Technicians from Hybrid Air Vehicles (Stand S4-350) have completed the first full inspection of the company’s Airlander 10 hybrid airship/ aircraft. The first annual inspection of the hull revealed no major issues, and validated the inspection and maintenance access system. The system is an important element of Airlander’s ability to operate in the open from fields without hangarage.
This validation came at a good time, because the Airlander 10 vacates its home at one of the large airship sheds at Cardington, Bedfordshire, for a new location with more room for heavier takeoffs. The air vehicle is continuing with its flight test programme and customer demonstrations, having taken to the air again in May following an incident in August 2016 during which a mooring cable snagged power lines, causing it to strike the ground 18° nose-down, damaging the control gondola.
As part of the repair process, protective airbags were added either side of the gondola.