The Airlander 10 suffered a hard landing on its nose on August 24, damaging the cockpit, when attempting to land at its base in Cardington in the UK. Eyewitnesses at the time said they thought a mooring line had snagged on something just before the landing, but this was not immediately confirmed.
“Today [August 24, 2016] the prototype Airlander 10 undertook its second test flight and flew for 100 minutes, completing all the planned tasks before returning to Cardington to land,” said a Hybrid Air Vehicles statement.
“The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage which is currently being assessed. Both pilots and the ground crew are safe and well and the aircraft is secured and stable at its normal mooring location.
“Hybrid Air Vehicles runs a robust set of procedures for flight test activities and the investigation of issues. We will be running through these in the days ahead as we continue the development of the Airlander aircraft.”
Power company UK Power Networks said in a statement on August 25 that the Airlander 10 had made contact with its powerlines just off the perimeter of the airfield, causing five customers to lose power, after which Hybrid Air Vehicles issued a revised statement.
“Hybrid Air Vehicles 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.”
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is involved in investigating the cause of the incident.
The Airlander 10 made its debut flight on August 17.
August 26, 2016