Is it a plane? – The world’s longest aircraft!

Enormous, unique and British-built, the Airlander 10 is on the verge of taking to the skies.

Today I am glad to introduce you to the largest aircraft ever made. The flying bum is its nickname (you will discover why in a second) AKA – Airlander 10.

The Airlander 10 is 302ft (92m) long, which is about 60ft (18m) longer than the biggest airliners.  The aircraft needs 1.3m cubic feet of helium – enough to fill 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools – to get off the ground.

It can land and take off vertically on most surfaces, including ice, desert and water, on its pneumatic skids. Also, it is able to stay flying for five days and is silent and emits no pollution, so it can be considered an environmentally friendly invention.

As stated by the CEO, Tim Robinson, “if you need to transport goods then it’s cheaper than aircraft and faster than shipping”.

These are some of the tasks which the Airlander could be used for:

  • Lifting really heavy machinery and transporting it to difficult landscapes where conventional planes can’t land
  • Civil and humanitarian purposes, eg: providing surveillance and communications or infrastructure to devastated war scenarios or to tackle cataclysms.
  • It could be used as a cheap, flexible way of boosting mobile communications networks for big sports events
  • Leisure: well, maybe super rich people could afford it?

For the freight industry, this could suppose a revolution. Imagine using this aircraft to pick up a really heavy machine or infrastructure (let’s say a plane wing) from the factory to an inaccessible place. This could save so much time and bureaucratic paperwork (if you know what I mean).

 

 

In this picture we can appreciate its transgressor design which have led some people to nickname it “the flying bum”. Any excuse is good to have a good laugh, right?

It will be floated inside the hangar for the first time since its completion this month in the Bedfordshire hangar, so stay tuned!

Will this aircraft be a new opportunity for the freight industry? Could it be the future for air travel? Will it be another technological failure? Please, leave your comments and opinions below.