Hybrid Air Vehicles, a UK-based developer of sustainable aircraft technologies, is making progress towards the launch of its Airlander 10, which it hopes will be the first large zero-carbon regional aircraft delivered to market.

To that end, the company recently announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the science and technology company Dassault Systèmes, and TriMech, a global provider of engineering and design solutions.

The collaboration aims to advance the products, processes and people needed to accelerate the transition to low-carbon aviation.

CEO Tom Grundy spoke to FINN to give an update on the Airlander project, the tie-up with Dassault Systèmes and TriMech, and work being done to increase public acceptance of this form of air travel.

FINN: What milestones has HAV marked in the last 6 months?

Tom Grundy: In the last six months, Hybrid Air Vehicles has celebrated milestones across multiple sectors and applications. Air Nostrum Group, the launch passenger airline for Airlander 10 has doubled its reservation to 20 aircraft.

Grands Espaces, a leader in unique exploration experienced, announced a reservation agreement for an Airlander 10 aircraft to establish new sustainable tourism opportunities.

We also announced important MoU agreements with renowned leaders in our sector, like BAE Systems and Dassault Systèmes. Working with the UKRI-funded SATE consortium, which includes HITRANS, a feasibility study confirmed that Airlander 10 can transform low carbon transport and better connect the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Throughout the sector, we see significant and growing demand for new solutions for low carbon aviation.

What do you have in the pipeline for the next 6 months in the lead-up to Farnborough Airshow?

We’re excited about our plans for the coming months, as we progress our production and certification programme for Airlander 10 toward entry into service from 2028.

Last year, we announced a landmark partnership with the Mayor of South Yorkshire, the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Doncaster City Council to make this a reality, which we expect to advance throughout 2024.

We’ll be making further announcements in the coming weeks and months about our path to delivering Airlander 10 into service.

What impact will the MoU with Dassault and TriMech have on the timeline for the Airlander programme?

Hybrid Air Vehicles will integrate Dassault Systèmes’ best-in-class 3DEXPERIENCE platform into our business.

With its ability to model through-life using the latest in virtual twin experiences, 3DEXPERIENCE enables us to ensure Airlander is developed, manufactured, and operated in an efficient and sustainable manner, whilst preparing for hydrogen-fuelled, zero emissions flight.

3DEXPERIENCE will support the development and production of Airlander within our planned timeframes.

What work have you done to assess public willingness to fly in an airship?

We see huge enthusiasm for the new types of low carbon services Airlander 10 makes possible, and its capacity to solve modern transport challenges excites and inspires. Airlander will be fully certified by the CAA before it begins commercial service, like any aircraft.

The experience onboard Airlander will be unlike that of any other aircraft, and we have seen significant customer momentum for consumer-focused flights, like Air Nostrum Group’s plans for 100-seat passenger mobility, and Grands Espaces’ plans to deliver entirely new opportunities for sustainable tourism and exploration.
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