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The World’s Longest Aircraft Just Had a Rough Test Flight

2 minute read

The Airlander 10 just completed its second test flight, and it didn’t end well.

During a flight Wednesday, world’s longest aircraft ran into some issues upon landing and suffered damage to its cockpit after a nosedive. Hybrid Aircraft Vehicles, the company that developed the Airlander, told the BBC that the flight crew were all “safe and well,” and “the only issue was when it landed.” One witness claimed to have seen a line hanging down from the Airlander hit a telephone pole during the flight, though HAV denied it.

The 302-foot-long aircraft was originally designed for the U.S. military, according to BBC. The project had been set aside amid budget cuts, but HAV still plans to build 10 of them in the next five years. The company says it can be used for surveillance, communications, delivering aid and passenger travel.

The aircraft has been named the Martha Gwyn and is a plane-airship hybrid. It weighs more than 44,000 pounds and can hold about half that while staying airborne for up to five days. It can fly as fast as 92 mph and reach an altitude of 20,000 feet, and it is reported to have a substantially smaller carbon footprint than other forms of air travel.

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