Cookson Adventures is partnering with UK company Hybrid Air Vehicles to deliver low-carbon aerial expeditions aboard the forthcoming Airlander 10 airship. Jenny Southan reports
Globetrender has been reporting on the development of Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Airlander airship for some years and is excited to report that Cookson Adventures will be partnering with the company to introduce a new era of slow, low-carbon, long-distance air tours.
Cookson Adventures, a global leader in experiential travel, continues to push the boundaries on what’s possible in private luxury travel with its agreement with Hybrid Air Vehicles to charter its Airlander 10 airship.
The certification and development of this new type of aircraft will be one of the “most disruptive and innovative in the travel industry’s recent history”, says Cookson Adventures, which specialises in designing intricately sophisticated expeditions to the world’s most remote locations.
Working with Hybrid Air Vehicles since 2017, the expert team at Cookson Adventures has contributed towards the development and onboard guest experience of this revolutionary new aircraft, which will transform the way we travel.
Airlander 10 green technology
The Airlander 10 will be Hybrid Air Vehicles’ first production aircraft and is due to enter service from 2025. The airship will harness the “best capabilities from various proven aerospace technologies”, including airships, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
Airlander 10 will be able to stay airborne for up to five days at a time, is “exceptionally quiet”, and has a typical operating altitude of up to 10,000ft (much lower than commercial planes). It will be certified to fly in all weather conditions and will be able to take off and land from almost any flat surface.
By leveraging the buoyancy of helium, Airlander technology also requires significantly less fuel to operate than comparable conventional aircraft.
When operated on long-distance expeditions, Airlander will generate 75 per cent fewer emissions than other fixed-wing aircraft. In other applications, Airlander 10 will also be available in hybrid-electric and all-electric variants before 2030.
The explorer yacht of the skies
Airlander’s ability to cruise and land anywhere, whether it be an urban runway, an open desert, icecap or ocean, creates the opportunity to create luxury experiences “like no other”.
In a time of renewed appreciation and demand for slow travel, the journey on Airlander will become an experience in itself. Cookson Adventures says: “The opportunities to explore without a set agenda and be immersed deeper than ever before into different destinations are endless.”
The aircraft’s ability to cruise at just 25 knots opens up the possibility of aerial wildlife viewing and a “completely new perspective on our environment”. With expert guides on board, it will be possible to bring destinations to life in real-time as guests soar over herds of migrating animals in Africa, for example.
From the vantage point of a “beautifully designed and fully staffed cabin”, small groups of up to 16 guests will be able to enjoy uninhibited views from above, whilst travelling in the utmost style and comfort.
Henry Cookson, founder and chairman of Cookson Adventures, says: “Since I founded Cookson Adventures in 2009, we have built a reputation for pioneering world-first travel experiences and introducing innovative new ways to explore some of the most remote and pristine destinations on the planet.
“From the very start of this project four years ago, the incredible potential of this revolutionary new travel experience was clear for us to see. This relationship reflects how Cookson Adventures is always seeking out the extraordinary, as well as our continued commitment to promoting sustainable travel.
“We are excited to see the realisation of this project as we come closer to the launch date of this game- changing aircraft, especially after our team’s contribution to the evolution of the design.”
George Land, business development director of HAV, says: “We are pleased to welcome Cookson, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, to our portfolio of customers for Airlander 10. Their clientele and the experiences they can create are unique.”
Airship expeditions of tomorrow
One of the first airship expeditions will be a desert camp experience. Cookson Adventures says “the opportunity to explore destinations differently, an adventure to Oman soaring above its white sandy beaches and the undulating dunes of the Arabian Peninsula would be truly extraordinary”.
It says: “The journey from coast to desert will be seamlessly interspersed with exclusive experiences, ranging from diving in marine-rich waters to high-adrenaline dune buggy rides, before guests finally arrive in a remote desert location at an elegant luxury tented camp.”
Prices are yet to be revealed but Globetrender predicts that hotels and other travel companies will be desperate to collaborate.