Airlander 10 on a high with clearance for lift-off

Posted on 01/07/2016 by IED

As it prepares for the first new flight of its Airlander 10 hybrid airship, Hybrid Air Vehicles of the UK has been showcasing the vehicle’s special operations credentials recently at SOFEX. Persistence, large payload, modularity, quiet operations and the ability to land on any flat surface are among the Airlander 10’s key attributes in the special ops arena.

Hybrid Air Vehicles has recently received EASA and Civil Aviation Authority clearance to fly the Airlander 10 from the base at Cardington, Bedfordshire. The vehicle itself is a double-lobed, helium-fulled design, its shape being aerodynamic in profile to contribute about 40% of the lift in forward flight.

Power is provided by four 325hp V8 engines, mounted in ducts with vectored thrust capability for low-speed control.

Conventional aerodynamic control surfaces are mounted on the wings and twin fins. Nestled between the lobes, the payload module of the Airlander 10 incorporates a beam, whose function is for carrying externally slung loads. Importantly, the design of the Airlander 10 builds in a high degree of survivability. Filled with inert gas to a low differential pressure, the laminated fabric envelope offers a low leak rate, should any damage be incurred, while the airship’s multi-redundant systems are widely distributed around its large shape.

Furthermore, the hull is radar-neutral; also, the vehicle can be fitted with armour protection around critical areas and a defensive aids suite.

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