The Spanish airline Air Nostrum has ordered ten hybrid airships Airlander 10 from the British company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), informs CNN television. The machines, which are to increase the environmental friendliness of air transport, will be delivered in 2026.
Airships with a capacity to carry 100 passengers they will be filled with helium gas and with electric propulsion they can fly 300 to 400 kilometers on a single charge. However, compared to commercial aircraft moving at speeds of over 800 km / h, they will be significantly slower – their “maximum” should be about 130 km / h.
Airships as a means of transport
The agreement was concluded after six months of “thorough studies and modeling” of routes within Spain. According to the manufacturer, Airlander could be used on other short routes, such as from Liverpool to Belfast (270 km), from Seattle to Vancouver (205 km) or from Oslo to Stockholm (420 km). The airship, which has already passed a series of flight tests, will fly at a maximum altitude of 20,000 feet (approximately 6.1 km).
Although it lacks speed, Airlander requires only minimal landing infrastructure, so it could land closer to city centers, which would allow passengers to save some time on their way to the airport. The main attraction will probably be low carbon footprintHowever, the manufacturer also aims to bring luxury and leisure back to air travel.
The interior of the airship has a spacious arrangement of seats 1-2-1, while some seats are oriented against each other. The transparent walls allow an impressive view outside of the landscape below. Airships should have less than a tenth of a CO2 emission per passenger compared to jet aircraft. The machines will be manufactured in South Yorkshire, bringing 1,800 jobs.
The argument is decimal emissions
Air Nostrum President Carlos Bertomeu said the airships would help his company meet the European Union’s “Fit for 55” goals of reduction of emissions by at least 55% by 2030. “Agreements like this are a very effective way of achieving the decarbonisation goals set out in the Fit for 55 legislative initiative.” he said.
The airlines currently operating as a franchise for Iberia have not specified which routes Airlander will operate on. One of the expected routes could lead from Barcelona to the popular tourist resort of Palma de Mallorca, while the flight will take about four and a half hours.
Hybrid Air Vehicles CEO Tom Grundy said: “Airlander is designed to ensure a better future for sustainable air services, enable the emergence of new transport networks and provide our customers with opportunities for rapid growth. Our partnership with the Air Nostrum Group, the first airline to use Airlander 10, is leading to this future. ”