If you are offended by my headline, take a look at the photo above. Better yet, watch Gayle King, of CBS This Morning, on the above video talking about the shape of the world’s largest aircraft.
It’s part airship, part helicopter and part plane. The 300-foot Airlander 10, manufactured by the British aerospace company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), is reported to be 62 feet longer than an Airbus A380.
I heard about the flying machine during a phone call with a blogger from London who was asking me about a virtual reality product. He told me that he felt like he was in fantasy land for the last few days because all of his reporting was about science-fiction type inventions.
When I asked him what he was talking about, he mentioned, “The Flying Ass.” I quickly Googled it and couldn’t believe there wasn’t more coverage on this.
The aircraft’s recent maiden flight in Bedfordshire, England, was only for 20 minutes. However, newspaper reports that the Airlander can stay airborne for up to five days at a time. It can carry up to 10 tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 91 miles per hour.
It has a strange shape, according to several periodicals, because it is filled with air helium in the carbon fiber hull. That is supposed to “eliminate combustible hydrogen that caused the Hindenburg to turn into a ball of fire in 1937.”
My British blogger friend said that governments all over the world will be using the Airlander for commercial purposes. I couldn’t find a definite confirmation.
You read it here first. You may be seeing a flying ass above you in the not-too-distant future.
Conde Nast Traveler was one of a few publications to report on the Airlander. Check it out here.