Doncaster airship plant to create 1,200 jobs

The Airlander had its first test flight in 2016 Credit: PA Images

A company which builds airships has announced plans to manufacture them in Doncaster, creating more than 1,200 jobs.

Hybrid Air Vehicles, which builds sustainable aircraft technology, and the city council have agreed a deal to build the Airlander 10 hybrid ship at Carcroft Common.

The 50-hectare site will see the testing, certification and production of up to 24 Airlander per year and will create a £1bn export.

The first aircraft, which is capable of carrying 100 passengers, is set to enter service from 2028.

The Airlander in flight. Credit: PA images.

Hybrid Air Vehicles said it would "work closely with important regional partners", including the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Doncaster University Technical College.

Tom Grundy, CEO of Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd, said: "Airlander 10 will transform what's possible for sustainable air travel. Our vision to rethink clean flight has been met with robust support at every step of the way.

"We look forward to working closely with the community as we launch our production programme and progress this extraordinary project.”

Subject to planning approval, the site will house cutting-edge aerospace production equipment, such as new assembly lines for Airlander’s composite-based airframe, propulsion systems, and electrical and avionics systems.

Steve Foxley, CEO of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, said it was a "big moment for South Yorkshire and one to be proud of".

He added: "To have Hybrid Air Vehicles putting its production footprint in South Yorkshire is a real boost to the region’s capability and reputation."

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, described the plan as an "exciting opportunity" to bring high skilled jobs to Doncaster.

She added: "This proposed Hybrid Air Vehicles site is not only part of our ambitious growth strategy but also our pioneering climate change ambitions, focussing on new green advanced manufacturing and sustainable industrial innovation."

Airlander 10’s production at a purpose-built factory in South Yorkshire will begin this year.

In 2016, the Airlander 10 crash landed on its second test flight. A year later the aircraft collapsed to the ground at its base in Bedfordshire for a second time, causing its hull to rip and deflate.

The Airlander 10 crash landed on its second test flight out of Cardington Airfield in 2016

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