Airlander – the successor to the “Hindenburg” is to be built in series

Green air transport
Airlander – the successor to the “Hindenburg” is to be built in series

The carrying capacity of an airship is limited, but unlike an airplane, very spacious cabins can be built.

© PR

The airship Airlander reports back. After flights with a prototype, the production of airships for 100 passengers is now to begin. Ten of them should be in service in 2025.

Air traffic is under pressure. This has been shown again by the debate about domestic German flights. The high CO2 pollution and the extensive tax exemption for kerosene can hardly be conveyed. In addition, car traffic is changing and turning away from fossil fuels. An e-car can definitely be powered by renewable energies. But while hundreds of thousands of e-cars are already in operation, there has so far been a lack of environmentally friendly alternatives in aviation, if one disregards theoretical visions.

Fly with little energy

The company “Hybrid Air Vehicles” is an exception. The British firmly believe in the return of the airship. Your Airlanders are said to cause only 10 percent of an aircraft’s CO2 emissions. And that’s not a feat either. In contrast to an airplane, a light gas provides lift for an airship, the motors are only necessary for moving forward.

Ten airships are to be produced by 2025, each capable of carrying 100 people. Unlike the zeppelins, the Airlanders are so-called blimps. They do without an aluminum frame, they are, so to speak, gigantic balloons in an elongated shape. Also, the Airlanders are not intended for intercontinental travel like the Hindenburg, they are supposed to take over the regional traffic, because the Airlanders are much too slow for the long distance. So slowly that an ICE would race away from them.

Unfortunately very slowly

They are really suitable as an alternative to ferry traffic and for flights to otherwise inaccessible places. The company gives the route from Barcelona to the Balearic Islands as a possible route, the airships should be able to cover it in about four hours. CEO Tom Grundyder then also compares the Airlander with a “fast ferry”. He says: “This is not a luxury product, but a practical solution to the challenges of the climate crisis.” In addition to the climate aspect, the airships should also score points with their special travel experience. The first airship will then also go to the Swedish luxury travel company OceanSky Cruises, with which travel over the North Pole should be possible.

Originally, the airships were designed for the military. Blimps are used there because they can stay in the air for almost any length of time. In this field, however, they are now competing with drones, which can also take off for a long time when gliding. One advantage of the Airlander remains that an airship does not need a special airport. It can land on any flat surface with minimal installation required. An Airlander doesn’t make any noise either, only the rotors driven by electric motors hum softly. The airship could also land on a field in the city.

So far there is a prototype. During a test flight, he had an accident in 2016 when an overhead line was touched. The Airlander cannot experience a fiery ending like the “Hindenburg”. The cells are filled with helium and not with the explosive hydrogen.

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