Airlander 10 'the flying bum' is the new thing in luxury travel

Ever wanted to travel the world on a giant balloon with open-air views? Here's a glimpse of the largest airship that can land in some of the world's most exotic locations.

The part-plane, part-airship Airlander 10 will offer en-suite bedrooms, fine dining and seating areas boasting "horizon-to-horizon views". The airship can accommodate up to 18 passengers and one crew member at a time.

The aircraft, currently the world's largest aircraft, has been designed by British aerospace firm Hybrid Air Vehicles and automotive and aviation design consultancy Design Q and is worth $32.89 million.
First developed in 2012 as a surveillance aircraft for the US Army, the Airlander 10 returned to the UK in late 2013 when the Army cancelled the airship programme. Hybrid is now developing the Airlander for a variety of civilian uses including freight, advertising and luxury passenger transport.
 

Airlander 10 is also a hyper-efficient aircraft capable of flying for weeks at a time. The company claims it will be able to take off and land on "virtually any flat surface" without the need for traditional infrastructure such as ports or airports. The ship can also land virtually anywhere, including in desert sand, ice, and water.

The aircraft is 92 m long, making it about 18.2 m longer than the world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, which spans nearly 73.1 m.  But it is certainly not as fast. The Airlander's top speed is just 146.4 kmh compared to the A380's cruising speed of 901 kmh.

The ship will feature en-suite bedrooms, an Infinity Lounge with both glass ceilings on the floor and roof, and an Altitude Bar for fine dining and drinks.

The most exciting feature of the interior design is the glass flooring, which will allow passengers to take in the horizon-to-horizon view from 16,000 feet.
 

The company says the aircraft can open up opportunities for 'luxury expeditions' to locations that can't be reached by existing transportation methods.

The Airlander was chosen as an ideal vehicle for high-end, luxury tourism due to its unique ability to stay in the air for up to five days at a time in virtual silence.
The ship's team has signed an agreement with luxury travel agency Henry Cookson Adventures to be the first to trial an expeditionary journey on the new craft.

The world's largest aircraft had some safety issues. In 2016, the giant airship crashed into a telegraph pole and nosedived on its second test flight. In 2017, Airlander 10 collapsed before take-off less than 24-hours after a successful test flight. Two people suffered minor injuries.
Following that, the giant airship has completed six successful test flights, but it will need to complete a total of 200 incident-free hours in the sky before it is allowed to take on commercial passengers.