Airlander 10 will make its exit from the hanger this month
04 April 2017
The Airlander Team announces significant enhancements to the aircraft ahead of its imminent Hangar Exit and resumption of its Flight Test Program.
We already know that an Auxiliary Landing System (ALS) has been added which allows the aircraft to land safely at a greater range of landing angles. This is a pilot-deployable two airbag landing system, which the pilot can deploy as an extra cushion to land on. The airbags are over 3m in length and contain 15m³ gas (less than 0.1 percent of the entire hull volume). There is an airbag on each side of the Flight Deck, which offers enhanced protection to the cabin and Flight Deck. It will be deployed on most landings in the flight test program. It uses the existing ballonet fans to inflate, and takes under 20 seconds to be ready for use.
Another major accomplishment is the commissioning of the Mobile Mooring Mast (MMM). The MMM is an integrated tracked vehicle and mooring mast, which makes it much easier to control and ”push back” the Airlander when manoeuvering it around the airfield. It has a single pivot interface with the Airlander, so makes a much simpler mechanism than it previously had.
Both of these pieces of equipment are new to Airlander, and have been developed as a direct result of learnings the team have established since the flight tests last August. They will make Airlander easier to manoeuvre and safer to land.
“Both of these enhancements are great engineering innovations, and show the creativity and ingenuity of the team working on Airlander to great effect. We look forward to using them for real very soon.” Steve McGlennan, CEO Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd.
Hybrid Air Vehicles expect to take the Airlander out of the Hangar during April and she will be flying again very soon after that.