The Future of Sustainable Air Travel May Be Closer Than We Think

To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything

OTTO LILIENTHAL

The future depends on the sustainable work we do today.

Growing awareness of the global climatic crisis means people around the world are looking for more cleaner,cheaper and energy-efficient ways of moving from point A to point B.Though aviation accounts only for 2-3% of carbon emissions, it is still a considerable figure when the climatic scenario is pictured as a whole.

As a result, it is ,to no surprise that aviation entities have tried and have been trying to come up with more efficient ways of travelling without cutting back on the comfort,luxury and leisure of commuting.

HYBRID AIR VEHICLE (HAV) is one such company,based in the British,that has been working to play along such lines with the recent concept of AIRLANDER 10.

BRIEF HISTORY

The Airlander 10, built by the british HAV, was originally designed as HAV 304. Now, what exactly was the HAV 304?

The HAV 304 was built for the United States army’s Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) programme with it’s maiden flight taking place in 2012 in New Jersey. Unfortunately though, the LEMV programme was cancelled by the US army the following year.

HAV 304 Photo: flickr.com

Thereafter, HAV reacquired the airship and brought it back to Cardington Airfield in England where it was reassembled, refurbished and modified for a more general role,having finally developed into the Airlander 10 prototype instead.

FAST FORWARD-2021

HAV released a set of renderings of the cabin interior to show what it’s going to feel like to fly on the Airlander 10, company chief executive officer Tom Grundy told CNN in an interview.

CABIN INTERIORS Photo: dailymail.co.uk

For many decades flying from A to B has meant sitting in a metal tube with tiny windows – a necessity but not always a pleasure. On Airlander, the whole experience is pleasant, even enjoyable. And in the hybrid-electric and future all-electric configurations, Airlander is fit for our decarbonised future.

George Land
Commercial Business Development Director

KEY FEATURES:

  • The floor-to-ceiling windows are a focal point, providing passengers with incredible views and natural light.
  • The spacious cabin gives every passenger a comfortable seat with direct access to the aisles. 
  • The aircraft will be available with up to 100 seats in a hybrid-electric configuration from 2025 and operating with 90% fewer emissions than conventional aircraft in similar roles.
  • This cabin offering is ideally suited to inter-city mobility applications like Liverpool to Belfast and Seattle to Vancouver, which Airlander can service with a tiny fraction of the emissions of current air options. 
LUXURIOUS INTERIORS Photo: simpleflying.com

Propulsion System

HAV has confirmed the use of RED Aircraft’s RED A03 engine for powering this massive machine and this will be used in the base configuration of the Airlander 10.

The base configuration of Airlander 10 will be followed by a hybrid-electric variant producing 90% fewer emissions and an all-electric variant flying with zero emissions by 2030.

RED A03 Photo: hybridairvehicles.com

The RED A03 has :

  • Low fuel burn
  • Low exhaust gas emission
  • Reduced noise pollution
  • High thermodynamic efficiency

And the best part is, it is Type Certified at both- EASA TC.E.150 and FAA.

In a nutshell

The airship boasts an unpressurized cabin, and is built to withstand high and low temperatures, strong winds and even lightning strikes, to the same regulatory standards as other passenger aircraft, says HAV.

With a top speed of about 130 kilometers per hour (about 81 miles an hour) , Airlander journeys won’t compete with long-haul flights or routes already well-served by high-speed rail connections but would instead focus on pairing up cities a few hundred miles apart.

While the cabin design is still at the concept stage, HAV says it “has incorporated many considerations to ensure it is practical, feasible and ready for the transition into production.”


REFERENCE(s)

  • hybridairvehicles.com
  • edition.cnn.com
  • en.wikipedia.org
  • COVER : simpleflying.com