being awarded our POA in the same year as our DOA is fantastic," adds Executive Director Nick Allman. "The POA is the regulator’s stamp of approval for us to move ahead with the productionisation of Airlander 10 on the path to type certification. This puts us in a great position going into 2019."  

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