World’s largest aircraft the Airlander 10 takes first flight
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World’s largest aircraft the Airlander 10 takes first flight

September 7, 2019


We have a lift off. The world’s largest aircraft has taken to
the skies for the first time. The Airlander 10 spent over an hour in the
air having taken off from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire. During it’s flight it reach 3000 feet and
performed a series of gentle turns – all over a safe area. The aircraft is massive – as long as a football
pitch and as tall as six double decker buses ,and capable of flying for up to five days. It was first developed for the US government
as a long-range surveillance aircraft but was scrapped following cutbacks. Each one cost 25 million pounds and carry
heavier loads than jumbo jets – while also producing less noise and emitting less pollution. The makers – Hybrid Air Vehicles believe it
is the future of aircraft, and that one day we’ll be using them to get to places. But we’re a while away yet – the airlander
will need to clock up 200 hours flying time before being deemed airworthy by aviation
bodies. If it passes though, we can hope we’ll all
get extra leg room when we fly.

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  1. "Originally, the hybrid airship was designed for long-range surveillance for the US military surveillance."

    LOL! It was obviously planned to conduct surveillance over countries that don't have an air force, or anti aircraft weapons, or bb guns……….the types of countries the US government likes to invade.

  2. At 148 km/h it's no where near as fast as cargo jet planes. However it's a lot faster than trucks and ships and it can be more efficient than jet planes if they use solar powered electric motors besides the diesel ones. This thing won't replace planes but it may replace helicopters and trucks.

  3. "One day we will be using them to get places." Really? You must be kidding! By the time you fly to Southern Italy, your two weeks holiday will be over.

  4. Lydia Batham should really do her homework. Literally. She should be back to school learning about basic math. This thing can lift 10 tons. Jumbo jet can lift 140. 140 – 10 = ? This is your home assignment sweetie.

  5. Given the rarity of Helium, and danger posed by highly combustible Hydrogen gas, perhaps we should take a hybrid approach for rigid/semi-rigid airships — such as using hot air, in combination with smaller quantities of the aforementioned gases for lift. To lighten the load even further extensive use of nanotechnology could also be leveraged to build super strong, yet super light weight structures. Another more exotic technology that I've heard of would be to create nanotech spheres with a near perfect vacuum to provide additional lift.

    While expensive, it would solve many of the technical problems – and serve as a hedge against any disruption to the cargo fleet in the event rising sea levels make port facilities unusable. The added benefit would be quicker trips between continents, and ability to more easily avoid adverse weather, not to mention ocean conditions.

    Over time as the tech becomes mainstream, costs would drop (as we see today with Lithium battery technology and solar panels), making build out and maintenance of a fleet of more advanced versions of this concept cost effective.

  6. Due to the shortage of helium we're having now, a safer way to use hydrogen as a lifting gas should be made.

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