Beds, Herts & Bucks

Airlander 10: Longest aircraft repaired after crash

Landing of Airlander Image copyright sbna
Image caption Airlander 10 was damaged on its return to Cardington Airfield

Damage caused to the world's longest aircraft which crash-landed during a test flight has been repaired.

The Airlander 10 nosedived during its second test flight from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire.

The craft's cockpit was effectively destroyed when the £25m craft experienced a "heavy landing", although no-one was injured.

Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) said the new cockpit will be painted over the Christmas period.

The crash happened just before the vehicle came in to land after a 100-minute flight on 24 August.

A spokesman for HAV said: "The early part of 2017 will consist of a series of rigorous tests before Airlander continues its flight test programme."

Image copyright Hybrid Air Vehicles
Image caption The Airlander 10's new cockpit will be painted before new windscreens are fitted
Image copyright sbna
Image caption The £25m aircraft's cockpit was effectively destroyed when it crash landed

Christened the Martha Gwyn, the aircraft was first developed for the US government as a surveillance aircraft, but the project was shelved amid defence cutbacks.

HAV launched a campaign to return the Airlander 10 to the skies in May 2015. It claims it could be used for a variety of functions such as surveillance, communications, delivering aid and even passenger travel.

It says the huge aircraft will be able to stay airborne for about five days during manned flights.

The company hopes to be building 10 Airlanders a year by 2021.

Airlander 10 in numbers

  • 44,100lbs (20,000kg): The weight of the airship
  • 20,000ft (6,100m): The altitude it can reach
  • 80 knots (148km/h): Maximum speed
  • 5 days: How long it can stay airborne during manned flights
  • 22,050 lbs (10,000kg): Total payload - the weight the ship is able to carry

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The pilots walked away from the "heavy landing" unscathed

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