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Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited (HAV) is a company famous for making exactly what its name says. Its air vehicles are known for their efficiency, low cost and for their long flight time measured in weeks rather than days or hours. The company has bravely ventured in to making aircraft that are better for the environment and the economy and have advanced in several engineering frontiers doing that. The latest fruit of their labour is the largest aircraft in the world.
The “Airlander”, as the company calls it, is more than 90 meters long and can potentially fly for three weeks and carry 20 tons of cargo with it. Its a part helicopter, part airplane, part air ship. It is an ambitious project that was unveiled in the UK at Cardington in the largest aircraft hangars in Britain.
As the BBC says, the ship looks like a series of “cigars sewn together” to give a very aerodynamically stable shape. The airship is filled with helium and is bigger than the biggest aircraft on the planet, the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8. The blimp costs $50 million which is much cheaper than most air buses that cost up to $100 million.
With government funding, an even larger blimp is planned called the “Airlander 50”. It will be 120 meters in length, will cost$100 million and will be capable of carrying 50 tons of cargo.
Blimps like this are the future, says HAV. Luxury air ships have been planned that will include swimming pools, hotels, restaurants, casinos and saunas aboard and will replace sea cruises as the classiest way to travel.