Airlander 10: Longest aircraft hit power cable before nosediving

Landing of AirlanderImage copyright
sbna

Image caption

Airlander 10 is understood to have suffered damage on its return to Cardington Airfield

The world’s longest aircraft came into contact with “high voltage power cables” before nosediving on landing, an electricity firm has said.

Developers of the Airlander 10 had denied witness reports the airship struck a telegraph pole during its “heavy landing” on Wednesday.

But UK Power Networks said the aircraft had come into contact with one of its power lines.

Hybrid Air Vehicles said a mooring line had been in “contact” with a cable.

Live: Updates on this story and other news from Bedfordshire

The £25m Airlander, which is 302ft (92m) long, was damaged during its second test flight from Cardington Airfield, Bedfordshire.

Its owners initially denied claims from a witness that a line hanging down from the vehicle had hit a telegraph pole about two fields away from its landing site.

But after UK Power Networks said there had been contact, resulting in the loss of power to five customers, the firm released an updated statement.

It said: “No damage was caused to the aircraft and this did not contribute to the heavy landing. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused to anyone.”

The £25m Airlander, which is 302ft (92m) long, was damaged during its second test flight from Cardington Airfield, Bedfordshire.

After UK Power Networks said there had been contact between the airship and a power line, resulting in the loss of power to five customers, the firm released an updated statement saying “Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd can confirm a mooring line attached to the Airlander did contact a power line outside the airfield. No damage was caused to the aircraft and this did not contribute to the heavy landing. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused to anyone.”

Image copyright
sbna

Image caption

The £25m plane is understood to have sustained damage to its cockpit

Chief Executive of HAV, Stephen McGlennan, told the BBC the aircraft was being fully assessed by a team of experts.

“They’ll create a plan to repair the front end where there was some damage,” he said.

Mr McGlennan also said investors in the Airland project had been “very supportive” since the landing.

“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.”

He confirmed two pilots walked away from the landing “without a scratch”.

Image copyright
Hybrid Air Vehicles

Image caption

Airlander 10 took off from Cardington Airfield just after 09:00 BST

Mr McGlennan said he did not think the “heavy landing” would cause a “substantial change” to the future schedule of test flights and development.

“We are investigating in the way that a normal aerospace company would,” he said.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch confirmed it had been notified about the incident and was investigating, but had not sent a team to the site.



comments powered by Disqus