Ex-Academy pupil ‘safe and well’ af­ter test flight crash

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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

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