World’s largest aircraft damaged on 2nd test flight
Wed., Aug. 24, 2016
LONDON – The developer of the world’s largest aircraft says the blimp-shaped airship sustained damage after it made a bumpy landing Wednesday on its second test flight in eastern England.
Hybrid Air Vehicles said it is trying to figure out what caused the rough landing of the 302-foot Airlander 10 during its 100-minute flight Wednesday in Bedfordshire, north of London.
“The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage, which is currently being assessed,” the company said. “Both pilots and the ground crew are safe and well and the aircraft is secured and stable at its normal mooring location.”
A hybrid of blimp, helicopter and airplane, the Airlander is able to stay aloft for days at a time. It is designed to use less fuel than a plane, but carry heavier loads than conventional airships.
The aircraft was initially developed for the U.S. military for use in surveillance in Afghanistan.
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