The world's largest aircraft, Airlander 10, on in the third week of May 2017 successfully completed a test flight. This brings the helium-filled behemoth one step closer to commercial use.
The hybrid aircraft dubbed the Airlander 10 merges technology from airplanes, helicopters and airships. The aircraft is designed to stay aloft at altitudes of up to 20000 feet for up to five days when manned. At a massive 302 feet long, it is the largest aircraft currently flying.
On 10 May 2017, the behemoth flew for a total of 180 minutes to test its handling, improved landing technology, among other things. It was only the third flight of the Airlander 10.
Objectives of recent test flight
• The manufacturer of the behemoth, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), stated that the latest flight had two main objectives beyond safely completing a takeoff, flight and landing.
• The first objective was to determine how the Airlander handles, including the aircraft's new, additional "landing feet" that make up the Auxiliary Landing System (ALS).
• The second goal was to collect data on the flight's performance, such as airspeed.
About Airlander 10
• The Airlander 10 also known as Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV 304 is a hybrid airship designed and manufactured by British manufacturer HAV.
• With auxiliary wing and tail surfaces, the airship flies using both aerostatic and aerodynamic lift.
• It is powered by four diesel engine-driven ducted propellers.
• The aircraft first debuted as HAV-304, and successfully flew in 2012 as part of the United States Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) programme.
• The reassembled and modified Airlander 10 made its maiden voyage in August 2016, kicking off a flight test program to assess its performance and attempting to fly the airship farther away from its base in Cardington, England. However, on 24 August 2016, it 10 made a hard landing at Cardington Airfield after listing forward, damaging its cockpit. After 4 months of repairs, the Airlander 10 was re-launched in December 2016.
When: May 2017