A couple of years ago, UK-based Hybrid Air Vehicles captivated the world when it unveiled the Airlander 10, a lighter-than-air airship designed as an alternative to airplanes and helicopters. Now, according to The Guardian, that first prototype won't take to the skies again, as the company says that it "does not plan to fly the prototype aircraft again."
The Airlander 10, nicknamed the "flying bum," was originally designed by the US Army in 2010 as a reconnaissance and surveillance platform (called the Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle), one that could remain aloft for weeks at a time. When budget cuts left the project with a questionable future, Hybrid Air Vehicles purchased the prototype and brought it to the UK, with the intent to convert it for the civilian marketplace, carrying cargo and passengers. Made of carbon fiber, kevlar, and mylar, the vehicle is filled with helium and uses diesel engines to take off, steer, and land.