Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson is spearheading publicity for a radical new 300 foot long fuel efficient airship. The craft, known as the HAV304, will travel up to 100 mph for up to 3 weeks at a time carrying over 22,000 lbs of payload. It's planned as a platform for cargo, surveillance, and communications with Dickinson touting its ability to drop its cargo "right where it needs to be."
The aircraft, which gets up to 40% of its lift from the shape of its fuselage, is powered by four 350hp turbo-diesel engines and hopes to make a splash in the shipping industry as a lower-cost, efficient alternative to traditional jet-powered cargo aircraft.
Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company behind the craft, hopes to build and sell 600-1000 of these aircraft to various buyers worldwide. Plans are in the works to create an even larger version, the Airlander 50, which will be able to transport up to 50 tonnes (over 110,000 lbs) of cargo at once.
We're excited about this large step toward bringing back luxury air cruises like the Aether luxury airship concept. The large payload capacity would allow for comfortably outfitted cabins that could make the 36 hour trans-Atlantic trip a relaxing vacation of its own.
Credit: Mac Byers
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