Heavy Metal Capitalist: Iron Maiden Singer Bruce Dickinson Invests in 'World's Biggest Aircraft'


Credit: tuexperto_com3 / / CC

In January 2013, Anne Jolis of The Wall Street Journal interviewed Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson about his side career as a businessman involved in Britain's "highly regulated" airline industry. That experience, he explained, helped open his eyes to the risks of overregulation. "Civil servants, on some level, are almost institutionally prejudiced against entrepreneurial activity and risk," Dickinson declared.

Writing today at, Alexander George brings word of Dickinson's latest entrepreneurial adventure, investing in the "world's biggest aircraft." Here's the story:

It looks like a sketch from Howard Hughes' notebooks, but this massive air ship is real, and currently the biggest aircraft ever produced. It can also be remote-controlled and land on water. And the lead singer of Iron Maiden is an investor.

The HAV 304 "Airlander" is just over 300 feet long. That's nearly 60 feet longer than a Boeing 747, 80 feet longer than the Spruce Goose, and 30 feet longer than the Antonov An-225, the previous title-holder for the world's largest aircraft.

The flying leviathan was produced by British aeronautics firm Hybrid Air Vehicles, and it's being considered for commercial and rescue applications–at around $100 million each.

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  1. “I’m Bruce Dickinson baby! Cock of the walk baby!”

  2. I have never regretted loving Iron Maiden, starting when I was a teenager. Saw them in Hartford in 2006 (never got a chance to go to a show in the 80s, unfortunately). Good show, though it could never be the same as something like Maiden Japan or Live After Death.

    1. Me either. I saw them way back in early 80s when I was probably too young to be seeing such things. Thank God for indulgent parents.

      To me Iron Maiden still has a musicality that later bands like Metalica never had. Their music and their rifts are great and unlike nearly every heavy metal band that followed them in the late 80s and 90s, their music had a swing to it. It wasn’t just dinosaur thumping.

      No one should ever be embarrassed for having liked Iron Maiden. They are IMHO the best heavy metal band of all time. The Metalica partisans can go get bent as far as I am concerned.

      1. I agree completely with your musical assessment, John. Steve Harris’ driving, rhythmic bass lines were one of the things that drew me to their music, and something that sterile chord-punchers like Metallica never really understood (especially after they kicked Dave Mustaine out; at least Dave gets bass lines).

        Plus they put on a hell of a show. I will admit that I prefer the Paul Di’Anno stuff, but just barely.

        1. Metallica knew what bass was while Cliff Burton was alive. I think they quit bothering after that.

          1. And Justice for Jason

            Even though the bass is mixed way too high, it’s amazing how much better it is than no bass at all.

      2. I don’t know about best heavy metal band, but they kick the shit out of Metallica.

        1. With both hands tied behind their backs.

      3. No argument here. Iron Maiden made a career exploiting the bass gallop for all it’s worth, and that’s a good thing.

        And Epi, Metallica made millions mining Dave Mustaine’s songs. No wonder he hated them so much for so many years.

      4. For the first time, John and I agree musically. Mazel tov!

      5. Best of all time? Yeah, fuck it, I can agree with that.

    1. The Number of the Beast

      Weren’t the 80s so much fun?

    2. It is funny, Aces High, The Trooper, Iron Maiden were basically patriotic English boys at heart.

      1. Basically? They absolutely love being English and most of their songs are about England or famous Englishmen.

        1. This. They were obsessed with the heroism of the Blitz. English Exceptionalismz!!!111!

  3. “Civil servants, on some level, are almost institutionally prejudiced against entrepreneurial activity and risk,”

    Welcome to the dark side, Mr. Dickinson.

    Fun fact, I flew on a plane with Iron Maiden from London back to the States in 1984 when they were starting their… hmmhmm something something world tour. Crap, I think it was the one with the Egyptian theme on the cover. Meh, too lazy to google it.


    2. Power Slave.

  4. Thank you John and Epi. I couldn’t remember it. I just remember Iron Maiden in the 80s (we were all fans) and the cool factor of being ON THE PLANE WITH IRON MAIDEN when I was a teenager.

  5. I suppose this is a metal thread, then. Let’s enjoy the Gene Hoglan drum clinic together.

  6. Dickinson only put up 450K. Tattooed half-millionarie.

    the U.S. military never pursued the project because budget cuts prohibited its development.

    Something tells me this is bullshit.

  7. So 68 Billion for High Speed Rail


    Or buy 30 of these for $3 billion and have them run constant commuter flights between California cities?

    They would be faster than rail, cheaper than airlines (potentially faster too) and likely have lower maintenance and operations cost than either.

    1. Heck, at 50 tons cargo capacity you could even have a model that flys your car between the 2 cities. You should be able to carry around a dozen cars and you could probably make a profit off of charging $2000 each for LA – San Fran

      1. I like the car blimp idea.

      2. You also forget that the point of the HSR is to “wean” people away from their cars.

    2. But it won’t have politically connected stops along the way.

      1. yeah, what public official wants to invest in real estate next to an airport?

    3. Rasilio, Rasilio, Rasilio,

      You forget that the HSR is ultimately a jobs program that will produce lots of low-skilled temporary jobs for track and station construction.

      1. Commenting is fixed! Hooray!

  8. I just wanted to say….with all the love for Iron Maiden being shown here…

    Aww, dammit! I love you guys!

    /runs away weeping

  9. The latest attempt to bring back airships. Maybe this time it will work.

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