Bruce Dickinson Wants To Bring Food To Starving Children With The World’s Largest Aircraft


Bruce Dickinson is quickly topping my do-no-wrong list. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s real. The dude’s a responsible jet salesman who rescues endangered turtles, helps children in need, makes beer, and still has time to beat cancer that he publicly claims came from eating too much vagina.

So what does Bruce do in his spare time? Why, fund the creation of the world’s largest aircraft, of course.

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Dickinson outlined his ambitions for Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Airlander 10. The ship is supposed to be able to carry twenty tons of cargo, and can stay airborne for three fucking weeks. Apparently, Dickinson has invested approximately £250,000 ($360,000) into the project.

Here’s how Bruce describes it:

“You want to put a hospital into Africa? You put the whole hospital in the inside of this—whoosh. Start the generator. ‘Here’s your hospital, buddy!’ Job done. You know? You can just plunk the vehicle straight down on the farm, load it with fifty tons of green beans or whatever, and twenty-four hours later you land right next door to the processing plant. It’s a global conveyor belt. And water! With these vehicles, you could drop off a twenty-ton slab of water that is clean, drinkable, to an African village. It’s astonishing what you can do that you just can’t do with anything else. Shit, you can do that with it? Wow, you can do that with it? Seriously fantastic!”

Awesome, right? By the way, check out how dryly and clinically The New Yorker confronts Iron Maiden:

Clean-shaven, with dimples and loosely cropped silver hair, Dickinson is better known to a certain fraction of the world as the lead singer of the heavy-metal band Iron Maiden. He is also a jet-rated pilot who flies the band’s 747, Ed Force One, during world tours, and he is a co-owner of Cardiff Aviation, an aircraft-maintenance facility and pilot-training company in Wales. When we spoke, we were standing in front of the Airlander, which was parked in its hangar, at Royal Air Force Cardington, where it was being washed by a man on a crane shooting a water jet. “It’s romantic,” Dickinson said. “It’s this big floating helpful giant up there. It’s your mother’s arms holding you.”

First thing’s first, what style guide has heavy metal hyphenated in it? Because guys, look, this “certain fraction of the world” doesn’t hyphenate. We just say “heavy metal,” or “metal.” Only stuffy academic papers and articles do that. It’s weird.

Second, holy shit, Bruce Dickinson wants to use giant floating airships to bring food and water to impoverished peoples. He is literally trying to save the world with massive sci-fi technology. Why aren’t we electing him president?

Third, how endearing is it that Dickinson finds this shit romantic? Definitely read the whole piece. Later, he talks about how building airships gives people something to dream. This is how it’s done, guys. This is how you be the best metal frontman in the fucking world.

Anyway, I’d be excited to see Dickinson’s funding and passion come to fruition someday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Airlander will be eventually used to drop twenty tons of explosive jelly onto America’s enemies, but still, it’d be cool to look at.

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