Growing concern about the climate crisis has reached the travel industry, meaning that conscientious travelers hope to find better alternatives to airplane trips.
Previously, people chose to travel on a high-speed train.
However, the British company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) announced what could become an eco-friendly new option. It unveiled the final details of its novel airship, which significantly reduces its carbon footprint compared to conventional planes.
HAV’s Airlander 10 aircraft has been designed with seats for 100 people, but its most relevant feature is that it will operate with 90% fewer emissions than other aircraft.
In a press release, the company also said the airship would consume less fuel than a conventional plane thanks to a combination of “buoyant lift from helium, aerodynamic lift, and vectored thrust.”
A hybrid electric and jet fuel model would arrive in 2025, and the all-electric version would be available by 2030, HAV stated.
On Thursday, the company chief executive officer Tom Grundy told the media that the company had published a set of renderings of the cabin interior to show what flying in the Airlander 10 will feel like.
“As you can see, that’s a big, spacious, accessible cabin,” said Grundy, highlighting the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“It’s low noise, low vibration, very little in the way of any turbulence effect that people worry about on other airplanes,” he went on. The craft is equipped with an unpressurized cabin and has been built to withstand high and low temperatures, lightning strikes, and high winds, following the same regulatory standards as other airliners, the company said.
However, HAV does not plan to compete with long-haul flights or routes with high-speed rail connections, Grundy said.
Airlander’s trips will focus on pairing up cities a few hundred miles apart. Some examples are trips from Liverpool to Belfast, Stockholm to Oslo, and Seattle to Vancouver.
Grundy noted that the innovative aircraft would be useful in island nations like Indonesia or remote areas north of Canada.
The craft can travel at a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour. Therefore, a trip from Liverpool to Belfast would take five hours and 20 minutes, HAV stated. The Airlander has a significant advantage over other planes as “we’re not reliant on airport infrastructure, so we’re able to take off and land from any reasonably flat surface,” says Grundy.
“That includes water,” he added.