HAV is pleased to confirm ILC Dover as the provider of the hull for the production Airlander 10. HAV worked with ILC Dover on the hull for the prototype Airlander 10 and look forward to continuing our close working relationship.

Advanced materials

The inflated hull is the main airframe of Airlander. Made from a state-of-the-art flexible laminate, the hull's material and the internal pressure from the gas give Airlander its shape. The hull material must be resistant to the weather and be smooth so that dirt does not stick to it. It must also provide a long service life while being outside in the sun for potentially 365 days a year.

The material used for the hull is a composite, which means it is multiple layers of materials permanently laminated together to form one single fabric with the desired properties. Composite technology is used for the latest aeroplanes, race cars and other high performance products. Unlike many of these applications, Airlander’s hull fabric uses a different manufacturing process, resulting in a flexible material instead of a rigid one.

Each of the hull’s layers provides a different property. Starting from the outside:

  • Tedlar® film provides the weather protection
  • Mylar® film keeps the helium in
  • Woven Vectran™ provides the structural strength

This combination of layers, sealed together using UV resistant Urethane adhesive, provides us with all of the properties required for Airlander to operate in its many applications.

Mike Durham, CTO at HAV comments:

The Airlander 10 hull is an integral part of our aircraft. We trust ILC Dover to deliver innovative material that is carefully assessed, developed and tested to an extremely high standard. ILC Dover work to the same high standards that we do, and expect of all of our trusted suppliers.

Mike Durham Chief Technical Officer, Hybrid Air Vehicles

ILC Dover

ILC Dover manufactures the hull for HAV. ILC Dover has been developing products since 1947 and is a world-leader in the innovative design and production of engineered flexible protective solutions for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical, flood protection, personal protection, bulk packaging, and the aerospace industries.

Since the 1960s ILC Dover has been involved in space products and has been the principal supplier of space suits since Project Apollo. ILC Dover space suits have been used on the Moon and may soon be used on Mars.

It is ILC Dover’s commitment to innovation and quality that makes them perfectly suited to supplying the hull for Airlander 10.

More about ILC Dover and its products can be found at https://www.ilcdover.com/

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