Airlander 10 Damaged During Test-Flight Landing
The Airlander 10 made a nose-in landing Wednesday on its second test flight, interrupting the hybrid airship’s development. Hybrid Air Vehicles said in a statement the aircraft went for a 100-minute flight from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire. Everything went as planned during the test until the landing. “The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage which is currently being assessed,” HAV said. “Both pilots and the ground crew are safe and well and the aircraft is secured and stable at its normal mooring location.” The company will continue its work and investigate the incident.
A video on the Independent’s website showed the aircraft approaching for landing, then tipping nose-down. News photos show the 300-foot-long Airlander on the ground sitting tail-high, intact but for a damaged cockpit. HAV denied reports from a witness that the aircraft had a dangling line that struck a telegraph pole, according to a BBC report. The U.K.’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch told the BBC it’s looking into the cause of the hard landing but did not send a crew to Cardington. The aircraft, which combines engine propulsion with a helium-filled envelope, first flew on Aug. 17.