Hybrid Air Vehicles’ (HAV) Airlander 10 airship has completed its first flight, successfully taking off, remaining in the air and landing at the Cardington Airfield.
The historic flight took place on 17 August, taking off at 19.45h and landing again at 20.00 at the airfield just South of Bedford, UK. During the flight, it climbed to a height of 500 feet and reached a speed of 35 knots, and achieved all of its aims including a safe launch, flight and landing as well as gentle turns at increasing speeds.
Chief test pilot, Dave Burns says: “It was privilege to fly the Airlander for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I’m really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream.”
The Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time and fulfil a wide range of roles including carrying cargo. HAV says the Airlander is a low noise, low pollution and environmentally friendly method of transport, which can also take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water or open field environments.
HAV says the next step of development is ensuring the UK government runs a trial to demonstrate Airlander’s potential to the world and secure lucrative exports, and ensure the £6 million of government grants leads to orders. It also hopes to raise equity through high net worth individuals and investors.