World’s largest aircraft Airlander 10 ‘ripped apart’ in crash after test flight in a Bedfordshire.
The £25m airship collapsed to the ground in Cardington, Bedforshire, on Sunday (18 November) after it appeared to “break in two,” a witness told the BBC. It then deflated as it hit the ground.
A woman suffered minor injuries and roads have been closed over fears of fuel and helium, The Mirror reported. Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit are at the scene of the crash.
A witness told the Mirror that the airship “fell to pieces like a big gust of wind” in the field near RAF Cardington. Images from the incident show damage to the aircraft’s front nose.
The Airliner 10 was not flying at the time of the crash, but was on its mooring mast, aircraft owner Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd said. Bedfordshire Police received reports that an airship had become loose from its mooring just prior to 9.30am.
No one was aboard the airship when it collapses. The injured woman, a member of staff, is believed to have cuts and bruises. She was taken to hospital for treatment.
The Airlander 10 took a test flight Friday (16 November) at 15.11 GMT and landed successfully at 16.18 GMT at Cardington Airfield. According to the BBC, Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd had said the airship was in the “next phase of extended test flights”.
The British company expected the 20-tonne Airlander 10 to soon “fly higher, faster, further and longer”.
Plans are set for the airship, nicknamed “the Flying Bum,” to take tourists on luxury air cruises to the North Pole and other destinations. Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd signed a deal with Design Q, a aviation design consultancy, to design and manufacture the Airlander 10’s luxury cabin interiors, the Mirror reported.
The 302ft long aircraft previously crash-landed in August 2016 after rising to an excessive height when its mooring got caught on power cables. No one was injured.