Airlander 10 crashed into the ground during its second test flight and sustained damage to its cockpit
The world’s largest aircraft has just had a rough test flight.
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The balloon-shaped aircraft, named Airlander 10, sustained damage to its front after making a bumpy landing on Wednesday during its second test flight in eastern England.
“The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage which is currently being assessed.” Hybrid Air Vehicles, the makers of the aircraft said in a statement.
According to the company, both pilots and the ground crew are safe and unhurt while the aircraft has been dispatched to its mooring location and is deemed secured and stable.
Airlander 10 is almost 300 feet long and 111 feet wide, making it 50 feet longer than the biggest passenger plane. The aircraft took off its maiden flight on August 17 and climbed to 500 feet during its 20-minute stay in the air. But even that flight was not problem-free. It was postponed for three days due to some technical issue.
Airlander 10 is a helium filled airship with two conjoined hulls having a total storing capacity of 38,000 cubic meters. The aircraft was originally designed for U.S military surveillance but the project was cancelled in 2013 because of insufficient funding.
Nicknamed the “flying bum,” the aircraft is a hybrid vehicle which combines the characteristics of fixed wing aircrafts and helicopters. The aircraft can stay airborne for up to five straight days if manned and for more than two weeks if not having any passenger or crew. When fully operational, it can carry up to 10 tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 91 miles per hour while reaching an altitude of 20,000 feet. The aircraft can fulfill a wide range of purposes including surveillance, cargo carrying and detecting the location of a target for the assistance of ground troops.
Currently, the company Hybrid Air Vehicles has begun an investigation and they are trying to figure out what caused the crash during aircraft’s recent 100-minitue flight. The company has denied the claims that the damage was sustained mid air or as a result of telegraph pole as being reported by many newspapers.