Yesterday evening (13 June 2017), Airlander continued its pioneering test flight programme by successfully completing another flight over Bedfordshire. This is the Airlander 10’s fourth flight and second in 2017. Each flight sees Airlander pushing its envelope a little further and increasing our understanding of this innovative new aircraft.
The Airlander was taken off its mooring mast at 6.10pm and took off at 6.12pm. It flew for a total of 3 hrs 23 minutes before landing at 9.25pm and was secured safely on the mast at 9.33pm.
Today’s Test Objectives revolved around expanding the flight envelope and further testing of the flight characteristics. We reached 3700 feet altitude and 37 knots speed and these are approaching the maximum limits we will go to during our initial test flights whilst we calibrate all data on Airlander. We expect to expand this envelope significantly in a few flights once the basic handling has been fully tested.
The next few flights will be scheduled one or more weeks apart in order to give time for a full analysis of the data collected on each flight, and plan, prepare and train for the next flight.
“It was great to be airborne again and we enjoyed a really successful test flight. We gathered a lot of data during the flight which helps us to optimise and define the performance of this magnificent aircraft.” – Dave Burns, Chief Test Pilot
A significant number of flight objectives were accomplished before Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns, accompanied by Experimental Test Pilot Simon Davies, safely landed Airlander back at her base on Cardington Airfield.
We are currently not planning to announce flights ahead of time for a number of reasons. One of these is to ensure we do not encourage excess traffic on local roads.
These flights are helping with customer interest, and we are getting closer to securing trials and demonstrations with each flight. We are expecting to include customer equipment as soon as possible during the flight programme, and are working on a daily basis with a Tier 1 aerospace company on the implementation of a mission system on board, to this end.
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