Hybrid Air Vehicles revives the zeppelin with the Airlander 10 concept

A designer dirigible with horizon-to-horitzon views

Airships may seem to be anachronisms from the distant past, but Hybrid Air Vehicles in Great Britain is building a high-tech, super-capable, modern version dubbed the Airlander 10. Now, DesignQ has imagined a luxury interior concept for the Airlander — revealed at the recent Farnborough Air Show in Great Britain — that would be ideal for adventurers touring remote and spectacular destinations.

HAV’s Airlander 10 is more than 91m long, and carries a spacious stand-up cabin that measures 47 by  3m —bigger than most private jets. With plenty of space for luxury accommodations, along with floor-to-ceiling windows, the airship provides a travel experience not possible in any other way — similar to a cruise ship, but exploring the sky instead of the oceans. DesignQ, a boutique design studio based in London, worked on their luxury cabin concept for more than a year before its debut at Farnborough.

The Airlander 10 can carry 19 passengers on trips that last up to three days. The helium-filled airship can hover at any altitude for sightseeing, even as low as 6m above the ground, where the views are sure to be spectacular. The windows are the biggest anywhere in the world of aviation. Four turbocharged diesel engines drive the ship, and special ducts enable the crew to use vectored thrust to control the takeoffs and landings, reducing the need for handlers on the ground. No runways or airports needed — the huge ship can operate from any flat open space.

Passengers on Airlander will enjoy horizon-to-horizon views from the extensive Infinity Lounge. The Altitude Bar provides a congenial space to have drinks and relax, and a spacious dining area seats 18 guests. “This is luxury like you’ve never known it — with the ability to go anywhere in the world,” said Howard Guy, CEO of DesignQ. “My team exploited the opportunity that Airlander 10 presents; we had a huge space to create an experience that makes no compromises.”

Private en-suite bedrooms with huge windows ensure travelers will continue to enjoy horizon-to-horizon views 24 hours a day. HAV has survived its share of setbacks, suffering a couple of minor incidents that damaged the prototype. CEO Stephen McGlennan sees a bright future for lighter-than-air transport. “All around us, we see new challenges to provide services into remote places, provide airborne connectivity, and reduce our industry’s environmental impact,” McGlennan said at Farnborough. “The aerospace industry can’t solve these new challenges with variations on the same answers. With Airlander there is a way to do things differently – and better.”

Airlander 10


Sign up for our Newsletters

Stay up to date with our latest series