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[英伦广角] 2016-03-12 英国打造全球最大飞行器即将试飞

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[Homework]2016-03-12 英国打造全球最大飞行器即将试飞

In a giant hanger in Bedford, the largest aircraft in the world is having some finishing touches, this wing is a fresh addition, next up another engine, this is the Airlander 10, the 92-meter long aircraft will have its first test flight in just a few weeks. It's the combination of more than 40 years of research, but whatever you do, don't call it an airship.


It's not an airship, it's a mix between an airplane and an airship with a little bit of helicopter thrown in, it uses the absolute latest materials, it's got the latest fly by night technology and the latest avionics on it and the latest computer software, it's very much an aircraft for the 21st century.


The Airlander was originally developed for the US military as a surveillance craft, this was a successful test flight, but the department of defense abandoned the idea, but hybrid air vehicles reworked the plane as a commercial venture. It'll fly for five days cruising at 80 knots at 20,000 feet, and it could carry 48 passengers, unlike traditional airships, the Airlander has no internal structure, the complete region through from being filled with helium adjust above atmospheric pressure. This hanger is where British airships three times as long as the Airlanders were built in the 20s and 30s, the H disaster and the advent of faster airplanes made airships fall out of fashion.


The Airlander is a nice example of how technologies are renewing themselves, the airship is an idea a century old going back to the aeroplane, but new techniques like computer aided design and engineering materials give you this, it's a giant aircraft, but it's green, it's quiet, it can carry a lot, and it can go a lot further than other aircrafts.


Because the Airlander can take off and land on most surfaces including water, and doesn't need a runway, the company thinks it will be useful for cargo in hard-to-reach places, for leisure cruises and for research.


We are not talking about a mass market products here, we are talking about something highly specialist, it will be very useful for those who need it, but the number of companies and organizations that are going to need something as specialist as this are not large in number.


There is no escaping the fact that the Airlander 10 does look rather bottom like, but the future of aviation comes in all shapes and sizes.


                                                   
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