Airlander 10 – The World’s Largest Flying Thing

Surely you are familiar with the Airbus A380, the double-decker jumbo jet that is quite simply… enormous!  Add 62 feet to that monstrosity and what do you have…?

The Airlander 10

It’s not a bird.  It’s not a plane. It’s a…  It’s a…
The folks at aerospace firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) in Bedford, England claim it is indeed a “hybrid” flying vehicle.  Roughly 40% of the lift to keep this monster aloft is provided by the winglets on the Airlander 10, with the remainder from the more obvious helium in the hull enclosures. 

Performance is decidedly un-airline, with a maximum velocity of just over 90 mph.  The flipside is the ability to fly for 5 days, or hover unmanned for weeks at a time.  It can even land on pretty much any surface including water and ice. 
HAV projects the Airlander 10 for cargo transport, luxury transportation, search and survey tasks… the possibilities are only limited by one’s imagination.  Not only are various military entities interested, the British military is the primary investor.  Other financial backers are involved as well, including one Bruce Dickenson, lead singer of Iron Maiden.

This thing must rock!

There is even a big brother on the way:  the Airlander 50.  Expected after 2020, the 50 is specifically engineered for the cargo and heavy lift market.  Guinness will likely certify it as the world’s largest flying airship, replacing the 10 for top honors in sheer size.
Look..!  Up in the sky…  It’s an Airlander..!