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Rediff.com  » Business » This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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

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

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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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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

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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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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

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

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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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

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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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel

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

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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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel


Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles

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

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This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel


Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles

The aircraft was first developed for the American government as a surveillance craft but was affected by cutbacks to the defence budget.

Tags: 1

This football field-sized airship can revolutionise travel


Photographs: Courtesy, Hybrid Air Vehicles

The craft has been designed to be heavier than air, so that it doesn't need people to hold ropes to land it.

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