The World's Largest Aircraft Broke Free and Sent a Woman to the Hospital
A woman was taken to the hospital for injuries after Airlander 10, the world’s largest aircraft, broke free from its restraints on Saturday.
The Airlander 10 happens to have a safety mechanism which rips open the hull and deflates the aircraft, causing minimal damage to everything around it. However, it’s still a 302-foot-long craft that weighs about 44,000 pounds, so “minimal damage” can be relative.
Luckily, the woman, who was a member of the Cardington Airfield staff, only suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to The Belfast Telegraph. There was also another staff member who sustained some minor injuries, however it is unclear whether they required treatment.
Manufacturer Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) is now investigating why the aircraft broke free in the first place.
“The aircraft was not flying at the time of the incident. Our initial assessment is that the aircraft broke free from its mooring mast for reasons that will be investigated,” the HAV said in a statement to The Belfast Telegraph, adding, “The aircraft is now deflated and secure on the edge of the airfield. The fuel and helium inside the Airlander have been made safe.”
The aircraft also suffered another crash in August 2016, though no one was injured. The aircraft, however, had extensive damage to its cockpit.
The Airlander 10 is valued at £25 million (over $33 million USD). The HAV has not yet determined the extent of the damage on the aircraft or the cost of repairs.