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Airlander 10: The world’s longest aircraft can fly again

Airlander 10

Photo from BBC News

Airlander 10 can take to the skies once more

The world’s longest aircraft – the Airlander 10 – has been granted permission to fly again, having undergone a crash landing in August which caused major damage to the flight deck.

Part airplane and part airship, the Airlander 10 measures an incredible 92 meters long (that’s 302 feet!), and cost $32.3 million dollars to build. Developed by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), its eventual aim will be to carry out a range of services, including carrying passengers, delivering aid and providing surveillance and communications.

As well as holding the accolade for the world’s longest aircraft, it will also be able to stay airborne for an unbelievable five days during manned flights before stopping for a refuel. It has also been designed to stay in the same spot for up to three weeks at a time, and can even fly with bullet holes in it!

However, on 24 August 2016, during a test flight from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire, England, the Airlander 10 nosedived and crash-landed, causing a severe amount of damage which has only just been repaired. The cockpit was severely affected, but engineers have worked hard to repair it and have reinstalled the flight controls.

With tests beginning inside a hangar at Cardington Airfield, the Airlander 10 has since been granted permission to fly again by both the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency. However, as permission for these test flights has been granted under Air Worthiness Release 1 conditions, the Airlander team will still face some restrictions when it comes to flying in certain weathers.

HAV hopes to have Airlander 10 back in the skies by the middle of this month, with a view to building ten Airlanders per year by 2021.

So how does the Airlander 10 compare with the aircraft you’re used to flying? Firstly, it weighs an incredible 44,100 lbs and has a total payload of 22,050 lbs. It can reach altitudes of 20,000 ft and has a maximum speed of 80 knots (148km/h).

Will we see the world’s longest aircraft cruising through the skies in a few years to come? Well, if testing stays on track, we may well do so – and may even be flying in one!

If you’re thinking of returning to the skies after a break from flying, why not get in touch? We’d be happy to get you back in that pilot’s seat again!

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