BRITISH holidaymakers jetting off to Spain’s most popular islands will be able to do so onboard a 300ft long “Flying Bum” airship by 2026.
The Airlander 10 – nicknamed the “Flying Bum” due to its distinctive shape – are helium airships that flying using both aerostatic and aerodynamic lift with the added power of diesel-engine propellers.
Currently being built by the British manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicle (HAV), the elliptical-shaped airships are expected to be ready for 2026.
The Airlander 10 is billed as the world’s largest aircraft that will be the length of a football pitch and the height of six double-decker buses.
Designs for the airship show a new level of luxury that holidaymakers will be able to travel in.
It features a spacious passenger cabin suspended beneath an aerodynamic, helium-filled balloon.
The part-plane, part-airship are predicted to cost £40million-a-piece and boast that they can land on “virtually any surface”.
They should be able to take-off from either a field or water without the need for traditional infrastructure such as ports or airports – making them ideal for the short-haul Spanish flights to its popular islands.
Today, it was announced that the Air Nostrum airline group will be doubling their order of Airlander 10s to create a fleet of 20 to expand its push into the Med, focusing on the Balearic islands.
The vice president of Air Nostrum, Miguel Ángel Falcón said that Airlander 10’s “very low fuel consumption [and] high operational versatility… in an environment of great passenger comfort” makes them “an excellent aircraft for short flights”.
Air Nostrum already has 10 examples of the hybrid airship that were originally built for the US military – but for for the last decade have been re-assembled and designed for civilian use in the UK.
At current, the company calculates that a passenger’s individual carbon footprint for a flight between Barcelona and Majorca would be 4.5kg on an Airlander 10 versus 53kg taking the same trip on a traditional aeroplane.
And HAV also claims that it will have a fully electric version available by 2030.
The latest version of the Airlander 10 is capable of staying in the air for five days straight while manned, and over two weeks while unmanned.
“It is HAV’s plan to produce at least 12 aircraft per year,” said the company.
It comes as Majorca plans to reconsider its controversial limit on the number of cruise ships which can visit the island and its plan to “cap” the number of tourists.
The Balearic government agreed last year to only allow three big liners a day at the port in Palma in a bid to cut congestion and visitor numbers – but this could very soon change.
Meanwhile, The Sun spoke to a travel expert about the crazy European holiday rules that could cost your family hundreds.