The Airlander 10, alias ‘the flying bum’ with its unusual shape in its rear end, took off from Cardington Airfield, in Bedford at 7.40pm. It took several months for this preparation, and this hybrid plane/ chopper/ airship which is named as Airlander 10 has spent nearly one hour in skies. The architects of this aircraft believe that it is the aircraft of the future.
This Airlander 10 airship originally proposed for the US military and lost its funding in the year 2013 due to the defence spending cuts. Later Hybrid Air Vehicles has raised more than $4.4 million through two crowdfunding campaigns, in addition to grants from the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) government.
Actually, this helium-filled aircraft has to be launched for its first test flight on Sunday, but this was delayed because of the safety concerns. This aircraft left Cardington airfield, 45 miles north of London on Wednesday and rose slowly with its maiden voyage.
The size of this Airlander aircraft is about 302-foot which is 50 feet longer than the world’s biggest passenger planes. It has four engines, and there is no internal structure to speak of.
McGlennan says, “Airlander has many of the assets of a helicopter. It can provide air transportation for people and goods without the need for a runway. But this thing can take more over longer distances, and it’s cheaper, and it’s greener.”
“The jury is still out on whether the craft is commercially viable. And “Airships and hybrids have still got a credibility gap to cover, technically I think they are there now, but economically I’m not so sure.” Says Chris Pocock, Defense Editor of Aviation Magazine AIN.