Airlander, the UK-based Bedford Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) company, has been showcasing its latest design mock-ups on social media this week, of its proposed cabin interiors for the Airlander 10: the “21st century airship,” reports a company press release. Talk about a floating palace in the sky, for the photos are quite amazing.
The company says, “Airlander 10’s spacious cabin gives every passenger a comfortable seat with direct access to the aisles. The floor-to-ceiling windows are a focal point, providing passengers with incredible views and natural light. Coupled with its unique interior, the aircraft also offers a clear pathway to all-electric flight.”
It goes on, “The Airlander 10 aircraft will be available with up to 100 seats in a hybrid-electric configuration from 2025, operating with 90 percent fewer emissions than conventional aircraft in similar roles. The aircraft will be offered in a fully electric configuration by 2030.”
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George Land, Airlander’s Commercial Business Development Director, commented, “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.”
Certainly, the 10 offers a very different flying experience compared to its aviation competitors. It is not about how fast from A to B you travel or being herded into an aircraft like cattle to gain the cheapest fare… this is a class and elegance of flying rarely seen.
While the spacious and sumptuous cabin areas shown in the photos remain concept designs, for now, the Airlander team has been guided by engineering and regulatory demands, where the design has incorporated many considerations to ensure it is practical, feasible, and ready for the transition into production.
The 10 is ideally suited for inter-city mobility applications like Liverpool to Belfast and Seattle to Vancouver, which the airship can service “with a tiny fraction of the emissions of current air options.” Inter-city transport represents 40 percent of the forecast UAM market by 2050, equivalent to UKP36 billion, according to research from Roland Berger. Airlander 10 offers this mobility at a much larger scale alongside a far more elegant style than other UAM applications.
The Orient Express in the sky? Perhaps, but the question must be, how much will this “flying palace experience” cost?
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