April 10 - Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has received a EUR2.5 million (USD2.7 million) EU grant, furthering its campaign to raise the required funds to bring its Airlander 10 airship to flight.

HAV received the funding through the EU's Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge that aims to bolster European transport, specifically that which is resource-efficient, climate and environmentally friendly, and safe.

The funding will facilitate the development of a regulatory framework for EASA certification of hybrid airships so that it will be certified to a civil standard and away from the military specification that it was built to.

The surveillance and cargo Airlander is derived from a US Army requirement for a surveillance airship that was subsequently cancelled after its first test flight in the USA.

The vehicle programme was cancelled in 2013, but HAV bought the aircraft back from the army for USD301,000. It is now working to take it towards a first UK flight, while developing it to both a military and civil specification for different requirements.

Other funding for the project has included a share of some GBP297 million (USD440 million) that the UK government's Regional Growth Fund awarded to 63 projects in February.

HAV has also launched a crowd-sourcing effort through Crowdcube to raise GBP2 million (USD2.9 million), GBP330,000 (USD483,000) of which has been raised to date. The effort is due to close in mid-May.