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Airlander strikes deal for tourism partnership

Tour operator will trial air ship for luxury adventure excursions
Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Airlander 10 will be used by Henry Cookson Adventures in a pilot project to test its use in a luxury expedition. (HAV photo)

British firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has struck a deal to trial its Airlander 10 airship in a tourism pilot project.

On Oct. 26, the company announced that British firm Henry Cookson Adventures (HCA), which creates luxury, tailored adventures for travellers, would trial an expeditionary trip in 2018 “as a precursor to Airlander’s use in the luxury travel and adventure sector.”

Henry Cook Adventures would be the first excursion company to test the Airlander. HAV said it anticipates the airship will “revolutionize ultra-high-end travel,” and said it was working alongside a team of scientists and engineers to ready the ship for launch.

“On completion of the trial flight in 2018, HCA ultimately plans to take the type-certified Airlander 10 to a range of destinations at client request, experiencing landscapes that vary as diversely as the North Pole, Bolivian Salt Pans and Namib Desert,” HAV said in a release.

“By collaborating with leading scientists, explorers and conservationists, HCA is able to deliver often inaccessible experiences to clients, sharing hidden corners of the world with a select few and promising genuine next-level travel.

HAV’s Airlander takes the characteristics of fixed-wing aircraft combined with lighter-than-air technology to create an aircraft that is able to stay in the air for up to five days at a time and carry large payloads.

It can land and take off in desert, ice, water, or open fields in a short distance; produces less pollution and noise; and has lower operating costs and maintenance than traditional aircraft.

Other predicted uses for the Airlander include surveillance, search and communications aspects, and passenger and cargo-carrying.