Just one week after its exciting and highly anticipated first flight, Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Airlander 10 experienced an issue and crashed during the final minutes of its second test flight on Wednesday.
Airlander 10 is a wing-shaped aircraft that can fly for up to five days at a time if manned, and for over two weeks unmanned. The aircraft can also reach speeds of 100 mph, propelled by its wing-shaped design, four engines and the 38,000 m3 of helium in its hull. The helium also gives it structure–it maintains its shape because of to the pressure stabilization of the helium inside the hull, and the smart and strong Vectran material that the aircraft is made of. The first flight was notably rescheduled due to a technical problem and a few days later made its maiden voyage, which was 20 minutes instead fo the original 90 minute time schedule.
Hybrid Air Vehicles launched its first equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube to raise £2 million for the aircraft in 2015 and secured 2.1 million. It then returned to the crowdfunding platform earlier this year and raised an additional £1.2 million.
The team at Hybrid Air Vehicles revealed:
“Today the prototype Airlander 10 undertook its second test flight and flew for 100 minutes, completing all the planned tasks before returning to Cardington to land. The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage which is currently being assessed.”
Currently, the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch has begun an investigation on Airlander’s crash, and Hybrid Air Vehicles stated that both pilots and the ground crew were not injured during the situation.
“Hybrid Air Vehicles runs a robust set of procedures for flight test activities and investigation of issues. We will be running through these in the days ahead as we continue the development of the Airlander aircraft.”
Check out the scene below.
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