Aircraft

Airlander 10 damaged during second test flight

Airlander 10 damaged during se...
The Airlander 10 airship, seen here on its maiden flight with a helicopter escort
The Airlander 10 airship, seen here on its maiden flight with a helicopter escort
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The Airlander 10 airship, seen here on its maiden flight with a helicopter escort
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The Airlander 10 airship, seen here on its maiden flight with a helicopter escort

The world's largest aircraft, Airlander 10, crashed today during its second test flight. No one was hurt in the incident, but the airship, from Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), sustained damage to its flight deck, which is positioned underneath the hull.

The aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight last week, making a circuit around Cardington Airfield in the UK, where it is being tested. HAV explains that today's test saw Airlander 10 fly for 100 minutes before attempting to land.

In a short statement on its website, HAV says "the Airlander experienced a heavy landing." Video footage of the incident shows the nose of the airship pointing down towards the ground, rather than the remaining level with its rear.

Both pilots and the ground crew involved in the test are said to be unharmed and the airship is now moored at its normal location. HAV says it will be running "a robust set of procedures for flight test activities and investigation of issues" over the coming days, as it continues to develop the aircraft.

The Airlander 10 airship measures 92 x 43.5 x 26 m (302 x 143 x 85 ft) and is capable of carrying payloads up to 10,000 kg (22,050 lb). It is made buoyant by virtue of its helium-filled hull and is powered by four 325-hp (242-kW), turbocharged diesel engines. These allow it to take off using aerodynamic lift, as is the case with conventional airplanes. An earlier planned maiden flight was delayed due to a technical problem.

The company says further updates will be provided "in due course."

Source: Hybrid Air Vehicles

6 comments
Don Duncan
The concept of combining a blimp & plane, i.e., an aerodynamic super light aircraft is so simple. Why did it take a century? And how is this "heavy lifter" cargo carrier going to compete with the new "ground effect" cargo plane? I bet it isn't nearly as effective at sea, but over uneven land it might shine.
habakak
Oh the humanity! Pffft....crash...yawn....
Bob
Four 325hp engines on a craft this large sounds grossly under powered especially for the loads it is designed to carry. For dealing with any winds I would think it needs about four times as much power.
ddavel544
Seems to me the cross winds won't be to friendly to those four wings it has on it. Like putting fins on a duck. I picture winds traveling over a oblong smooth surface without them, equals less downdraft and turbulence. Better to put side fans for better control.
Joe Blough
It was going flat out before it crashed. The crash must have been deflating for the crew. But seriously, the windage on this thing must be gargantuan.
Rudolf Boentgen
People who don't take a lesson or understand history are bound to repeat it. (Re: The Hindenburg, the Akron and the Macon).