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In our work at Hybrid Air Vehicles, we’re often asked about airspeed. Isn’t Airlander much slower than an aeroplane? Haven’t we shown over the years that people will pay to travel fast?
We think a little differently about that.
Granted, Airlander’s top speed of 130km per hour is slow compared to an aeroplane, but we fulfil many journeys by car at much less than that speed. Airlander is similar to many rail networks, not much slower than a helicopter and far faster than taking a ferry. We take those other modes of transport all the time because they are the most convenient, the most pleasant, the most affordable or the least-environmentally damaging. We don’t fly on aeroplanes everywhere because, for many journeys, it just doesn’t make economical or practical sense to move that fast.
Consider travelling from the city centre of Stockholm to the city centre of Oslo. You could take an aeroplane; your experience would encompass travelling to the airport, check-in, security, lounge, gate, boarding, taxiing, and the flight itself. The same process reversed awaits you at your destination. You have spent maybe 40 airborne minutes in your seat, on a journey that took just under four hours.