The Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV 304/Airlander 10 is a hybrid airship designed and built by British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV). Comprising a helium airship with auxiliary wing and tail surfaces, it flies using both aerostatic and aerodynamic lift
Airlander’s four engines are RED A03 combustion engines created from a clean sheet design with ultra efficiency. During typical cruise, the forward two engines are shut down. This further reduces both fuel burn and engine noise. In addition, the aircraft is capable of being safely landed with any two of its four engines.
The RED A03 drives many environmental benefits when compared with other equivalent propulsion solutions. Characterized by significantly lower CO2 emissions, the RED A03 is also an optimal platform for the development of hybrid-electric aircraft installations.
Airlander’s helium-filled hull and low flight speed also make it a low-vibration and low-G aircraft, which improves reliability. The aircraft also has features that make it inherently safer than other aircraft. This is particularly true in comparison to helicopters, as Airlander is not reliant on any single-engine. Airlander generates up to 40% of its lift from aerodynamics by the passage of air over the hull and the remainder from buoyant lift from the helium. At lower speed and closer to the ground, vectoring engine power is used to provide additional lift and maneuverability for take-off, landing and ground handling.
Airlander needs only an open, relatively flat space to take off and land. This allows the aircraft to land in remote locations for surveillance operations or to take passengers to the furthest corners of our world. This flexibility in operations is one advantage of Airlander’s hybrid design. Unlike traditional airships, Airlander is heavier-than-air, which allows it to “sit” on the ground similar to an aeroplane or helicopter.