Airlander 10 Damaged During Test-Flight Landing

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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.

Comments (5)

He never used "up" thrust in the nose engines until after the ship hit the ground. Pilot error all the way.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 24, 2016 6:26 PM    Report this comment

I would think that with all the off the shelf, fly-by-wire automation available, I highly doubt that the engines would need to be manually managed.

If I'm wrong, then shame on Hybrid Air Vehicles. If I'm right, there probably was a failure of a control algorithm.

Posted by: Richard Freilich | August 25, 2016 2:09 PM    Report this comment

I would think that with all the off the shelf, fly-by-wire automation available, I highly doubt that the engines would need to be manually managed.

If I'm wrong, then shame on Hybrid Air Vehicles. If I'm right, there probably was a failure of a control algorithm.

Posted by: Richard Freilich | August 25, 2016 2:10 PM    Report this comment

" I highly doubt that the engines would need to be manually managed. "

They are used for thrust vectoring. The pilot had then running and facing downward till impact. After impact, he pivoted them to raise the nose. Pilot error; too slow to pitch up.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | August 25, 2016 11:18 PM    Report this comment

When you go to hauling all that cargo you were talking about - you may want to store it in the back!

Posted by: Don Lineback | August 26, 2016 11:00 AM    Report this comment

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