Statement on Media Coverage on 19th April 2017

You may have seen some reports in the media about Airlander with some headlines about Airlander “nosediving” and “breaking free of its mooring lines”. These are factually incorrect stories and we have identified the source and managed to get the mainstream media to change or remove this story now. 

The story came from a picture of us pitching up at the rear by a small amount. This is a normal event which one can expect to see from time to time. It is something that Airlander is designed to do.  We continue to be attached to our mooring mast in our final phase of flight test training. This is the main point of contact the Airlander has with terra firma. The attachment is a ball and socket joint and we naturally move around it at all times – we mainly move sideways through 360 degrees (yaw, or weathervane) around the mast and sometimes we also pitch (tilt upwards) around it.

We expect to be flying very soon and continue to be on schedule.

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On Tuesday 4 July, Airlander undertook it’s 5th Test flight
On Tuesday 4 July, Airlander undertook it’s 5th Test flight. The flight included the proving of an alternative landing technique in preparation for when we commence heavier flight trials (this technique had been developed in the simulator based on data from previous test flights). The flight also included a level-flight acceleration and deceleration run. The Airlander 10, piloted by Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns, left its mast at 18:05 and took to the skies 2 minutes later. Dave landed Airlander at 20:29 and was on the mast at 20:36 for a total flight time of 2 hours 31 mins (airborne time 2 hours 22 minutes). The flight was extremely successful, achieving all its aims. In particular, following three good practice landings at altitude, the landing on this flight was exceptionally smooth. The success of this flight has set the framework for bringing forward customer readiness of the Airlander. The overall operating envelope remained similar to previous flights in being up to 4000 feet altitude, 40 knots speed and within 15 Nautical Miles of Cardington. Due to a lower cloud base, Airlander attained a maximum altitude of 3500 feet during this flight, and a maximum speed of 37 knots.

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