The largest aircraft in the world goes into series production

The largest aircraft in the world goes into series production
The largest aircraft in the world goes into series production

The huge airship Airlander 10 will be equipped with a hybrid power plant. It has already been launched into mass production, according to the manufacturer of this unique vehicle, Hybrid Air Vehicles.

The Airlander 10 is 92 meters long, making it the largest operational aircraft in the world. True, in terms of size, it is far from the historical records of the first half of the 20th century. Recall that the length of the "Count Zeppelin" was 237 meters, and the "Hindenburg" - 245 meters.

However, these airships were filled with flammable hydrogen, which led to the terrible disaster of the "Hindenburg" in 1937, as well as the subsequent decline of the era of aeronautics. Meanwhile, the shell of the Airlander 10 is filled with helium, which does not burn or explode (although it costs much more hydrogen).


To date, the prototype airship is powered by four 325 horsepower (242 kilowatt) diesel engines. Two propellers are located at the stern of the aircraft and two along its sides at the front.

Now it is planned to replace the front pair of engines with electric motors with a capacity of 500 kilowatts, powered by batteries. If desired, the Airlander 10 can do with only one of the engine pairs.

On a purely electric traction, the airship will develop a cruising speed of 93 kilometers per hour, and the maximum flight range will be 350 kilometers. The use of diesel engines in addition to electric ones will increase the cruising speed to 130 kilometers per hour.

The new airship is capable of carrying up to 10 tons of payload. The developers plan to use it for passenger transportation. According to their calculations, 90 passengers will comfortably accommodate on board. A flight of 200 kilometers will take about two hours. At the same time, air emissions will be 90% less than on a similar flight. In addition, the unit's motors produce much less noise.

By the way, the Airlander 10 does not require a special runway and is capable of staying in the air for five days in a row (although it is unlikely that the latter will be useful to him on passenger flights).

Manufacturers hope that the first production aircraft will take off in the mid-2020s.

Note that airships are not maneuverable and can hardly resist the wind. In addition, their slow speed is inconvenient on routes thousands of kilometers long. So don't expect these ships of the sky to ever supplant airplanes. At best, they will force small aircraft to make room a little.

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