It looks like the world isn’t quite ready for the airship of the future just yet, as the Airlander 10, which combines fixed wing aerodynamics with a large envelope, has crashed on its second UK flight. Although the first went off without a hitch, the second ended with much too hard of a landing.
The Airlander 10 is an interesting design. It combines the traditionally opposing methods of air travel, fixed wing and gas-powered buoyancy, to make for a very efficient method of travelling and transport. It’s hoped that in the future it will provide a middle ground between ship cargo capacity and airplane speed.
It might be back to the drawing board for some parts of the design though, as although all tests were conducted successfully during the flight, the landing was far too hard and lead to damage of the crew compartment. Nobody was injured, but it’s not something the developers at Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) will be looking to repeat.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg-RPTiVa_Q’]
The flight itself lasted for just over an hour and a half, as per Ars, with HAV insistent that this wasn’t a crash, but an overly hard landing. That seems to equate quite evenly with the footage recorded of the event by onlookers, though any passengers aboard may have seen it as a little more nerve racking than a bumpy landing.
When fully realised, the Airlander 10 should be capable of travelling at speeds up to 90 miles per hour, carrying up to 10,000 kilograms, as high as 20,000ft, for as long as five days. Shipping items like cars to other countries in an Airlander could be far cheaper than traditional air travel and much faster than your average ship transport.
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KitGuru Says: I think I’d feel quite luxurious riding in an airship. I doubt it would be cheaper than air travel though, considering going anywhere that’s more than a few hours away would require a cabin.