Flying high – AIRLANDER

Posted on 01/03/2015 by IED

Imagine a flying machine that can cruise in the air for three weeks without landing – and does not need a runway when it finally comes back to earth.

Soon this may be a reality, thanks to the vision of companies such as Hybrid Air Vehicles, which says it has "re-examined the basic principles behind Lighter-Than-Air Science, and applied modern technology and materials to this 100-year-old concept".

All of this has been driven by the growing concern by governments, organisations and individuals over the consumption of natural resources, which, states HAV, "naturally leads to aerostatic (lighter than air) principles to reduce both the energy cost and the financial operating cost of some of our transport requirements."

HAV's AIRLANDER "does not stall, lands on any reasonably flat surface, and has a take-off and landing speed of around 40 knots," it says. "It is fitted with four propulsion units and, with close on 10,000 Shaft horsepower (SHP) for the 50 tonne variant, it has sufficient power and range to deal with the most challenging environments." The vehicle uses a combination of buoyancy (helium gas) and aerodynamics (the shape of the body) to generate lift.

For a video trip on AIRLANDER, go to: http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/imagegallery.asp.

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