Longest Aircraft Airlander 10 To Offer Holiday Makers Luxury Expeditions

Longest Aircraft Airlander 10 To Offer Holiday Makers Luxury Expeditions

The world's longest aircraft is to offer holidaymakers "luxury expeditions" to destinations which cannot currently be reached by existing transport methods.

The part-plane, part-airship called Airlander 10 will feature en-suite bedrooms, fine dining and seating areas boasting "horizon-to-horizon views", new designs show.

Much of the plush cabins are covered in glass - including some of the floors - so passengers can take in the views from 16,000ft.

The £25m aircraft, which is 302ft long, 143ft wide and 85ft tall - is being developed by British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV).

HAV and Design Q unveiled the Airlander 10 passenger cabin at the Farnborough Airshow to demonstrate what is possible in luxury expeditionary tourism.

It claims Airlander 10 will be able to take off and land on "virtually any flat surface" and visit locations which cannot be reached by existing transport methods.

The aircraft will have no need for traditional infrastructure such as ports or airports, according to the company.

"Air travel has become very much about getting from A to B as quickly as possible. What we're offering is a way of making the journey a joy," HAV chief executive Stephen McGlennan said.

The company believes Airlander 10 could be used for other functions other than leisure trips, including surveillance, communications, delivering aid and search and rescue missions.

Built in 2012, it is named the Martha Gwyn after the company chairman's wife but has become popularly known as "the flying bum" due to its shape.

A spokesperson for HAV said: "Passengers on Airlander will have luxurious private en-suite bedrooms and will be able to enjoy horizon-to-horizon views in the aircraft's extensive Infinity Lounge.

"The Altitude Bar will offer drinks with the ultimate view, while 18 guests can enjoy fine dining in the skies."

Used by the US army until 2016, it has been redesigned for domestic use and the 150ft-long cabin will accommodate up to 18 passengers and crew members for a three-day expedition.

Its maximum speed is around 91mph - with the tourism-focused, eco-friendly aircraft being a leisurely voyage of the skies in comparison to the Airbus A380's cruising speed of 560mph.

HAV say Airlander 10's design is practical and ready to go into production - with it being possible to customise it to individual customer requests.

The aircraft's cockpit was severely damaged in August 2016 when it nose-dived and crashed during a test flight.

It also collapsed in November last year after coming loose from its moorings - with both incidents occurring at its former base at Cardington Airfield, Bedfordshire.

By Lucia Binding, Sky News

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