The largest airship Airlander 10 is preparing for flight tests
The project of one of the largest airships of the hybrid type and aircraft in general, the Airlander 10, is successfully advancing to completion . Within a few days, the first test flight of the aircraft of the British company Hybrid Air Vehicles will take place. One of the main enthusiasts and investors of the project is the lead singer of Iron Maiden band Bruce Dickinson.
The construction of the Airlander 10 airship was launched in 2009 by order of the US military. The British company won a half-million contract for the construction of a hybrid aircraft for airborne surveillance. After the military ran out of money, Hybrid Air Vehicles bought a prototype, and in the spring of 2015 surpassed it back to England .
In the same year, the project successfully received public funding of £ 2.5 million. In total, the construction of a test sample cost £ 60 million ($ 100 million).
The airship has a length of 92 meters (which is approximately equal to the length of a football field), is capable of carrying payloads weighing up to 10 tons and flying without landing for up to 5 days in a row with the crew on board. The manufacturer claims that in unmanned mode, the device can stay in the air for up to three weeks.
Airlander 10 can land even in unprepared places, up to landing on water. The airship is filled with helium, its maximum speed is 150 km / h.
Airlander 10 uses a hybrid system for flying - it rises into the air thanks to the lifting force arising from its special shape. An airship of this type spends a little more fuel per unit of way than the classic one, but it has 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. As the representative of the company describes his device, it is "a mixture of an airplane, an airship and a little bit of a helicopter."
At first, Airlander 10 will be used as entertainment for tourists, and for the delivery of bulky and heavy loads to hard-to-reach places. The company plans to build an even larger airship, capable of carrying up to 50 tons of payload.
Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson acts as a co-investor and an active participant in the project. Despite the fight against the terrible disease , he took part in the revival of Airlander 10 and the search for additional investors for the project. Bruce is very fond of the sky, and in combination is also a pilot of civil aviation.
This is not the only winged airship project in the world, but in general airships are not in great demand.
It is very surprising and disappointing that in our largest country, where there are many inaccessible places that need to be developed and mastered, than in the UK, the development of airship building practically does not move. At least there is very little news about this.. And the history of this type of transport was quite rich in the USSR.
Your submissive person is even more sad about this because he is not only a secret admirer of this romantic mode of transport, but also grew up in the Dolgoprudny town near Moscow, which was formed around the Soviet enterprise “ Dirizablestroy ”.
Unfortunately, for some reason, only 13 airships have been built in Russia since the disappearance of the USSR . I think that many readers will be interested to know the details of current and planned projects in this area, in connection with which we invite people associated with airship building not to carry interesting information in themselves, but to share it with us.