World‘s largest blimp completes repairs, ready to fly
Hybrid Air Vehicles, a manufacturer of hybrid aircraft Airlander 10, announced that the structural damage sustained to the Flight Deck of Airlander 10 during its second test flight last August 2016 has now been repaired.
Following this successful repair of the Flight Deck structure, Airlander is now structurally complete ahead of Hangar Exit and resuming the Flight Test Programme. A rigorous testing and training programme has now commenced to prepare for Airlander taking to the skies again.
The flight deck instrument panels, overhead console and all associated wiring have already been reinstalled successfully. This was aided by weeks of preparation, which allowed large sections to be moved at the same time and clipped in to place. With the equipment installed, “power-on” has been achieved and on-aircraft testing has now begun.
Hybrid Air Vehicles’ CEO, Stephen McGlennan said: “We’re delighted to have made the progress we have in our repairs and look forward to restarting our test flight programme soon.”
The company said that a comprehensive investigation has taken place since Airlander’s heavy landing in August, the root causes of which are now fully understood and a number of changes in procedures and training have been implemented. The aerospace community has been supportive of the Airlander and what the team continues to achieve.
Hybrid Air Vehicles is not announcing a specific date for the next flight of Airlander. Achieving a safe flight is the priority, and we will make further announcements in due course, the company said.
Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights.