World’s Largest Hybrid Airplane Airlander 10

The largest airplane in the world has been recently presented to the public. On August 6, 4 a.m., the hybrid airplane, Airlander 10, which was originally developed for the US Army, was taken out of the hangar at Cardington British-based Air Force. After a short series of ground tests, it was about to make its first flight.


Airlander 10 has recently undergone a standard set of tests and has been approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for its first test flight. A crowd of 50 people watched the 92-meter long and 43.5-meter high giant being taken out of the hangar. It took the ground crew of 10 people five minutes to bring the aircraft out of the hangar and another fifteen minutes to get to one of the two specially constructed mooring masts. It is worth noting that while moored on earth, Airlander 10 can withstand winds up to 85 knots (157 km/h).


Airlander 10 was conceived as part of the US Army project to build LEMV (unmanned airship designed for surveillance and reconnaissance). The army intended to create an inexpensive aircraft with a vertical takeoff and hovering helicopter capabilities, combined with the endurance and carrying capacity of a conventional aircraft.

It first went aloft in the United States in 2012, and despite demonstrating the possibility of a five-day manned flight and the ability to carry a working load of 10,000 kg at a height of 6100 m and a speed of 20-80 knots (from 37 to 148 km/h), the project was canceled in 2013 due to technical and operational problems. The aircraft was then disassembled and sent to England, where it was re-assembled and re-designed for civilian use.

Airlander 10 is called a hybrid plane due to the fact its construction uses three different principles of aeronautics: airplane, helicopter and hot air balloon. The total volume of the Airlander 10 helium-filled container is about 38,000 cubic meters.