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Airlander 10 hybrid airship makes historic first flight

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World Aviation Defense & Security Industry News - Hybrid Air Vehicles
 
 
Airlander 10 hybrid airship makes historic first flight
 
Hybrid Air Vehicles' Airlander 10 made its maiden flight yesterday and marked the commencement of Airlander 10's Flight Test Programme which is expected to last for a number of months. After this the aircraft will begin a series of Trials and Demonstrations with prospective customers.
     
Airlander 10 hybrid airship makes historic first flight 640 001Airlander 10, the world's biggest aircraft, made its maiden flight yesterday
(Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles)
     
Airlander 10 has been widely hailed as an innovation that will have a hugely positive impact on the world by providing low carbon aviation and brand new capabilities in the sky.

Customer interest is strong due to these game-changing capabilities of the Airlander – it offers a stable platform with huge amounts of power and space for search & rescue or communications equipment, and also offers a unique passenger experience.

Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns said, "It was privilege to fly the Airlander for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I'm really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream."

A confirmatory Pre-flight test began at 0900 this morning and once Technical Director Mike Durham, Chief Test Pilot David Burns and Ground Operations Chief Alex Travell were all in agreement, clearance was granted for First Flight to commence. These three have been working together for almost thirty years, which illustrates the depth of experience and know-how within Hybrid Air Vehicles.

The four massive but quiet engines were started approximately 30 minutes before takeoff. Once airborne, Chief Test Pilot David Burns, accompanied by Test Pilot Simon Davies, flew the majestic Airlander within a 6 mile (5 nautical mile) area around Cardington Airfield, just to the south of Bedford, in England. Airlander climbed to a height of 500ft and reached a maximum speed of 35 knots. Due to a later than anticipated take-off time the Airlander was limited to a 19 minute flight so we could land safely before darkness fell.

The Airlander is expected to be a showcase of UK innovation and is already being used in the UK.

     
Airlander 10 hybrid airship makes historic first flight 640 002Airlander 10, the world's biggest aircraft, made its maiden flight yesterday
(Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles)
     
Government's "GREAT Britain" campaign to highlight the strength of the aerospace sector and the innovation in engineering this country is capable of creating. As the Airlander approaches first flight, customer interest has increased, particularly in the defence and security sector, and this, together with UK Government support should secure 400 new aerospace jobs as well as valuable export opportunities for the UK economy.

The next step is to ensure the UK Government runs a trial in order to demonstrate the potential of this amazing aircraft to the world and secure the lucrative exports, and grow further jobs in Bedfordshire and in the supply chain across the UK (80% of Airlander's supply chain is British). This will help ensure the £6m of UK Government grants received thus far lead to orders. Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd is also looking to raise equity through High Net Worth individuals and Institutional Investors to fund some aspects of the Flight Test Programme.

 

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