Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Futuristic airships ready to fly above Britain with plush bar and views

A remarkable new airship could soon be about to take passengers into the Scottish Highlands in unrivalled luxury.

The brainchild of Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), the new Airlander 10 is both a green yet plush way to discover some of the most remote parts of the UK. The whopping craft will be able to carry up to 100 passengers (or 10 tonnes) in a swish interior with glass flooring to offer unrivalled views of the landscape.

Despite its massive size at 302ft long, it can travel at a rough cruising speed of 80mph. To make things even better, concept images appear to show an onboard bar.

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Those speeds will be put to good use, transporting tourists over to isolated destinations like the Orkney, Shetland, and the Western Isles. Bedfordshire-based HAV reckons that up to 24 ships could be made per year with 1,200 jobs being created.

It is hoped the ships will be able to travel as high as 20,000 feet and spend up to five days airborne. Itis also hoped it will produce at least 75% less carbon emission than a conventional flight.

The team behind the new ship found that by using airports already in existence, Airlander can latch onto a reliable pre-existing network of freight and passengers with less than £2million claimed to be needed in terms of infrastructure construction – although some land will need to be purchased. Those costs would include the likes of mooring masts and ground anchors.

These estimates have been unveiled as part of the newly released Airlander concept study, which looks at the feasibility and requirements of the new project. It was supported by AECOM, Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL), Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Orkney Islands Council (OIC) and Loganair.

Deciding on where can be used involves a lot of work though, with HIAL and Orkney Islands Council’s various airports undergoing seven different surveys across Kirkwall, Sumburgh, Barra, Papa Westray, Stornoway and Scapa Bay to work out appropriate spots for the airship to use. Among the criteria were the likes of runway and boarding infrastructure suitability and historic weather conditions.

Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles said: "Airlander has the potential to revolutionise life in the Highlands and Islands, by offering cost-effective and sustainable mobility that fosters improved passenger, freight and logistics connectivity for previously isolated communities, and boosts employment, commerce and tourism."

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