A new titan in eco-friendly transportation is taking over the European skies.
The HAV (Hybrid Air Vehicle) Airlander 10 is the biggest airship in the world designed specifically for humanitarian uses.
With a cargo capacity of 10 tons and the ability to fly for weeks without landing, the ship can soar to any location carrying supplies and resources to communities in need.
Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden and key investor in the Airlander, told the New Yorker, “You want to put a hospital into Africa? You put the whole hospital in the inside of this – whoosh. Start the generator.”
“With these vehicles, you could drop off a 20-ton slab of water that is clean, drinkable, to an African village. It’s astonishing what you can do that you just can’t do with anything else.”
As well as being the largest philanthropic vehicle of its kind, the Airlander only uses a quarter of the fuel regular airplanes do because of its reservoir of helium that creates buoyancy.
Even though it’s as long as a football field and the height of two double-decker buses, the ship can land vertically on any terrain – including water – making it especially capable for search and rescue missions.
“I’m not expecting to get my money back anytime soon, I just want to be part of it,” Bruce said regarding his $380,000 investment. ”Being a rock person, I could put it up my nose, or buy a million Rolls Royces and drive them into swimming pools, or I could do something useful. There are very few times in your life when you’re going to be part of something big.”
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The ship’s maiden test flights are scheduled for later this month over the hangar’s airfield in Bedfordshire, England so it can accrue the air time necessary to be validated by the Civil Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
(WATCH the Airlander video below narrated by Bruce Dickinson…)