The Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV 304 / Airlander 10 is a hybrid airship designed and manufactured by British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV). Comprising an airship with auxiliary wing and tail surfaces, it flies using both aerostatic and aerodynamic lift and is powered by four diesel engine-driven ducted propellers. The Airlander 10 has the distinction of being the largest aircraft flying today.
In its original form as the HAV 304, it was built for the United States Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) programme. The requirement was for a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle able to provide Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) support for ground troops.In 2012, the HAV 304 conducted its maiden flight at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in the United States. In 2013, the LEMV project, and thus development of the HAV 304, was cancelled by the US Army.
The HAV 304 Airlander 10 is a hybrid airship, achieving lift, and thereby flight, via both aerostatic and aerodynamic forces. Unlike most airship designs, it does not have a circular cross-section, having adopted an elliptical shape with a contoured and flattened hull. This shaping is deliberate so that it acts as a lifting body, contributing aerodynamic lift while the airship is in forward motion; generating up to half of the airship's lift in a similar manner to that of a conventional fixed-wing aeroplane.Buoyancy is also provided by helium contained within the envelope, the pressure from which maintains the airship's unique shape, between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the aircraft's weight is supported by the lighter-than-air helium
- Capacity: -10,000 kg (22,050 lb)
- Length: -92 m (301 ft 10 in)
- Wingspan: -43.5 m (142 ft 9 in)
- Height: -26 m (85 ft 4 in)
- Volume: -38,000 m3 (1,300,000 cu ft)
- Gross weight: -20,000 kg (44,092 lb)
- Powerplant: -4 × 4 litre V8 turbocharged diesel engines, 242 kW (325 hp) each
- Envelope: -38,000 cubic metres
- Engines: -four × 350 hp, 4 litre supercharged V8 diesel
- Cruising speed: -148 km/h (92 mph; 80 kn)
- Endurance: -5 days manned
- Service ceiling: -6,100 m (20,013 ft)
- Loiter speed: -20 knots (37 km/h)