World's biggest aircraft, Airlander 10, crash lands on second test flight

The world’s largest aircraft – the Airlander 10 – has nosedived into the ground during its second test flight on Wednesday.

“We’re debriefing following the second test flight this morning. All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries,” the airship’s maker Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) said on its Facebook page following the accident.

The 92-metre long aircraft – which is part plane and part airship – was damaged during a flight from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire.

The £25 million (Dh121.5m) craft is understood to have sustained damage at about 11:00 BST.

The aircraft had its first test flight from the airfield on 17 August.

Christened The Martha Gwyn, it was first developed for the US government as a surveillance aircraft but the project was shelved amid defence cutbacks.

HAV launched a campaign to return the Airlander 10 to the skies in May 2015. It claims it could be used for a variety of functions such as surveillance, communications, delivering cargoes of some 10 tonnes, and even passenger travel.

It says the enormous aircraft will be able to stay airborne for around five days during manned flights and two weeks when unmanned.

The company said it hopes to be building 10 Airlanders a year by 2021.

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