Airlander aims high with luxury tourism variant
27 October 2017
The Airlander Team have made two significant deals to make a tourism version of their unique low carbon aircraft a reality. Trials begin 2018.
“I have flown Airlander a number of times now, and am really excited about the possibility of taking the first passengers on board. I can imagine the awe and excitement of seeing the world in luxury, with amazing views, quietly and whilst respecting the environment,” says Dave Burns, Airlander Chief Test Pilot.
Henry Cookson Adventures
Henry Cookson Adventures are setting a new world first, taking the Airlander, the world’s largest aircraft, on its maiden international flight.
In 2018, Henry Cookson Adventures (HCA) will become the first private excursion company to trial Airlander 10, anticipating her arrival to revolutionise ultra-high-end travel. Having identified Airlander 10’s unique capabilities, HCA is working alongside a team of scientists and engineers to ready her for launch. HCA has a string of world firsts and pioneering feats already set by the company and founder, Henry Cookson. From ski races to the Magnetic North Pole to taking private submersibles to the Antarctic, Henry’s team of experts have been pushing the boundaries of high-end travel for over a decade.
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. and Design Q have been awarded a £60,000 Design Foundations Round 2 grant by the UK’s Innovation Agency, Innovate UK. This funding is going to be used in a unique and original ‘Airlander Luxury Tourism Design Development Project’. Design Q is one of the leading independent design consultancies with automotive and aviation clients throughout the world, including BAE Systems, Bombardier and Virgin Atlantic.
Design Q will become Hybrid Air Vehicles preferred supplier for design and manufacture of the luxury cabin interiors created as a result of the Project.
“We are excited with the prospect of working on such a unique project, not only is it the largest flying aircraft in the world but it demands an interior that truly breaks new ground and provides an experience that will be unlike anything seen before. This will be something that passengers will treasure all their lives.” Says Howard Guy, C.E.O and joint founder of Design Q.
The wide-ranging and unique capabilities of Airlander mean HAV can provide a brand new option for high-end, luxury tourism. The ability to stay aloft for days at a time, in virtual silence, with floor-to-ceiling windows and fresh air make Airlander perfect for cruising in exceptional locations.
Using innovative technology, Airlander 10 is the first in a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft. Though potentially capable of staying in the air for weeks at a time, it is her ability to land anywhere that truly sets her apart from traditional aircraft. These twin assets make her perfect for exclusive adventures, bringing guests to hard-to-reach locations in unprecedented levels of comfort.
Design Q will be working closely with the project team to ensure the perfect cabin layout is realised for passengers.
On completion of the trial flight in 2018, HCA ultimately plans to take the type-certified Airlander 10 to a range of destinations at client request, experiencing landscapes that vary as diversely as the North Pole, Bolivian Salt Pans and Namib Desert. By collaborating with leading scientists, explorers and conservationists, HCA is able to deliver often inaccessible experiences to clients; sharing hidden corners of the world with a select few and promising genuine next-level travel.
Airlander 10’s highly anticipated launch as a tourism and expeditionary aircraft is now becoming a reality thanks to these two significant steps forward.
Innovate UK Design Foundations Grant
This grant is one of the winner’s in Innovate UK’s investment of up to £1 million in early-stage, human-centred design projects. These projects will help businesses identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate ideas for new products, services or business models that align with customer demand.
The competition rules state that grant award winners should use, “recognised design processes to understand customer motivations and behaviour, inspire new ideas, support decision-making and inform innovation strategy.”
This project is expected to last no more than 6 months.