Just days after its 'historic' maiden test flight, the Airlander 10 airship suffered a minor crash during its attempted landing in a airfield in Bedfordshire.
The 92-metre-long (302ft) Airlander 10, built by Hybrid Air Vehicles. was damaged during the flight from RAF Cardington airfield, Bedfordshire, with photographs showing it on the ground with its nose pointing towards the floor.
In a statement, Hybrid Air Vehicles said that the prototype Airlander 10 had undertaken its second test flight and flew for a total of 100 minutes. However, when returning to Cardington to land, the Airlander experienced a “heavy landing” and the front of the flight deck sustained “some damage which is currently being assessed”.
The company’s statement continued: “Both pilots and the ground crew are safe and well and the aircraft is secured and stable at its normal mooring location. Hybrid Air Vehicles runs a robust set of procedures for flight test activities and investigation of issues. We will be running through these in the days ahead as we continue the development of the Airlander aircraft. Further updates will follow in due course.”
Hybrid Air Vehicles maiden flight
The £25m aircraft, which is a part plane/part airship hybrid took its maiden flight on Wednesday, 17 August, 2016.
The Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander 10 has been widely hailed as an innovation that will have a hugely positive impact on the world by providing low carbon aviation and brand new capabilities in the sky.
According to the company, customer interest has been strong as it offers a stable platform with huge amounts of power and space for search & rescue or communications equipment, and also offers a unique passenger experience.
After the first flight, chief test pilot Dave Burns said: “It was privilege to fly the Airlander for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I’m really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream.”
Hybrid Air Vehicles is expected to release more information as to the cause of the accident in the coming days.