Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About the Airlander!

Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About the Airlander!


Facts You Need to Know About the Airlander! Hello people, how often do you use an automobile
to commute? Now that was a silly question! There is a limit as to how much your feet
can take you across globe. Automobiles were created out of necessity
and nothing has changed because today we can’t imagine our life without them! You need to get your groceries from two blocks
away, you get your bike whizzing past the pedestrians. Off to work? You get your car throttling on the 4 lane! And in case you don’t own a vehicle, you
get on a bus or take the tube! In short, we are dependent on land transport
as much as on food, though we should be walking more often to burn the excess calories! Life would have been tough had the primitive
dude not invented the round tire, we gotta thank the cave man! Land traveling was cool back then because
people didn’t travel much for fear of falling off earth. Well, that was the time of flat earth believers! But with time our horizon widened and we travelled
far to prove that the earth was round! We aren’t giving credits to anyone here
because there have been plenty of smart minds to reach this conclusion in their own ways. The point is that with more traveling we needed
more vehicles, like the boat and the aircraft. There is no denying the importance of these
babies. Like come on long distance relationships would
have stayed on telephone and letters if not for aircrafts! Now that we have established that aircrafts
were a necessary discovery, shall we talk about the hybrid airships? Uhmm, actually we are more interested in just
one of them and that is the Airlander 10! You’ve heard about this one, right? Built by British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles
(HAV), the Airlander 10 is a helium airship that is powered by four diesel engine-driven
ducted propellers. It has a rather interesting past because well,
it was originally built for the United States Army’s Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle
(LEMV) program. In 2013, the project was cancelled by the
US Army for reasons best known to them! Though they stated that the cancellation was
a result of performance and technical challenges in addition to resource constraints. Anyway, HAV acquired the airship for $301,000
and then began the modification process that would make it suitable for civilian use. That was a cool move! With an overall length of 91 meters, this
airship is longer than any contemporary rivals. Often dubbed as the longest aircraft, the
Airlander 10 is shorter than many mid-20th century airships. The “largest-ever” non-rigid airship, the
U.S. Navy’s ZPG-3W 1950s-era military airborne early warning airship, was longer at 123 m
and larger with a 42,450-cubic-metre envelope capacity. The HAV 304 prototype on the other hand is
a helium-filled airship with twin conjoined hulls having a total internal capacity of
38,000 cubic meter! But after the design was refurbished and modified,
the aircraft was no longer an example of the HAV 304 design, having been rebuilt into the
Airlander 10 prototype instead. This new aircraft is designed primarily for
civilian use, however it can, like the HAV 304, be fitted for a wide variety of defense
roles! The Airlander 10 is a hybrid airship that
achieves its flight via both aerostatic and aerodynamic forces. Unlike most airship designs that have a circular
cross section, this one has an elliptical shape with a flattened hull! You think this shape is a mistake? Nope, it was deliberate so that it acts as
a lifting body, contributing aerodynamic lift while the airship is in forward motion. Buoyancy is also provided by helium contained
within the envelope, the pressure from which maintains the airship’s unique shape, between
60 percent and 80 percent of the aircraft’s weight is supported by the lighter-than-air
helium. Dude, the airship packs about a million cubic
meter of Helium in it to support its huge size in air! Interesting, right? There’s more. The Airlander 10 is equipped with a set of
pneumatic skids that are designed to let the airship land and take off from a wide variety
of terrain, as well as from water. What, really? It all sounds otherworldly already but wait
till to hear it till the end! What would be your reaction if we told you
that the Airlander can stay aloft for five days while crewed, and over two weeks while
unmanned? Your shocked expressions say it all! Well people, this had to be done because journeys
in this airship take longer due to its slow speed. If you want to reach somewhere through the
Airlander 10, you need to be airborne for longer and if you come down for refueling
often, you can expect to reach your destination in a couple of weeks! What do you think is the biggest threat to
this airship? Adverse weather conditions, yes high winds
or thunderstorms could buffet the craft. Such conditions make ground operations tough
to execute but it is not impossible. According to HAV chief test pilot David Burns,
the danger from missiles was relatively low as they can pass through the airship without
forcing it down. The skin is reportedly capable of handling
small arms fire and other causes of tears due a level of built-in redundancy and the
relatively-low pressure difference between the inside and outside of the hull. Seems like we are pretty safe inside this
“helium balloon”! Let’s talk about the Airlander’s propulsion,
shall we? The airship is powered by a total of four
Thielert Centurion 325 horsepower V8 diesel engine which drive sets of three-bladed ducted
propellers to provide the thrust for both flight and maneuvering. Each engine is furnished with a 67 horsepower
generator, which provides electrical power for the airship and its mission systems. The assembly for each of the side-mounted
engines can be pivoted 20 degrees in either direction, vectoring the thrust to provide
flight control, particularly during landing and taking off; the rear-mounted engines are
fixed. While cruising at altitude, propulsion can
be switched to a more efficient electric drive fed from the airship’s central generator. Due to its hybrid approach, fuel can be expended
without entering a state of positive buoyancy, a weakness of conventional airships. Now that’s something interesting! How much money do you think went into the
project after the deflated Airlander was sent to HAV? The project received both UK and EU funding
to support the airship’s further development, totaling £7 million by March 2016. Crowd-funding from members of the general
public also raised £2.1 million. Woah, that’s big money dude! It was worth it because when on 21 March 2016
the fully assembled Airlander 10 was publicly unveiled, HAV announced that the type would
be offered for both civil and military use in the future. Also, the Airlander 10 is the prototype for
Airlander 50, an even larger airship. Wow! The first flight of the airship that took
off on 17 August 2016 went well but at the end of its second test flight on 24 August
2016, the airship’s mooring rope became entangled in wires and the nose hit the ground, damaging
the cockpit. Further flights went by well but on 18 November,
2017 the airship broke free from its moorings in a high wind, automatically pulling a safety
rip panel so that it deflated and fell to the ground. Nobody was on board but two people received
minor injuries. Recently it was announced that sufficient
data has been gathered and hence the airship will be retired. The company is planning to manufacture a batch
of certified, production standard Airlander 10 hybrid airships. Let’s where these plans end up! What do you think about the design and working
of Airlander 10? Tell us in the comment section below. Subscribe to our channel if you liked this
video. And while you’re here, check out our other
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and Instagram. Thanks for watching.

Eugene Islam

6 thoughts on “Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About the Airlander!

  1. My dad was very excited about this airship and talked about it a lot in the last couple of years of his life (he died just over a year ago at the age of 94). He was sure that this ship would help take many lorries off the roads, and that the ship could land anywhere, and would be ideally suited to delivering to and from the Highlands and Islands. I hear that it is now going to be a luxury tourist experience. Good luck with that but don’t forget the cargo.

  2. Presenting these 'facts' as if your audience are imbeciles is a great way of losing your audience. I gave up after 4:30 so that I could watch paint dry.

  3. What are you rambling about?! I'm not five years old. Never returning to this channel.

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