British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) is bringing a new – and quite luxurious – option into the passenger transportation market. Billed as the “world’s largest aircraft,” the company expects its Airlander 10 to be ready for passenger transportation in 2025. The exterior looks just like a very large airship, but the inside more closely resembles a first-class ferry, seating 100 passengers, all with panoramic views through its floor-to-ceiling windows.
The hybrid airship flies using both aerostatic and aerodynamic lift. The hull of the airship is a skin made of a three-layered combination of composite materials. The skin keeps in the gas and provides rigidity, for the airship to keep its shape when inflated. Vectran™, Kevlar®, Tedlar®, polyurethane and Mylar® are among the materials used.
Although planes are faster, the Airlander operates with 10 percent of the emissions typical of a conventional aircraft. By 2030, HAV expects to have a fully electric Airlander, with the vision of zero-carbon aviation.