IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson has narrated a 75-second animated video, "Why The World Needs Airlander", released in conjunction with Hybrid Air Vehicles' newly launched £2 million crowdfunding campaign.
Dickinson is one of the investors involved in unveiling the world's largest aircraft. The Hybrid Air Vehicle (HAV), which has been named Airlander, can stay airborne for up to three weeks and will be vital in delivering several tons of humanitarian aid.
As innovators themselves, Hybrid Air Vehicles, the developers of the Airlander aircraft, are tapping into this new and growing market to satisfy demand from its supporters. In February, HAV secured a Government grant of up to £3.4 million through the Regional Growth Fund (subject to due diligence). In order to match fund this, HAV are using Crowdcube's platform to raise £2 million, with a potential to over fund should there be demand.
The money will be used for returning the Airlander to flight, hence the campaign hashtag, #PrepareForTakeOff.
The equity-based crowdfunding market was worth over £100 million in the U.K. last year, up by over 200% year-on-year. It dominates finance headlines as the innovative model through which new and established entrepreneurial businesses can raise capital.
Hybrid Air Vehicles' existing shareholders include PLC chairmen, business angels and professional investors. The company currently has around 150 shareholders who collectively have invested over £9 million in the company since its formation in 2007. HAV have benefited from £60 million of investment in the aircraft from the U.S. government and a total of over £5 million of U.K. government grants. This crowdfunding equity raise values the company at £36 million after the fundraising has closed.
HAV's CEO, Stephen McGlennan, said: "We are the market leaders of an independently validated $50 billion market. We're offering a chance for investors to jump on board and be part of our journey as we prepare for take-off."
Through the crowdfunding campaign, HAV are sharing the summary of a new independent market summary, which shows the market for this new type of aircraft is worth $50 billion over the next 20 years. The company's business plan expects a valuation of the company of between £300-500 million within 5 years, and in this process 1,800 new jobs will be created in the U.K.
HAV's finance director, Hwfa Gwyn, said: "Our technology captures peoples imagination, as evidenced by the hundreds of media articles published on HAV in the last 12 months. As a result of this, the huge market potential and financial forecast, we expect to see strong interest in the offering."
Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally friendly. They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land vertically and operate from a range of remote environments including water, desert, ice and fields.
HAV launch two amazing films today to help explain why the Airlander was created in animation form, and to show investors the personalities who are creating this amazing aircraft. The investor video includes an amazing fly-through the Cardington Hangars and under the Airlander itself. HAV also can announce an all-new web site today containing never-before released images.
Local enthusiast Trevor Monk, who lives a stone throw from the huge Cardington Hangars where Hybrid Air Vehicles is based, said: "Having grown up in Cardington and following the HAV team's development of the Airlander, I can honestly say that lighter-than-air is back home. As a child I was fascinated with airships and Cardington; as an adult, that same excited feeling you get when you see a ship and the sheds is still there. Exciting times lay ahead. I saw an airship at Cardington for the first time when I was 3, it is my earliest memory, now many years later I am very honoured to say I will see the next step in their evolution."
Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilize new aerospace technology that combines the best of the characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport.
The Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights .
For more information, visit www.hybridairvehicles.com.
Bruce recently underwent a seven-week course of chemotherapy and radiology to treat a small cancerous tumor.