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World's longest aircraft to go into production

14/01/2019
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The world’s longest aircraft- the Airlander 10- is set to go into full production after its manufacturer, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), received full production organisation approval from the Civil Aviation Authority.
The prototype Airlander 10 undertook various tests before being retired ahead of full-scale commercial production of the airship.
(The prototype Airlander 10 undertook various tests before being retired ahead of full-scale commercial production of the airship. Image via Hybrid Air Vehicles).

Resembling a modern take on the classic airship, the Airlander 10 uses innovative technology to combine the best characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft.
Achievement of the Production Organisation Approval will enable Hybrid Air Vehicles to proceed with full-scale production of the Airlander 10
(Achievement of the Production Organisation Approval will enable Hybrid Air Vehicles to proceed with full-scale production of the Airlander 10. Image via Hybrid Air Vehicles).

A Production Organisation Approval (POA) considers the manufacture and assembly aspects of aircraft production. This includes supply chain management, processes relating to manufacture and assembly, and the production facility itself. The POA is required to move forward into production of the Airlander 10. This follows the company receiving Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in October 2018.
Visualisation of the proposed passenger compartment on the Airlander 10
(Visualisation of the proposed passenger compartment on the Airlander 10. Image via Hybrid Air Vehicles).

The achievement of the POA puts the firm “in a strong position to launch production” according to a statement from Hybrid Air Vehicles.

The prototype Airlander 10 undertook a series of tests throughout 2016 and 2017 before being retired from service following a successful final test. “The prototype served its purpose as the world’s first full-sized hybrid aircraft, providing us with the data we needed to move forward from prototype to production standard”, says HAV’s chief executive Stephen McGlennan.
The Airlander 10 will be able to carry out a wide variety of tasks from cargo and military transport through to passenger transport.
(The Airlander 10 will be able to carry out a wide variety of tasks from cargo and military transport through to passenger transport. Image via Hybrid Air Vehicles).

According to initial performance stats released by the company the Airlander 10 is capable of staying airborne for up to five days at a time. The aircraft has been designed to be versatile, able to undertake a variety of tasks including communication, cargo carrying and survey roles in both the military and commercial sectors all with a significantly lower carbon footprint than other forms of air transport.
Testing of the Airlander 10 has been taking place from HAV's base in Bedford, UK.
(Testing of the Airlander 10 has been taking place from HAV’s base in Bedford, UK. Image via Hybrid Air Vehicles).

With production approval granted, HAV is now hoping that a full commercial version of the Airlander 10 will take to the skies with its first paying customers in the early 2020s.

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World's longest aircraft to go into production - Time to read 3 min
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