Earlier this month, London’s Hybrid Air Vehicles took to equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube, to raise £2 million for the largest aircraft in the world is a low-carbon, low-noise, low-pollution, Airlander 10. Now with just three weeks until its project comes to an end, the company has successfully secured over half of its funding goal.
As previously reported, Airlander 10 is a wing-shaped aircraft that can fly for up to five days at a time if manned, and for over two weeks unmanned. The Guardian noted that the Airlander 10 can “land virtually anywhere that’s flat, and burns just a fifth of the fuel of a conventional aircraft.”
The aircraft can also reach speeds of 100 mph, propelled by its wing-shaped design, four engines and the 38,000m3 of helium in its hull. The helium also gives it structure–it maintains its shape because of to the pressure stabilization of the helium inside the hull, and the smart and strong Vectran material that the aircraft is made of, according to Hybrid Air Vehicles, a private UK company with approximately 150 shareholders.
“It’s a hybrid of an airplane, with its aerodynamic life, an airship, with its buoyant lift, and a helicopter with its vector thrust.”
Also noting that in a situation where the Airlander 10’s engines were to fail, Barton explained that it would still be considered the safest mode of air transportation:
“If you happen to lose all four engines, it is amphibious so it will still float. And if it hits the deck, it’ll hit the deck gently.”
The Airlander 10’s campaign was notably launched to match a £3.4m government grant to get the craft going, and eventually build many more; current investors include the US military, Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, PLC Chairmen, experienced business angels and investment professionals. It is set to close on May 14th.
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