The world’s largest aircraft, the Airlander 10 has been unveiled by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV). The gigantic aircraft is 92 meters long, which is about 19 meters more than the length of the world’s largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380. The aircraft is essentially a huge blimp and uses helium to create lift and the Airlander’s envelope is capable of holding about 1.3 million cubic of the gas which is needed to get off the ground. The shape of the aircraft itself provides up to 40% of the lift and HAV says that it has a payload capacity of 10,000 kgs.
The Airlander 10 comes with four V8 turbocharged diesel engines in order to generate thrust. Two engines are located on the back of the aircraft, while the remaining two are located on either side of the hull. These engines come with fins and vanes that allow thrust to be directed in certain directions. This vectoring of thrust allows the aircraft to take-off and land easily. The Airlander 10 has a cruising speed of about 80 km/hr and HAV says that the aircraft can stay airborne for about 5 days. When it comes time to land, the aircraft uses pneumatic skids located on the underside of the hull to land. These skids allow it to land on almost any surface. In addition, the skids can be ‘sucked in’ during flight in order to improve the Airlander’s aerodynamic profile.