The Airlander 10 is set to take to the skies, but it’s already made history before it’s even gotten off the ground. The 302 foot airship has been called the world’s largest aircraft.
Combining the capabilities of an airplane, helicopter, and blimp, the airship is capable of vertical takeoffs and landings, requires no runway, and is ultra quiet. The Airlander 10 is also incredibly efficient. Though it was originally designed to assist the U.S. Army in surveillance operations, this massive airship may prove to be more versatile as a means of transport for wind turbines and other applications.
Showing the versatility in air transport operations the airship could have, [HAV head of partnerships and communications, Chris] Daniels said the charity Oxfam is keen to task the aircraft on aid relief missions following natural disasters, while HAV is in talks with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to help conduct scientific research.
While there is still tough competition from drones when it come to surveillance and reconnaissance operations, if the Airlander 10’s first flight is smooth and successful, perhaps we’ll see more ships like it and see its applications broaden.