Iron Maiden soloist seeks investors for his airship
Bruce Dickinson on the background of his project
I do not know why the topic of airships is so attractive. Either this is a longing for the “good old days”, or the love of steampunk, which can not do without these slow giants. Or hidden fatigue from the insane rhythm of life, when you want to look from a height at the ground slowly floating below. And not only do I feel it - as soon as artists take on some kind of alternative history or parallel universe, then one of the main visual differences from the real world are the swollen apparatuses swiftly floating in the sky.
After the abandonment of airships, mankind lost their undeniable advantages. Their carrying capacity, profitability in terms of cargo weight, non-stop flights exceed all aircraft and helicopters. They do not need to spend fuel to maintain themselves in the air. They can remain in the air for weeks and do not require an airstrip. Their disadvantages include low speed, low maneuverability and the need for giant hangars for maintenance.
Unfortunately, after the famous and tragic demise of Hindenburg, which claimed the lives of 36 people, people became afraid of the airships and their development stopped. It is interesting that this was not even the largest disaster in terms of the number of victims - 73 people died in the crash of the USS Akron airship, despite the fact that it was filled with helium, and not hydrogen, like Hindenburg. Another famous accident occurred with the British airship R101 (48 victims), which was built at Cardington's shipyards.
The existing airships are used for scientific or entertainment purposes. But some enthusiastswant to change that. One of them is none other than Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maden. His brainchild is now located in one of Cardington’s hangars, where almost 100 years ago they began to build airships. Dickinson's dream is the resumption of passenger and cargo, and thousands of airships in the sky of the planet. Therefore, he became a co-investor in Hybrid Air Vehicles , founded by inventor Roger Munch.
The Airlander 10 airship was originally made to order by the U.S. military. The company won a half-million contract to build a hybrid aircraft for airborne surveillance. After the military ran out of money, Hybrid Air Vehicles bought a prototype, and surpassed it back to England.
Hybrids have the shape of a wing, which gives them lift. They spend a little more fuel than classic airships, but they have a greater speed of movement, while maintaining the advantages of vehicles lighter than air - in particular, the ability to land on any fairly flat place.
Airlander 10 can move at speeds up to 160 km / h, and four engines are located in the rear, accelerating it. He is given a lift in the form of a wing and 38,000 cubic meters of helium.
The owners of the company believe that the potential for using their device is huge. Transportation of bulk cargo (the same windmills or mining equipment), minerals, search and rescue operations, passenger transportation, tourism. Flights can be made to any place where the infrastructure is absent or has long been unusable.
Bruce Dickinson shares his thoughts on the venture: “I do not expect that I will soon profit from my investment. I just want to be part of this project. As a rock star, I could spend money on drugs or luxury cars - or I can do something useful. In life, there are rarely moments when you can take part in something big. "
Now Hybrid Air Vehicles are looking for investors to promote their product to the masses and dispel people's concerns about airships. “People say, oh God, it's Hindenburg,” says Dickinson. “But in fact, our project is the world's largest fire extinguisher.”