Air­lan­der bounces back

Pilot - - PILOT NOTES -

The dam­aged Air­lan­der air­ship has been re­paired and should fly again ‘soon’, re­sum­ing its flight-test­ing pro­gramme

Struc­tural dam­age sus­tained to the Air­lan­der air­ship’s flight deck dur­ing its sec­ond flight last Au­gust has now been re­paired, and the craft is ready to re­sume flight test­ing. “A rig­or­ous test­ing and train­ing pro­gramme has now com­menced to pre­pare for Air­lan­der tak­ing to the skies again,” re­ports Hy­brid Air Ve­hi­cles’ Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Stephen Mc­glen­nan. “A com­pre­hen­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion has taken place since Air­lan­der’s heavy land­ing, the root causes of which are now fully un­der­stood and a num­ber of changes in pro­ce­dures and train­ing have been im­ple­mented.

“The key vis­i­ble change is that we now have an aux­il­iary land­ing sys­tem which al­lows the air­craft to land safely at a greater range of at­ti­tudes than pre­vi­ously. This has been fit­ted for­ward of the main land­ing gear skids and, like our main land­ing gear, is a pres­surised air cush­ion which con­tacts the ground dur­ing a land­ing. In ad­di­tion we have made a se­ries of im­prove­ments to our ground sys­tems to re­duce the chance of an equip­ment fail­ure such as the prob­lem with the moor­ing mast winch that trig­gered the in­ci­dent in last year. We are also mod­i­fy­ing the air­craft to make sure that if the moor­ing line were ever to hang down again, as it did that day, it can be re­cov­ered so that it does not in­ter­fere with the ap­proach and land­ing.

“The flight deck in­stru­ment pan­els, over­head con­sole and all as­so­ci­ated wiring have al­ready been re­in­stalled suc­cess­fully... ‘Power-on’ has been achieved and on-air­craft test­ing has now be­gun. We’re de­lighted to have made the progress we have in our re­pairs and look for­ward to restart­ing our test flight pro­gramme soon.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.