Norfolk filmmaker’s project charts a whole new chapter in aviation

Norfolk filmmaker Dean Arnett. Picture: SUPPLIED

Norfolk filmmaker Dean Arnett. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

It has taken years of research and planning.

The Duke of Kent (left), during a tour of the Airlander 10 airship at Cardington sheds in Bedford, p

The Duke of Kent (left), during a tour of the Airlander 10 airship at Cardington sheds in Bedford, prior to officially naming the airship the Martha Gwyn. Photo: PRESS ASSOCIATION. - Credit: PA

But behind the scenes of a whole new chapter in aviation, a Norfolk filmmaker has been working on a documentary about the Airlander hybrid airship.

Dean Arnett, formerly with the BBC, has been filming a documentary project about the airship, which is being built by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) at the Cardington Hangars in Bedfordshire.

Mr Arnett, of Chedgrave, has been tracking the story of the biggest flying object in the world for the last 15 years and filming it for two-and-a-half.

With the HAV company spending a number of years developing the airship idea, they took it to the next level by creating not only the world's largest Hybrid Aircraft, but the world's largest flying aircraft – Airlander.

The Airlander 10 - part plane, part airship and part helicopter - in all its 302ft (92m) long glory

The Airlander 10 - part plane, part airship and part helicopter - in all its 302ft (92m) long glory in a First World War aircraft hangar in Bedfordshire. Photo credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

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Mr Arnett said: 'I had just arrived back from a three-month documentary project in Russia and thought, I'll give the airship guys a call. The timing couldn't have been better because it was a couple of days away from starting up at the Cardington hangars.'

Over the course of the airship build, the HAV team have been courted by numerous production outfits – but Mr Arnett has been able to go behind the scenes of the story of Airlander.

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He said: 'I think my shooting style, which is known as observational documentary or 'ob doc', suited the engineers. They didn't want to be interrupted and directed while they were working. I think they also got that I was genuinely interested and wanted to document and celebrate all aspects of this project – the engineering and the business and management style too'.

As an award winning documentary filmmaker, Mr Arnett is making 'The Story of Airlander' – a documentary mini series going behind the scenes of Airlander project, from its early days right through to the Airlander's first flight, sometime in the next couple of months – along with two other major airship documentaries through the production company, Dean Media Ltd.

'I think this is a game changer, a pivotal point in aviation,' Mr Arnett said. 'Not only that, but what they have achieved is incredibly impressive. These guys have designed and built a completely new kind of aircraft which has attracted the attention of the world. It's an incredible story, and, after all the team have been through,

when it flies it will be like an inspirational and uplifting Hollywood ending.'

Airlander is due to fly for the first time in the coming months. As HAV chief executive Stephen McGlennan says in The Story of Airlander: 'We are a tiny company in a world full of giants, We are a David amongst many Goliaths'.

? Mr Arnett has a crowdfunding campaign running to 'unlock nearly three years of unfunded filming.' Pledge support at

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