In what the media describes as a “graceful crashing”, the aircraft took a plunge onto the ground during the test run from Cardington Airfield, Bedfordshire.
The 302 feet (92 meter) long Airlander 10 costs as much as £25 million. It is 21 meters longer than a Boeing 747 with 4 engines carrying 38,000 cubic meters of helium. Airlander 10 flies as fast as 80 knots.
With the gentle crash owing to technical issues, the developers have debased the report that the aircraft took a dive after bumping into a telegraph pole. According to the developers of this airship, there was no serious damage done to the vehicle. The pilots came out unscathed.
The Chief Executive of Hybrid Aviation Vehicles(HAV), Stephen McGlennan, gave the assurance that the aircraft was being fully assessed by a team of experts. After which there will be more test flights.
Making reference to the failed flight test, he had this to say;
“They understand a business like this is involved in innovation, innovation is the business of doing things and sometimes when you do things for the first time, sometimes it doesn’t work out quite how you’d hoped.”
Perhaps it is in trend to now have hybrid airplanes. These days it is becoming common to come across aircrafts that can serve multiple purposes.
For instance China launched the world’s largest amphibious aircraft-AG600 in July. The massive construction has features that leaves it best described as half boat-half airplane.
In terms of functions and purpose, Airlander 10 shares some semblance with Antonov An-225 Mriya which is the typical shaped largest, longest and heaviest airplane in the world.
The aircraft which was designed and built in Ukraine in the 1980’s was used for Soviet missions. It could conveniently transport about 253 tonnes of cargo.
The Airlander 10 , otherwise nicknamed “The Flying Bum” because of its round back is useful for such functions as surveillance, communications and deliveries. In other words it could be used in war-related situations.
It can carry a 10 tonne payload at a maximum speed of 91 miles per hour; and is capable of staying in the air for up to 5-21 days.
Report says that the Hybrid aviation company hopes to be building about 10 of them per year by 2021.