Technowize Magazine - - Trend Spotting -

The 92m-long, 43.5 m wide part plane, part he­li­copter, part air­ship is quite a spec­ta­cle. Dubbed the world’s largest air­craft, it can eas­ily dwarf heavy­weights such as the Air­bus A380 “su­per­jumbo.” it is tad cheaper, at a cat­a­logue price of $31 mil­lion com­pared with $470 mil­lion for an A380. it can also carry 10-tonne pay­load, and is com­pa­ra­ble with mil­i­tary trans­port he­li­copters such as the boe­ing CH-47 Chi­nook, the us Air Force’s pride.

Hy­brid Air Ve­hi­cles (HAV), the com­pany be­hind the Airlander’s devel­op­ment, has been paid over $100 mil­lion to build the air­ship, mi­nus the top-se­cret mil­i­tary hard­ware. it is said that the us Army has in­vested over $300 mil­lion in to the pro­ject, in order to cre­ate an un­manned air­ship ca­pable of re­main­ing air­borne above con­flict zones for 21 days at a time.

The Airlander can stay float over land for weeks at a time, mon­i­tor­ing in­sur­gent ac­tiv­ity and surveilling to keep ground troops safe. it can fly out of reach of all, so mil­i­tants don’t pose prob­lems. it uses he­lium, rather an hy­dro­gen used by the R101 and the Hin­den­burg. The hull is made from three lay­ers of fabric, in­clud­ing Vec­tran, a ma­te­rial five times stronger than steel. it can fly in high winds of up to 80 knots, which is the high­est level on the beau­fort wind scale, and has top speed of 100mph.

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