World's largest aircraft crashes in Bedfordshire, injuring member of staff

Gladys Abbott
November 20, 2017

Airlander 10, a hybrid airship that is part-plane, collapsed in Cardington Airfield, Bedfordshire, following the incident at about 9.30am on Saturday.

Manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) said it was investigating why the 92m long aircraft broke free and added its hull was created to rip open and deflate in the event of coming loose.

Footage taken at the scene shows the deflated aircraft slumped in the field.

It has been learned that the aircraft came down after it was snapped against nearby branches. On an earlier flight, the aircraft was heavily damaged in a nose-first landing.

Last August it got caught in power lines in its second United Kingdom flight.

HAV said in a statement: "The aircraft was not flying at the time of the incident".

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'It's now in a field next to the Cardington sheds, the wreckage looks quite bad at the moment but we await confirmation apparently trees ripped the skin open'.

The aircraft had reportedly just carried out its sixth test flight, and it had recently fitted it with new airbags in a bid to help it land at a wider range of angles.

"Apparently trees ripped the skin open". A female employee sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital as a "precaution" and later released.

According to Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd, the aircraft was not flying at the time of the incident but instead was on its mooring masts.

The British company expected the 20-tonne Airlander 10 to soon "fly higher, faster, further and longer".

HAV added: "We are testing a brand new type of aircraft and incidents of this nature can occur during this phase of development". Besides surveillance, Hybrid Air Vehicles said the aircraft can be used for communications and delivering aid.

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