Flying butt: the world's largest aircraft launched in the UKBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/flying-butt-the-worlds-largest-aircraft-launched-in-the-uk.html
The world's largest aircraft has embarked on its first flight in the UK. The 92-meter Airlander is part airplane, part helicopter and part airship. It was recently renovated and renovated. The aircraft, which resembles an onion in shape, received the nickname "flying ass".
(10 photos in total)
Photographers and just curious gathered in the city of Cardington (Bedfordshire) to see with their own eyes the first flight of the celestial giant.
After the launch, the creators called Airlander "a great British innovation." They quite reasonably believe that this is a serious milestone in the history of aeronautics, because the disaster of the Hindenburg airship in 1937 put an end to the development of this type of air transport for a long time.
"We managed to create a combination of such types of air transport as an aircraft with an unchangeable wing geometry, a helicopter and an airship," said Stephen McGlennan, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV).
The Airlander is designed in such a way that it consumes less fuel than an average aircraft, but is able to carry heavier loads than a classic airship. It can climb to a height of almost 5 kilometers, travel at a speed of up to 144 kilometers per hour and stay in the air for up to two weeks in a row.
Initially, the Airlander was created for the US Army, whose representatives planned to use it for surveillance in Afghanistan. However, in 2013, this program was closed, and then HAV, firmly wishing to proclaim a new era in the history of airships, had to look for other sources of financing, including among government agencies and private investors.
Airlander was created in Cardington, where airships for the British Army were built during and after the First World War. However, that program was closed in 1930, after an accident in which 50 people died, among whom was the Minister of Air Transport. This incident and others — including the Hindenburg accident in 1937, which killed 35 people — for a long time buried the dream of the widespread use of airships for transportation.
"Imagine a huge helicopter. This thing can do all the same things, and it doesn't even need a runway. Plus, it can cover much more serious distances, it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly," said Stephen McGlennan.
Unlike hydrogen, which was used in airships of that time, helium does not pose such a danger.
Steven is also confident that Airlander will be popular for both civilian and military needs, as it has a huge potential for data collection and video surveillance.