British company produces climate-friendly airship

According to its developers, the British airship Airlander 10 could take off for commercial flights with passengers from 2028.

the airship flying over a coast

The plans for this greener - but also significantly slower - way of travelling compared to conventional aircraft are "well underway", according to the company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) in Bedford, England. Production is due to start later this year.

At 91 metres, the Airlander 10 is larger than the Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world, but consumes up to 75 percent fewer emissions during flight, according to HAV. The developer is also planning an all-electric and a hybrid version of the airship. This would push the emission values down even further.

No competition for passenger aircraft

However, experts do not see the airship as an alternative to passenger aircraft. "As a means of transport for long distances, I don't see any future on a commercial basis because the speed is simply far too low," explained Andreas Schäfer, Director of the Air Transport Laboratory at University College London. He sees more of a "niche market" for airships.

At the same time, other companies also appear to see potential in airships as a replacement for helicopters or aeroplanes. The French company Flying Whales, for example, is currently developing a fleet to transport heavy loads.

There are a total of 23 pre-orders for HAV's airship, 20 from the Spanish regional airline Air Nostrum. The Airlander 10 can take off and land on water and land, stay in the air for five days and cover a distance of 7000 kilometres - all at a speed of around 140 km/h.

Written by: sda

Photos: HAV

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