In Pics: Meet the Airlander 10, the world’s longest aircraft
New photographs of the world’s longest aircraft have been made public on Sunday ahead of its official unveiling and first UK test flight.world Updated: Mar 21, 2016 00:47 IST
New photographs of the world’s longest aircraft have been made public on Sunday ahead of its official unveiling and first UK test flight.
The Airlander 10, which is part plane, part airship and part helicopter, is 92m long - around 15m longer than the biggest passenger jets.
The British firm Hybrid Air vehicles (HAV) have designed the craft to stay airborne for up to three weeks using helium and the vessel is able to travel at a speed of 92mph.
It was first developed in 2009 for the US government as a long-endurance surveillance aircraft but its manufacture was hindered by defence cut-backs.
HAV believe the craft could be used for a host of functions including surveillance, communications, delivering aid and even passenger travel.
It is hoped the Airlander 10 will eventually be developed to be able to transport 50 tonnes of freight.
The British firm have also stressed how the vessel, which is silent and emits no pollution, could be a breakthrough for air travel.
Chris Daniels, HAV’s head of partnerships, said: “This fantastic story of British innovation getting a unique aircraft fully assembled to do something both useful and commercially viable.
“We are ready to show the world the potential it can achieve in monitoring, search and rescue, cargo, aid distribution and even passenger roles,” Daniels said.