Ex-Academy pupil ‘safe and well’ after test flight crash
The world’s largest aircraft, flown by a team including a Rutherglen man, crashed during its second test flight last week.
It has not been confirmed whether Spittal’s David Burns was aboard the Airlander 10 but all crew were reported to be “safe and well” with no injuries.
The cockpit of the 302ft-long flier - part plane, part helicopter was damaged when it nose-dived as it came in to land on m its second flight.
It had completed its first test flight from its base at Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire last week.
After touching back down from the initial flight, David, a former Spittal Primary and Rutherglen Academy pupil, said: “It was a 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.”
The £25million aircraft was first developed for the US government as a surveillance aircraft.
But it fell victim to defence cuts and the British firm took over.
Airlander is about 50ft longer than the biggest passenger jets and uses helium to become airborne, travelling at speeds of up to 92mph.
HAV say the craft, which will be able to stay airborne for about five days during manned flights, could be used for surveillance, delivering aid, communications and even passenger travel.
The spokesman for HAV added: “The prototype Airlander 10 undertook its second test flight and flew for 100 minutes, completing all the planned tasks before returning to Cardington to land. The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage which is currently being assessed.”
Escape David Burns is chief test pilot for the Airlander 10