£25million Airlander hits telegraph pole on second flight

Aftermath of the Airlander 10 crash on Cardington Airfield, Bedford. Photo: Glyn Dobbs
Aftermath of the Airlander 10 crash on Cardington Airfield, Bedford. Photo: Glyn Dobbs

The world’s largest aircraft was damaged this morning after hitting a telegraph pole during its second test flight.

The £25m Airlander 10 - which is part-plane and part-airship - is understood to have sustained damage to its cockpit when it ploughed into the pole.

Aftermath of the Airlander 10 crash on Cardington Airfield, Bedford. Photo: Glyn Dobbs

Aftermath of the Airlander 10 crash on Cardington Airfield, Bedford. Photo: Glyn Dobbs

No-one was injured in the accident, which happened as the aircraft was coming in to land at Cardington Airfield at around 11am

Following the collision, developers Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) Tweeted: “We’re debriefing following the second test flight this morning.

“All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries.”

The helium-filled aircraft had its first test flight from the airfield on August 17 taking to the skies for the first time.

Aftermath of the Airlander 10 crash on Cardington Airfield, Bedford. Photo: Glyn Dobbs

Aftermath of the Airlander 10 crash on Cardington Airfield, Bedford. Photo: Glyn Dobbs

Christened the ‘Martha Gwyn’, the vast aircraft measures 302ft long and is around 50ft longer than the biggest passenger jets.

Engineers have spent three years working on the Airlander 10, which is filled with 1.3million cubic feet of helium - enough to fill 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

It was first developed for the US government as a long-endurance surveillance aircraft but it fell foul of defence cutbacks.

The huge aircraft will be able to stay airborne at heights of up to 20,000ft with a 10-tonne cargo for two weeks at a time at speeds of up to 90mph.

Airlander 10 outside

Airlander 10 outside

HAV hopes to be building 10 Airlanders a year by 2021.

HAV were contacted for comment.