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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

Last updated on: March 18, 2014 13:31 IST

This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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HAV 304 is the largest aircraft in the world and it can fly, without refuelling, for up to 21 days.

Heavier than air, the aircraft is designed for unmanned, long-endurance, medium-altitude intelligence operations. The vehicle can also be used for surveillance.

UK’s Telegraph newspaper describes it as ‘part plane, airship and helicopter’.

The maker of this aircraft, Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd, has huge plans for its future. They plan to make HAV 304 capable of taking off from any surface including desert, water and ice.

Being an environmentally friendly, the developers feel feel that these aircraft can replace helicopters for many purposes.

In fact, the company is even thinking of making luxury hybrids of these with ‘infinity pools stretching across hundreds of feet’, according to the Telegraph.

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Image: HAV 304.
Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles

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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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The HAV 304 is the world's largest aircraft, measuring 302ft (92m) long. Its length means it is about 60ft longer than a Boeing 747.

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Image: HAV 304.
Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles
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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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It measures 143ft (43.5m) in width and 85ft (26m) in height.

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Image: HAV 304.
Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles
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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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It can stay airborne for 21 days unmanned (five days manned) and reach altitudes of up to 20,000 ft (6,100m).

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Image: HAV 304.
Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles
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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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The aircraft weighs about 22,050 lbs (10,000kg) when fully inflated.

The craft is capable of reaching speeds of 100mph.

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Image: HAV 304.
Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles
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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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No runway is required for the craft to take off, and just a crew of two is needed.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles
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The aircraft was first developed for the American government as a surveillance craft but was affected by cutbacks to the defence budget.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles
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The craft has been designed to be heavier than air, so that it doesn't need people to hold ropes to land it.


Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles
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