Think long dwell ASW. Think long dwell ISR at sea and ashore. Think disaster response. Think resupply in places that have lost shore facilities and have limited airports. There is even more to ponder.
USN or even USCG? I'd love to have one to give to Pax River (det Lakehurst, natch) and some JOs, a cadre of enlisted personnel, a funding line, and have them come up with some uses.
The longest aircraft in the world is preparing for its first test flight in a few weeks' time.
The Airlander 10 is a cross between an airship and an aeroplane.
It generates lift aerostatically through being filled with helium, and aerodynamically thanks to its unique-looking wing shape.
Because it's heavier than air, the 20-ton craft can land without tethers on most surfaces, including water.
Hybrid Air Vehicles, the makers of the Airlander 10 and based in Bedford, anticipate commercial uses such as leisure cruises, persistent, airbone research and for cargo to hard-to-reach places.
It can carry up to 10 tons and could be fitted to transport 48 passengers, flying for five days continuously, cruising at 80 knots (92mph).
The Airlander 10 was originally developed from 2009 for the US Army, which abandoned the project.
Hybrid Air Vehicles has plans for a 50-ton version of the Airlander.