The Return of the Airship?
When you think of modern day aviation, you probably picture an airplane, right? And although they are the dominant form of air travel today, they weren’t always so popular. The main method of aviation before the dawn of the airplane was the dirigible airship. You may know these better as blimps. While there are different kinds of dirigibles, one of the most popular forms was the blimp. Dirigibles became incredibly popular during World War I and are infamous for the Hindenburg disaster. The popular rock band Led Zeppelin is named after an airship.
And while they have been out of the spotlight for quite some time, they could be making a comeback.
A British aviation company, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), is looking to infuse the travel industry with a dose of nostalgia. The company has recently struck a deal with travel company Henry Cookson Adventures in order to feature its new, 21st Century aircraft in tours.
The tours will take the aircraft on long expeditions across the world. The first two destinations for the tour include North America and the Middle East. On the way to North America, tourists will be able to see the Atlantic Ocean, while Middle East-bound travelers will get a breathtaking view of the Alps.
The Airlander, HAV’s main aircraft, is currently undergoing strict testing programs designed specifically to ensure safety and airworthiness. The company’s prototype made its first flight sometime in May. The commercial, passenger aircraft is designed to fly at 80 knots, carry 10 tons and reach a 20,000ft maximum.
The Airlander’s design draws inspiration from classic airplanes, helicopters and other aircrafts in order to achieve the ultimate aircraft design. The true beauty of the aircraft’s design is its sustainability. The Airlander’s design allows for vertical takeoff and creates little to no pollution; the aircraft is also inexpensive to operate and can be flown for several weeks at a time; in short, it is the ultimate aircraft.
I’m incredibly excited to see the real world applications that HAV’s masterpiece can be used for. Who knows, maybe one day we will all be traveling by an HAV 21st century aircraft.