South Yorkshire invests in Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Airlander 10 production project

An investment package has been approved that will support Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) to produce its Airlander 10 aircraft in Doncaster.

 The original Airlander in the skies above its former base at Cardington, Bedfordshire. Image: Hybrid Air Vehicles
The original Airlander in the skies above its former base at Cardington, Bedfordshire. Image: Hybrid Air Vehicles

The £7m loan investment, approved by South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), paves the way for Hybrid Air Vehicles to invest up to £310m into its production programme, which includes investing in facilities, talent and supply chains in South Yorkshire.

Airlander 10 is a hybrid aircraft that relies on a combination of buoyant lift from helium like an airship, aerodynamic lift like an aeroplane and vectored thrust like a helicopter. The ultra-low emissions aircraft can carry 100 passengers or ten tonnes of freight.

HAV’s plans will create over 1,200 new high value and highly skilled jobs in new green technologies, and further jobs and opportunities from growth across the company’s supply chains.

By 2026, the company aims to deliver the first completed orders to its customers and build 12 new Airlander 10 aircraft per year in Doncaster thereafter.

In a statement, Coppard said: “As our neighbours across the Atlantic have proved, investing in the potential of green technologies will not only help us tackle the climate emergency, it will help us create high quality new jobs and grow a bigger, better economy which takes everyone with it.

“We have a world-class cluster of companies working at the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing and green technology, so I’m genuinely excited that we can support HAV in their ambitions to build a sustainable aviation cluster here in Doncaster.”

HAV’s partners across the region include Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Doncaster UTC.

HAV is progressing plans to build a flagship new production facility in Doncaster, which will include facilities for the assembly of new Airlander 10 aircraft, as well as testing and certification for the new aircraft. It plans to announce the specific site and unveil the design of its production facilities in the months ahead.

To maximise the potential of this programme, SYMCA, HAV and Doncaster Council will also work in partnership to develop the region’s skills, talent and supply chains, with the aim of creating a new green aerospace manufacturing cluster in Doncaster and South Yorkshire.

In June 2022, European regional airline Air Nostrum announced it would become HAV’s launch airline customer with an order of ten Airlander 10 aircraft.