The Airlander 10 is large. Very large. The largest aircraft so far was the Airbus A380 a passenger plane that is more than 70 meters long. “The Flying Bum”, as the Airlander 10 is called, is however about 20 meters longer for a total length of 92 meters. At first sight it looks a bit like a zeppelin, but it is a hybrid aircraft, which also has parts of a helicopter and an ordinary plane.
The Airlander was built by the British Hybrid Air Vehicles and cost around 28 million euros to build. After some start-up problems, the vehicle has now passed six air tests and the company behind the aircraft is now busy completing the necessary 200 hours without incident in the air before passengers are allowed to enter.
Not traveling fast, but luxury
As you might already expect, you will not break speed records in the Airlander. The vehicle just does not reach the 150 kilometers per hour, unlike aircraft that tap between 700 and 900 kilometers per hour. That is also not important: the Airlander is all about luxury, not speed. As far as that is concerned it is perhaps best to compare it with a cruise ship in the air, but without the enormous mass of people.
“We want to change the feeling of traveling through the air, but it is currently going from point A to point B as quickly as possible, but we want to make sure that the journey itself becomes a party.” An important part of this is the space you have as a passenger in the Airlander. There can only be a maximum of 19 passengers per journey, which is not very efficient for such a large colossus. Fortunately, it does not take much fuel to get the Airlander ahead.
Looking through the floor
The interior was designed in collaboration with a British design agency and in addition to the usual things you would expect in such a luxurious setting such as double beds for the passengers and an open kitchen and lounge, both with beautiful views, especially the seating area is special.
That has a glass floor, so you can sit and drink with just about anyone while you can watch five kilometers below you. Not ideal if you have fear of heights, but a fantastic view. Should there be no clouds or other obstructions for the view, but let’s start from the ideal picture.
So it is a beautiful thing, that Airlander. If the damage-free hours are flown, the hybrid mode of transport is likely to be booked fairly quickly, but do not expect that you will be able to pay a flight with the flying bum with your holiday allowance. But who knows? If everything runs smoothly, a second Airlander is probably a lot faster and cheaper built and we can as plebs once in style in the air.