London, Aug 24 (IANS) The world’s largest aircraft known as the “Flying Bum” on Wednesday crash-landed during its second test flight at Bedfordshire’s Cardington Airfield in Britain only a week after its maiden flight.
The 320-feet-long Airlander 10 hit a telegraph pole and suffered damage to its cockpit as it nose-dived into the ground.
The aircraft, designed to carry a massive 10 tonne payload, made its first flight on August 17 and was hailed as a “great British innovation” by its makers.
According to the Independent, its official name is the Martha Gwyn — however, it gained notoriety not because of its huge size but the interesting shape of its back.
An eyewitness said: “A line that was hanging down from the plane hit the telegraph pole about two fields away. Then, as it came in to land, it seemed to nose-dive and landed on the cockpit, smashing it up.”
“We are debriefing following the second test flight this morning,” an official for the ship’s makers, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), said.
“All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries,” the HAV official added.
It took 10 years and $33 million to build the craft, which is around 50 feet longer than the biggest passenger plane, the Sun reported.
The aircraft was initially developed for the US military which planned to use it for surveillance in Afghanistan, but the project was scrapped in 2013 by the US government, Daily Mail reported.
The aircraft is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time and will be able to withstand wind speeds of up to 85 knots.
HAV hopes to be building ten of such aircrafts per year by 2021.