Tags: airlander 10 | test | flight | successful

Airlander 10 Test Flight Leaves Past Problems Behind

Image: Airlander 10 Test Flight Leaves Past Problems Behind

The GBP 25 million Airlander 10, which is part plane and part airship, took to the skies in Bedfordshire. (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 May 2017 09:47 AM

The Airlander 10 passed its latest test earlier this month as the world's largest aircraft moves closer to commercial use, its parent company announced.

Cardington, England-based Hybrid Air Vehicles said the Airlander 10 flew for 180 minutes. Objectives for the May 10 flight included to conduct a full test flight from takeoff to landing, establish basic handling characteristics, and collect flight data, such as airspeed and performance of all systems, the company said.

"It was truly amazing to be back in the air," chief test pilot Dave Burns said in the Hybrid Air Vehicles statement. "I loved every minute of the flight and the Airlander itself handled superbly. I am eager to get back into the cockpit and take her flying again."

The helium-filled aircraft combines technology from airplanes, helicopters, and airships even though it will remind most people of a blimp, LiveScience.com noted. It was built to stay in altitudes of up to 20,000 feet for up to five days when manned.

Last August the aircraft crashed as it attempted to land at Cardington Airfield, the Independent reported. The aircraft appeared to have had problems landing on the ground. The Airlander 10 reportedly flew into a telegraph pole and struggled to recover.

In testing this month, Hybrid Air Vehicles said the Airlander 10 performed without past problems.

"(The Airlander 10) performed as expected on landing, and the flight test team was very pleased with the initial analysis of this new addition to Airlander's landing system," the company's statement said.

"Ultimately the Airlander 10 will break the mold of aviation, providing an ultra-stable, ultra-powerful and ultra-long endurance platform that will be useful in a huge number of roles from search and rescue, to border control, coast guarding, crowd monitoring, security, academic research and filming," the statement continued.

The company said the vehicle will play an important role in point-to-point cargo transportation to remote areas.

"This is a great testament to the tenacity and ingenuity of the team of engineers at Hybrid Air Vehicles, who are continually pushing the boundaries of aviation with this amazing aircraft,” technical director Mike Durham said in the HAV statement.

The Airlander 10 project was originally built for military surveillance but abandoned by the Pentagon in 2012, reported Popular Mechanics. The British government helped resurrect the project in 2015 for civilian use.

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The Airlander 10 passed its latest test earlier this month as the world's largest aircraft moves closer to commercial use, its parent company announced.
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Wednesday, 24 May 2017 09:47 AM
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