A gigantic hybrid airship took flight on Wednesday August the 17th 2016. The flight took place North of London in England. The airship has affectionately been dubbed the Flying Bum because of its bulging derriere shape.
The Airlander 10 is both a powered airship and a lighter-than-air design. It is the currently the world’s longest aircraft at 302 feet (92-meters) in length, and is about 50 feet (15-meters) longer than a Boeing 747. The ship’s maximum altitude is 36,000 feet and can cruise at a speed of 90mph. The airship is also designed as a low-noise and low-pollution aircraft.
The airship can be used in a variety of different aviation roles. Including but not limited to: Passenger travel, tourism, ferrying cargo, aerial survey, surveillance, communication, etc.
The Flying Bum is designed by the Hybrid Air Vehicles Company. Stephen McGlennan the CEO was quoted as saying “It’s a great British Innovation”. The aircraft uses a combination of parts from a fixed-wing airplane, a helicopter, and an airship.
Hybrid Air Vehicles had started to develop a similar aircraft for the military, but the project was halted due to budgetary issues. The company now says that it will soon be developing an even bigger airship than the Airlander 10 – The Airlander 50. The aircraft will be specifically designed to carry cargo and will have a 50 ton payload. This will service the Heavy Lift market and will be ideal for logistics and remote access. Mining, oil, and gas sectors will find it helpful as the aircraft will not need airport infrastructure.