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Published on : Thursday, August 25, 2016
The world’s largest aircraft, Airlander 10 has crashed during its second test flight. The flight ended with the giant airship nosediving into the ground. The cockpit was damaged, but Hybrid Air Vehicles says the crew members are “safe and well.”
HAV told Ars that the flight lasted for 100 minutes and that it “completed all the planned tasks.” HAV said the incident was not an unplanned dealtitudinal craft-terrafirma conflict, but rather “a heavy landing” as the craft returned to Cardington Airfield.
The company did not explain what caused the crash but said all planned tasks were completed during the flight. The pilots were unhurt, it added.
The U.K. government’s Air Accident Investigation Branch has begun an investigation, a spokesperson said.
The huge ship – nicknamed “The Flying Bum” because of its pert, round back – crashed as it landed at its base at Cardington Airfield this morning, at the end of its second attempt to fly.
Part airship, part helicopter, part plane, the aircraft is about 50 feet longer than the biggest passenger plane.
The 302-foot long ship made its maiden voyage last week.
The ship is on sale for £25 million. The makers hope that it can be sold for a variety of uses including surveillance, communications and deliveries.
Airlander is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time if manned, and for more than two weeks if unmanned. It should be able to carry up to 10 tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 91 miles per hour.