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Hybrid Air Vehicles' Airlander 10 airship almost ready for third test flight

World Defense & Security Industry News - Hybrid Air Vehicles
Hybrid Air Vehicles' Airlander 10 airship almost ready for third test flight
The Airlander team announced yesterday March 6, 2017, that the structural damage sustained to the Flight Deck during its second Test Flight last August 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.
Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander 10 airship almost ready for third test flight 640 001Airlander 10 hyrbid airship
(Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles)
The key visible change is that it now has an Auxiliary Landing System (ALS) which allows the aircraft to land safely at a greater range of attitudes than previously. This has been fitted forward of the main landing gear (skids) and, like the main landing gear, is a pressurised air cushion which contacts the ground during a landing.

In addition Airlander team has made a series of improvements to our ground systems to reduce the chance of an equipment failure such as the problem with the mooring mast winch that triggered the incident in August last year. The team is also modifying the aircraft to make sure that if the mooring line were ever to hang down from the aircraft again, as it did that day, it can be recovered so that it does not interfere with the approach and landing of the aircraft.

Airlander team has extensively analysed and reviewed the telemetry data, and video/audio (both on-board and from the ground), which has allowed it to understand how the aircraft performed in great detail. Engineers have fed the results of that work back into our simulator, which has allowed much more realistic training in normal and emergency conditions for the flight crew, which will help Airlander to manage a wider range of potential scenarios than was previously the case. This will help the crew if they are again called upon to respond to unexpected events such as last August’s unplanned steep approach to the airfield, which was caused by the mooring line hanging down underneath it.

A rigorous testing and training programme has now commenced to prepare for Airlander taking to the skies again. “Over this period the whole focus of the team has been to improve the way we work and the way we operate the aircraft so that our next stage of flying achieves all of our objectives. Our work in this has been guided by our investigations, which were conducted and reviewed in line with the Hybrid Air Vehicles continues to benefit from strong investor and customer support, and are progressing a number of customer demonstrations opportunities and potential sales, Hybrid Air Vehicles CEO, Steve McGlennan says, “Throughout the last six months we have been heartened by the many messages of support from people outside our immediate business who understand the learning process that is at the heart of flight test. We have every confidence that, in delivering the key learning points that we have identified, we will be in a great position to deliver a safe, robust and effective flight test programme when we get back into the air. We look forward to showing off the best of British innovation and Engineering to the world again very soon.”