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Airlander leaves Bedfordshire hangar for first time since crash

Airlander 10 has emerged from its hangar once again. Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles.

The world's largest airship has emerged from its hangar in Bedfordshire and will take to the skies again soon.

The Airlander 10 has undergone extensive repairs after crash-landing on only its second ever flight from Cardington Airfield.

Hybrid Air Vehicles said it was carrying out a number of final tests but would soon become a familiar sight over Bedfordshire and the rest of the UK.

The Airlander in flight. Credit: PA images.

"The full flight test programme will take a number of months and is split into three phases, each with the Airlander increasing its flight 'envelope' by incrementally increasing its range and duration, the complexity of flight manoeuvres, its speed and altitude and its payload.

"Over coming weeks the Airlander will be a common sight over Bedfordshire and later this year, over the rest of the UK."

– Hybrid Air Vehicles.
The Airlander's crash landing in August 2016. Credit: Lee Cornell.

It has taken seven months to repair the damage to the front of the aircraft following its crash in August last year.

Engineers have also made a series of improvements to try to prevent the same thing happening again.

They new “landing feet” called the Auxiliary Landing System (ALS) which will deploy on landing and help protect the cockpit.

Airlander 10 is a 92 metre long aircraft and has only 3 metres of clearance on either side as it exits the doors of the its hangar.

The world's longest aircraft is designed to stay airborne for days with a 10,000kg payload, and travel to remote regions.

Its early use is likely to be for passenger tourist flights and interest has already been expressed.

Airlander's new inflatable feet. Credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles.

"With our next flight just round the corner, this opens a new chapter in aviation history. An aircraft that flies in an entirely new way and which can do so many useful things is about to be a regular sight over the UK. I think we'll amaze people!"

– Stephen McGlennan, HAV chief executive.