Airlander progresses through Flight Test Programme with another successful Flight

  • Airlander continues pioneering test flight programme with another successful flight
  • Hybrid Air Vehicles will be attending the Paris Airshow within the UK pavilion run by ADS – Hall 2b Stand H178
  • Airlander significantly expanded upon its previous flight test envelope and reached an altitude of 3700ft and velocity of 37 knots 
Hybrid Air Vehicles’ own preview to the Paris Airshow next week took place in the skies above Bedfordshire yesterday evening (13 June 2017).  Airlander continued its pioneering test flight programme by successfully completing another flight over Bedfordshire, UK. 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.
 
“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
 
These capabilities include unprecedented endurance of up to 5 days manned, carrying up to 10 tonnes of payload with unprecedented electrical power.  This will transform military surveillance, coastguard and border control and is increasingly finding other applications such as telecoms, geo-survey and geo-intelligence and home security. 

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 further expanding the flight envelope and further testing of the flight characteristics. We reached 3700 feet altitude and 37 knots speed and these are close to 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.
 
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.
 
At the Paris Airshow, the team from Airlander will be talking about her capabilities at Hall 2b Stand H178, within the UK zone run by the trade body ADS. 

About Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd
 
Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best of the characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport.

Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally-friendly. They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments. Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded both UK and European grant funding to support the Airlander project. In addition the company has carried out two ‘crowdfunding’ rounds and is proud to have more than 2000 shareholders without whom return to flight would not have been possible.  Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd was recently accepted onto London Stock Exchange’s ELITE programme for high growth companies looking to seek a listing on the Stock Market.
 
The Airlander project was selected for funding through a dedicated SME Instrument of Horizon 2020, which the European Commission uses to invest in and support high growth and highly innovative small businesses. The technology is also fully in line with activities under the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020, which aims to boost the competitiveness of the European transport industries and achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate-and-environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society.

Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights.

Please visit http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/about-us/invest-in-us for more details about investment opportunities.

Please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com and Hybrid Air Vehicles on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on Instagram.

For images, please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/press/image-downloads.

For general media enquiries, contact Chris Daniels, Head of Partnerships and Communications at chris.daniels@hybridairvehicles.net or on 01234 336415.
 
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Plans for the Growing Airlander Business
Anyone living close to Cardington cannot help but notice the huge changes that have happened since HAV moved in nearly 4 years ago. We now have over 100 people on the site most days, and share our hangar with a very busy Warner Bros film studio and storage site. Next door in Hangar 2 the film industry is also making great progress, so busy days at Cardington now see over 1000 people arrive for a day’s work. With new roads and new housing coming, the pace of change will not slow down any time soon. At HAV, our focus now is on building from the great success of the initial Airlander 10 testing, and preparing to produce Airlander aircraft and deliver them all over the globe. So this is a natural time for us to make sure that we are set up for the future with the right site and the right facilities and we have been reviewing our needs to ensure that we can do just that. As a result we have concluded that we now need to begin a process of moving HAV to a new site, away from Cardington. We have worked with everyone on and around the site to make every effort to find a way to stay here, but after that extensive exercise we believe that moving is the right and pragmatic decision for us. We are proud of what we have achieved in the last 4 years and we couldn’t have done it without Cardington. We are constantly amazed by the support and affection of the vast majority of people and businesses in our area, and we are pleased to bring jobs and, we hope, other benefits including our STEM work and other activities to Bedford. We also benefit from the great transport links of this area and its proximity to London. So we’re very pleased to say that we don’t plan to move far. We will make further announcements in the coming weeks, and these will start with a new location for our Engineers and our other office-based teams to work from locally as from the beginning of December. You will also hear in the coming weeks that we will start to use other airfields a little further away to undertake testing and other operations of Airlander. We have been preparing for this transition for a long time – including right from the start by designing Airlander to be maintained and supported outside without need for a hangar after it is built. We’ve been busy this year proving all of our maintenance techniques work without coming back in to the hangar and have made very good progress with that. With extended flight testing and customer demonstrations about to start, some of which need more take-off and landing distance than Cardington allows, this is the right time for Airlander to start visiting some new locations. Finally, we hope to announce at a later date where our planned production location for Airlander will be sited. This location will be the focal point of new employment both in HAV and our supply chain providing nearly 2000 additional jobs in the UK, delivering parts and sub-assemblies for building, testing and delivering 12 or more aircraft per year. We plan to do this from “right-size” hangars, purpose designed for Airlander 10. We are now working to finalise the design for these and will reveal more in future issues. For now, though, we can reveal that our approach to this has been as innovative as you would expect, and we have turned to the event structures industry to develop a road-transportable hangar that can be erected very rapidly in a new location. This gives us - and our customers - the flexibility to respond quickly to demand for hangars here, or in the future operating locations for the aircraft. All this makes it a very exciting time for HAV and the Airlander project. This is, of course, tinged with real sadness to be starting to move away from Cardington and gratitude to everyone in and around us for their support and help over the years here. We hope that Cardington can remain a testing and mooring site for Airlander – as we believe it should - long into the future. With 100 years of heritage behind it, and Airlander just beginning its journey into the world, who knows what new chapters of our industry will be written at Cardington in the future?

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