Airlander Update and Review of the Year

Hybrid Air Vehicles is pleased to announce the structural damage sustained by Airlander’s heavy landing this summer has now been repaired, and over the Christmas period the new cockpit will be painted prior to the windscreens being fitted. The early part of 2017 will consist of a series of rigorous tests before Airlander continues its Flight Test Programme.

2016 was a momentous year, with Airlander’s First Flight breaking new ground in aviation history. Airlander claimed the title of the world’s largest flying aircraft. The two flights represented the only hybrid flight in 2016 and Airlander is the only full-sized aircraft ever to fly in this entirely new way, merging wing-shape lift with buoyant lift.
 
 
2016 in Numbers:
  • 128 people have worked on Airlander this year
  • 100 million online views of Airlander related articles
  • Twice #1 story on the BBC website
  • 600,000 views of our first flight video on our YouTube channel
  • 26,000 UK students engaged with Airlander through direct or partner STEM activities.

Unveiling & Naming - The Airlander was finally completed and unveiled to an excited ensemble of global press within the hangar. Following this, in April, HRH The Duke of Kent visited and officially named the Airlander as ‘Martha Gwyn’ in tribute to Chairman Philip Gwyn’s wife.

Crowdfunding & Regulatory Flight Approval - We successfully raised over £1 million funding on Crowdcube in April after raising £500,000 in just half a day! This helped fund us through to First Flight. We were also cleared for Take-off having been issued with the 2 key documents from EASA and CAA which were needed for First Flight.

“This clearly demonstrates the regulators' confidence in Airlander,” confirmed the Airlander’s Airworthiness and Certification Manager, Carl Thomas.

Hangar Exit & Final Tests - By August we had completed our robust indoor tests and in the early hours of August 6 the Airlander glided majestically from the hangar and was guided to her new outdoor base on the Airfield. A final series of tests were then carried out in the following days.

First Flight – After building global attention the day finally came for First Flight and just before 8pm on 17th August, 2016, Airlander took to the sky for the first time in front of assembled crowds and media – we literally stopped traffic!
“It was a beautiful day to be out on the field and it was a real pleasure to see the "Martha Gwyn" take off. It was a short flight, but a good one, and we captured headlines round the world.” –Stephen McGlennan, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles
Second Flight & Hard Landing – On a sunny day on 24th August the Airlander undertook a second successful flight that lasted for over an hour and a half. As she came in to land a technical issue led to a heavy landing that resulted in a damaged cockpit but without injury. Following this the Airlander was brought into the hangar where she has been undergoing repairs, which are nearing completion.

Awards - We have won and been shortlisted for a number of Awards, including the EEF’s "Future Manufacturing Award for 2016", "Cleantech Innovate" and were delighted to be asked to showcase at the finals of WIRED magazine’s “Moonshot” awards.

STEM - Over 26,000 UK students have been engaged with Airlander through direct, or partner STEM activities. Our School’s programme has presented at over 20 schools and has run programmes lasting a full term. We once again supported the School’s Aerospace Challenge and invited the 40 finalists to the Hangar during the summer camp at Cranfield University.

VIP Visits - We have hosted visits to senior military personnel from over a dozen countries and have been visited by two Ministers, half a dozen MPs and a similar number of Peers. We have presented regularly to Aerosocieties, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Engineering & Technology, Rotary Clubs and other organisations. For the first time, we exhibited at the Farnborough Airshow and have also presented at the Royal United Services Institute Air Power conference, the EU Horizon 2020 conference in Brussels and at the UK Government’s Department for International Development in Whitehall.

Potential Customers - Although we tend to mainly host visitors in Cardington, we have also been to meet potential customers and investors in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar the UAE and throughout Europe.

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. 2.5 million in funding from the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

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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Latest News

Airlander Returns to the Skies
We are delighted to announce a successful flight of the Airlander 10 this evening (Wednesday 10 May). All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site. The Airlander was taken off its mooring mast at 17:20 and took off at 17:28. It flew for a total of 180 minutes before landing at 20:15 and was secured safely on the mast at 20:20. “It was truly amazing to be back in the air. I loved every minute of the flight and the Airlander itself handled superbly. I am eager to get back into the cockpit and take her flying again,” said Chief Test Pilot, Dave Burns. On board were Airlander’s two Test Pilots; Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns and Experimental Test Pilot, Simon Davies. This test flight recommenced the Flight Test Programme of the Airlander 10, which started on August 17, 2016. During each of its 3 phases, the Airlander will perform more tasks and be permitted to fly further away from its base in Cardington. This marks the return to the skies of the world’s largest aircraft, the Airlander 10, and draws a line under the heavy landing it experienced last August. The Airlander has now flown three times in addition to a successful flight as HAV-304 during the US Army’s Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle program in 2012. There were considerable modifications since it was the HAV-304 and the Hybrid Air Vehicles team have made a number of additional modifications since last August, the main ones visible today being a new more powerful and more manoeuvrable Mobile Mooring Mast (MMM), and the additional “landing feet” of the Auxiliary Landing System (ALS). There were three Test Objectives during today’s flight, all of which were successfully achieved: To conduct a full test flight – i.e. complete a safe take-off, flight and landing of the aircraft. To establish basic handling characteristics of Airlander within a well-defined flight envelope including assessment of the new ALS. To collect flight performance data, such as handling, airspeed and all vehicle systems, for post-flight analysis. (This increases the understanding of the aircraft’s performance, capabilities and operating envelope.)  The ALS performed as expected on landing, and the Flight Test Team were very pleased with the initial analysis of this new addition to Airlander’s landing system.    Ultimately the Airlander 10 will break the mould of aviation, providing an ultra-stable, ultra-powerful and ultra-long endurance platform that will be useful in a huge number of roles from search and rescue, to border control, coastguarding, crowd monitoring, security, filming, academic research and filming.  There will also be passenger variants for the ultimate flying experience and eventually Hybrid Air Vehicles will fulfil a crucial role in point-to-point cargo transportation to remote areas.   “This is a great testament to the tenacity and ingenuity of the team of engineers at Hybrid Air Vehicles, who are continually pushing the boundaries of aviation with this amazing aircraft,” said Technical Director, Mike Durham.    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 next few flights are likely to be at least a week or two apart, in order to give time for a full analysis of the data collected on the flight.    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. 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.  

Video Channel

How Collaborative Expertise Launched the Airlander Project
A video from The Institution of Engineering and Technology explaining how Hybrid Air Vehicles has been working with Forward Composites to apply decades of race-bred British carbon composite expertise in the development and manufacture of the revolutionary Airlander.
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