Hybrid Air Vehicles has announced that the Airlander 10 made a successful return to flight on the evening of Wednesday, May 10. All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site.
The Airlander was taken off its mooring mast at 17:20 and took off at 17:28. It flew for a total of 180 minutes before landing at 20:15 and was secured safely on the mast at 20:20.
“It was truly amazing to be back in the air. 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,” said chief test pilot Dave Burns.
On board were Airlander’s two test pilots: chief test pilot Dave Burns and experimental test pilot Simon Davies.
This test flight restarted the Airlander 10 flight test program, which began on August 17, 2016. During each of its three phases, the Airlander will perform more tasks and be permitted to fly further away from its base in Cardington, UK.
There were three test objectives during 2017’s first flight, all of which were successfully achieved:
• To conduct a full test flight – i.e. complete a safe take-off, flight and landing of the aircraft;
• To establish basic handling characteristics of Airlander within a well-defined flight envelope including assessment of the new (automatic landing system) ALS; and
• To collect flight performance data, such as handling, airspeed and all vehicle systems, for post-flight analysis. (This increases the understanding of the aircraft’s performance, capabilities and operating envelope.)
The ALS performed as expected on landing, and the flight test team was pleased with the initial analysis of this new addition to Airlander’s landing system.
May 17, 2017