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Hybrid airship is world’s largest aircraft

The Airlander 10 hybrid airship, nicknamed 'Flying Bum', is the same length as a football pitch and the height of six double-decker buses.

Published on Sep 4, 2023 at 5:36PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Dec 16, 2023 at 9:14PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain
'Flying Bum' Airlander 10 hybrid airship

This is what British holidaymakers have to look forward to in the near future.

A futuristic hybrid airship that will ferry passengers to Spain’s most popular islands.

And it is going to be the biggest aircraft in the world, by a long shot.

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Thanks to its distinctive shape, the airship has earned a funny nickname. Use your search to find it.

While the inner child in us finds that absolutely hilarious, we’ll stick to using its official name, the Airlander 10.

Billed as the world’s largest aircraft, Airlander 10 is the same length as a football pitch (300ft).

Not only that, but it’s the height of six double-decker buses, too.

In order to take to the skies, the helium airship flies using both aerostatic and aerodynamic lift.

Added power comes via a set of diesel-engine propellers.

Currently being built by British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), the elliptical-shaped airship is expected to launch in 2026.

And tourists heading to Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca can look forward to experiencing a new level of luxury.

Airlander 10 features a spacious passenger cabin suspended beneath an aerodynamic, helium-filled balloon.

Costing $50 million, the part-plane, airship can reportedly land on ‘’virtually any surface”.

Not only that, but Airlander 10 can take off from either a field or water, without the need for traditional infrastructure like ports or airports.

That’s what makes it ideal for short-haul flights from the UK to Spain’s popular islands.

Air Nostrum airline group already has 10 examples of the hybrid airship that were originally built for the US military.

But over the last decade, they’ve been re-assembled and designed for civilian use in the UK.

Now the airline has doubled its order of Airlander 10s to create a fleet of 20 to expand its push into the Med, focusing on the Balearic islands.

Apparently, the latest version of Airlander 10 is capable of staying in the air for five days straight while unmanned, and over two weeks while manned.

HAV plans to produce at least 12 aircraft per year, with a fully-electric version being available by 2030.

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