The longest airship the Airlander 10 dubbed the Flying Bum crashed on its second test flight. The aircraft sustained significant damage to its cockpit. No one was injured during the crash. The aircraft nosedived slowly to the ground after it had a successful flight. The crash came just seven days after its triumphant maiden flight. A video of the crash was recorded and released on the internet shortly after the crash.
The flight was from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire, and the airship crashed at about 11:00am BST. The 92-meter hybrid ship (part airplane, part airship, and part helicopter) manufactured by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) company is worth a whopping 25 million sterling pounds. It took around 10-years to build the helium filled blimp.
The development company has not come up with an explanation into the crash. There were earlier claims from a witness that a line was hanging down from the airship and that it got tangled with a telegraph pole about two fields from the crash site. HAV has since denied these claims. An investigation into the Flying Bum crash will be conducted by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. They have however said that they will not be visiting the crash site.
The aircraft was first developed for the United States government, but the project was shelved because of budget cutbacks. HAV however went on to design and produce the aircraft. They believe it will impact the aviation industry positively. The airship weighs 20,000 kg and can carry a payload of approximately 10,000 kg, hence the 10 designation in its name “Airlander-10”. It can be used in surveillance, passenger transport, cargo transport, etc. One thing that I will however bet is that no one ever thought that they would wake up to a headline – Flying Bum Crashes.