Record-breaking Airlander 10 Makes Historic First Flight

Airlander 10 has successfully completed its first flight. All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site.

Airlander 10 took off from the historic Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire, England at approximately 19:45 on Wednesday 17th of August, after a short flight it landed at 20:00, before dark.

The two Test Pilots were ecstatic about the flight and the flight performance of Airlander during its time in the air.


Cardington, Bedfordshire, UK – The first flight of Airlander 10 is a historic success and marks the commencement of Airlander 10’s Flight Test Programme which is expected to last for a number of months. After this the aircraft will begin a series of Trials and Demonstrations with prospective customers.

Airlander 10 has been widely hailed as an innovation that will have a hugely positive impact on the world by providing low carbon aviation and brand new capabilities in the sky.

Customer interest is strong due to these game-changing capabilities of the Airlander – it offers a stable platform with huge amounts of power and space for search & rescue or communications equipment, and also offers a unique passenger experience.

Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns said, "It was privilege to fly the Airlander for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I’m really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream."

A confirmatory Pre-flight test began at 0900 this morning and once Technical Director Mike Durham, Chief Test Pilot David Burns and Ground Operations Chief Alex Travell were all in agreement, clearance was granted for First Flight to commence. These three have been working together for almost thirty years, which illustrates the depth of experience and know-how within Hybrid Air Vehicles.

The four massive but quiet engines were started approximately 30 minutes before takeoff. Once airborne, Chief Test Pilot David Burns, accompanied by Test Pilot Simon Davies, flew the majestic Airlander within a 6 mile (5 nautical mile) area around Cardington Airfield, just to the south of Bedford, in England. Airlander climbed to a height of 500ft and reached a maximum speed of 35 knots. Due to a later than anticipated take-off time the Airlander was limited to a 19 minute flight so we could land safely before darkness fell.

All test objectives were met during the flight. These included the safe launch, flight and landing of the Airlander 10 and a series of gentle turns at increasing speed. Some technical tests on its hull pressure were also undertaken.

Please note that drones and other aircraft are not permitted to fly within one nautical mile of Cardington Airfield most of the time due to restrictions associated with the Met Office Station there.

The Airlander is expected to be a showcase of UK innovation and is already being used in the UK Government’s "GREAT Britain" campaign to highlight the strength of the aerospace sector and the innovation in engineering this country is capable of creating. As the Airlander approaches first flight, customer interest has increased, particularly in the defence and security sector, and this, together with UK Government support should secure 400 new aerospace jobs as well as valuable export opportunities for the UK economy. The next step is to ensure the UK Government runs a trial in order to demonstrate the potential of this amazing aircraft to the world and secure the lucrative exports, and grow further jobs in Bedfordshire and in the supply chain across the UK (80% of Airlander’s supply chain is British). This will help ensure the £6m of UK Government grants received thus far lead to orders. Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd is also looking to raise equity through High Net Worth individuals and Institutional Investors to fund some aspects of the Flight Test Programme.

About Hybrid Air Vehicles:

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 5

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.

There is a supporter’s club, the Airlander Club which members receive a monthly newsletter and a host of other benefits: http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/airlander-club 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. 6

To view videos, please visit our ‘Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander’ YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnvPhACVf7t4Ykgx1OxgRiQ
 
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Today, Hybrid Air Vehicles announces plans to hold three of the first year’s Airlander 10 production slots for commercial customers. The company has also unveiled a cabin demonstrator to support customer discussions in this sector.   This decision comes as demand for Airlander 10 in the commercial market has been growing rapidly, with interest coming from major cruise lines, hotel groups, and tour operators. “We recognise that there is a lot of interest in purchase or lease of Airlander aircraft in the commercial market,” comments Executive Director Tom Grundy. “Our confidential conversations with customers in other sectors are progressing well and these customers could easily absorb our early production capacity. We have taken the decision to preserve three production slots to ensure that the first commercial operators of Airlander have an early opportunity to satisfy the significant public appetite for unique luxury travel experiences.”   The increased interest in the passenger variant of Airlander 10 has followed from the launch of the concept cabin interior at Farnborough International Airshow last year. HAV has since brought a new Commercial Business Development Director, George Land, on board to address this demand and bring the first commercial Airlander 10s into the market.   “The desire for Airlander 10 in a variety of commercial tourism and hospitality markets is now clear,” notes Land. “With a limited number of aircraft available as production capacity ramps up in the first years, holding three slots ensures that the first commercial operators to order aircraft will have an opportunity to take delivery of Airlander 10 in the early 2020s.”   HAV is also supporting the development of facilities to offer leasing options and operational support for Airlander 10. These facilities open up additional ways for the commercial market to access the aircraft. “We’ve seen the growing trend toward experiential travel,” Land adds. “Airlander 10 is the perfect platform for companies to provide their customers something unique and meet their business goals.”   HAV has also today unveiled a full-scale cabin demonstrator to provide prospective aircraft purchasers or lessors the opportunity to experience the available space and interior quality offered by Airlander 10.

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