November 22 - Just a couple of days after it commenced the next phase of flight testing, the airship Airlander 10 had another major mishap, having broken free from its mooring mast at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire, UK, injuring two members of staff.
Wednesday 22 November 2017
The world's largest aircraft has had a bumpy ride since its creation and crash landed on its second test flight last year.
Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), the company behind the airship, says: "The aircraft has a safety system which operates automatically in circumstances of the aircraft breaking free of its mast, and is designed to rip open the hull and deflate the aircraft.
"This is a safety feature to ensure our aircraft minimises any potential damage to its surroundings in these circumstances. The aircraft is now deflated and secure on the edge of the airfield. The fuel and helium inside the Airlander have been made safe."
Prior to the latest mishap, HAV said that the latest stage of flight testing, known as Airworthiness Release 2a (AWR2a), would see Airlander fly higher, faster, further and for longer than before.
It said that a number of modifications and upgrades were carried out recently, to allow for the expanded test parameters a number of modifications were carried out in preparation for this next phase of testing; the most noticeable change is the fairing attached between the hull and the mission module, which will reduce drag at the higher speeds at which the Airlander will be travelling. SOURCE: HLPFI