Airlander parent company launches student STEM challenge

Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), the company behind the Airlander airship, has announced its involvement in a new STEM competition.

Mark Robinson, head of Content and Curriculum at The Learning Partnership, left, and HAV’s Henry Williams, Projects and Events manager

HAV will be the engineering partner for The Learning Partnership’s newest STEM in schools competition, Navigate to the Line. Best known for their Race to the Line competition, The Learning Partnership develops competitions to help meet STEM curriculum objectives while building interest in careers.

The new competition will ask students to design a remote-controlled, micro:bit-enabled lighter-than-air aircraft. HAV has been involved in developing the competition and will continue to support The Learning Partnership with content designed to bring a variety of scientific principles to life. With the help of their teachers, students will explore buoyancy and the use of vectored thrust, both key parts of what makes Airlander a hybrid aircraft. Navigate to the Line will bring students’ skills together to take on a challenge inspired by Airlander’s capabilities and engage them with STEM subjects.  

“Encouraging students to consider STEM career paths is just another way we’re bringing Rethink the Skies to life across our business, and it is a goal HAV shares with The Learning Partnership,” said Tom Grundy, one of HAV’s executive directors. “We look forward to seeing how the competition develops.”


Airlander10, Hybrid Air Vehicles’ 92m long airship, is the world’s longest aircraft. The airship is capable of take off and landing from virtually any flat surface, making it suitable for a range of roles such as surveillance, search & rescue and expeditionary tourism. After making its maiden flight in August 2016, HAV said the Airlander project could support up to 400 new aerospace jobs, with 80 per cent of the aircraft’s supply chain based in the UK.