World's largest aircraft crashes on landing during second test run


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News arrived last week that the world’s biggest aircraft, the helium-filled plane/airship Airlander 10, had completed its maiden voyage in Bedfordshire, UK. Today, a second test flight took place. Sadly, this one wasn’t quite as successful – the aircraft crashed into the ground as it came in to land.

Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) – the company that built the Airlander 10 – said on its Facebook page: "We're debriefing following the second test flight this morning. All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries."

An eyewitness account claimed that a line hanging from the aircraft had hit a telephone pole, causing it to crash. The company has since denied this, calling the impact a "heavy landing," but it did admit that Airlander sustained some damage, believed to be in the cockpit.

A spokesperson for HAV said that other than the crash, the rest of the 100 minute flight passed without any problems. "The flight went really well and the only issue was when it landed," they told the BBC.

At 302 feet long, the Airlander 10 is about 50 feet longer than the world’s biggest passenger planes. It has a carbon fiber hull filled with 38,000 cubic meters of pressurized helium, and its four 325hp, 4 litre V8 direct injection, turbo-diesel engines drive the four propellers.

During last week’s maiden flight, the Airlander reach an altitude of 500 feet and hit a top speed of 40 mph. It flew in a six mile area, taking off and landing without any incidents.

The UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch has confirmed it is investigating the crash, but said it would not be sending a team to the site.

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Posts: 2,643   +1,801
Another pilot who didn't play Top Gun on NES (and land the frickin plane on the frickin Carrier).
A mandatory requirement for life IMO.
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Posts: 8,645   +3,281
It probably flies pretty well but the landing? Well that must be worked on just a little bit more. We don't want any more Hindenburg's, Akron's & R101's.


Posts: 3,127   +3,227
Can you imagine how many birds are probably hitching a ride on this monstrosity? They'll have to hire a club-toting conductor to keep them from weighing the ship down!


Posts: 16,066   +4,866
Well, the nerds over at Kickstarter are probably taking this to heat. "Oh no, does this I'll never get to touch it like they promised"?

OTOH, like they always say, "any landing you can walk away from is a good one".

Which, for this gas bag, needs to be updated to, "any landing you can stick on the third bounce is a good one".

Plus they only got a 3.5 from the Bulgarian judge .The dismount killed their score...:D..Better luck in Tokyo in 2020.

Still, bad landings just don't have the photo-ops they presented, back in the good old days:

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Posts: 1,382   +72
I think it caused my computer to crash softly too. Can't get window installer to work. Maybe because I live on plainfield rd, an offshoot of rt 66. In california, I actually lived on rt 66, huntington drive. Long road.


Posts: 16,066   +4,866
It looked to me like they were trying to land the junker cross wind. That won't work for lightly loaded aircraft, with the broad side of a barn for a cross section, doubtless lacking much in the way of control authority. I'm sure the controls are sluggish with that monster, even moving at "full speed".

You could see it rolling to it's right, with some yaw thrown in for good measure.

Pilot error. With a landing area that big, they should have pointed it directly into the wind. Runway you ask? Meh, who cares.