Hybrid Air Vehicles — addressing humanitarian needs with lighter-than-air transport

By Joseph Dawson

As part of DFID’s Frontier Technology Livestreaming programme launch on 1st November, we are delighted to host Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), a British manufacturer of hybrid airships.

HAV’s Airlander is a frontier technology pioneering the resurrection of lighter-than-air transport. The Airlander uses a helium filled shell, made partly from the stronger-than-steel, super light ‘Vectran’, combined with aerodynamics borrowed from helicopters and jet wings, to generate enough lift to carry a 10 tonne payload. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments, stay airborne for up to 5 days for manned flights, and up to 20 days for unmanned flights.

These characteristics make the Airlander an extremely powerful and versatile tool in disaster relief where there is limited or badly damaged infrastructure on the ground. As well as providing effective medivac transportation, the Airlander can be configured to act as a ‘flying hospital’ with its own power and surgical facilities. It could be used as a stable telecommunications platform to restore communications in devastated areas. Without the need for airports or railheads, the Airlander can rapidly deliver rescue teams, generators, bulldozers, food and water and all nature of emergency supplies while evacuating the wounded and homeless on the outbound legs.

Don’t miss this video to learn more about how the Airlander technology is frontier given its high efficiency and flexibility, using low fuel and being able to travel on across any kind of flat terrain and water in remote places.

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