The world’s longest aircraft has just been unveiled in Britain’s biggest aircraft hangar, according to BBC Transport Correspondent Richard Westcott.
At first, you might mistake it for a giant airship – gas-filled balloon on top, pod slung underneath. But the unique, aerodynamic shape of the balloon – it looks as if a series of cigars have been sewn together – means it can also generate lift just like an aeroplane wing.
Among the project’s high-profile investors is BRUCE DICKINSON. He is one of those people who can’t stop achieving stuff. As if being the lead singer of one of the world’s most successful and enduring rock bands, IRON MAIDEN, was not enough, he is also an airline pilot, businessman, and is investing in this project.
“It’s a game changer, in terms of things we can have in the air and things we can do,” he says. “The airship has always been with us, it’s just been waiting for the technology to catch up.”
He wants to sell them and he’ll be very good at it. As we chat in the hangar, he goes through its credentials.
It is 70% greener than a cargo plane, he says. It doesn’t need a runway, just two crew. And it can plonk 50 tonnes anywhere in the world you like, which is 50 times more than a helicopter. He wants to drum up publicity with the kind of trip Richard Branson would dream up. A non-stop flight around the world – twice.
“It seizes my imagination. I want to get in this thing and fly it pole to pole,” says Dickinson. “We’ll fly over the Amazon at 20ft, over some of the world’s greatest cities and stream the whole thing on the internet.”
Read the full story at BBC News.