Airlander ready to fly again following modifications

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Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) have made a number of modifications to the Airlander 10 aircraft including improving its ability to land, as it gets ready to return to the skies.

HAV has added an auxiliary landing system to allow the aircraft to land safely at a greater range of attitudes than previously and ground support equipment improvements including the ability to recover the mooring line once it has been released from storage.

Telemetry data has also been reviewed to understand how the aircraft performed and results were fed into the company’s simulator to allow much more realistic training in normal and emergency conditions, which it says will help the crew in unexpected circumstances including last August’s unplanned steep approach to the airfield caused by the mooring line hanging down.

A testing and training programme has now commenced, and operations director Tom Grundy says: “Over this period the whole focus of the team has been to improve the way we work and the way we operate the aircraft so that our next stage of flying achieves all of our objectives.”

HAV chief executive officer, Steven McGlennan says investor and customer support has remained strong, saying: “We have every confidence that, in delivering the key learning points that we have identified, we will be in a great position to deliver a safe, robust and effective flight test programme when we get back into the air.”