Setback for Airlander 10 as it breaks free of mooring
BCH Road Policing
The Airlander 10 airship suffered a new setback over the weekend when it broke free of its mooring and a safety system ripped open the hull.
Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) said its airship, which is the world's longest aircraft, was not flying at the time of the incident and initial assessments suggest it broke free of its mooring mast for unknown reasons that will be investigated.
HAV said in a statement: "The aircraft has a safety system which operates automatically in circumstances of the aircraft breaking free of its mast, and is designed to rip open the hull and deflate the aircraft.
"This is a safety feature to ensure our aircraft minimises any potential damage to its surroundings in these circumstances.
"The aircraft is now deflated and secure on the edge of the airfield. The fuel and helium inside the Airlander have been made safe."
The company added that it would now assess the damage that had been caused.
"We are testing a brand new type of aircraft and incidents of this nature can occur during this phase of development.
"We will assess the cause of the incident and the extent of repairs needed to the aircraft in the next few weeks."
A member of HAV staff sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital for assessment as a precaution but has since been discharged.
A separate member of staff also sustained minor injuries while dealing with the aftermath of the incident.
The incident happened shortly after the airship had completed its sixth test flight, the first in the next stage of its airworthiness tests.
In August last year the airship was damaged while landing at Cardington Airfield in the UK, a few days after carrying out its first test flight.
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