October 28 - Having experienced a heavy landing during its second test flight in August, Hybrid Air Vehicles' (HAV) hybrid airship Airlander 10 is being repaired and is on schedule to fly again in the early part of 2017.

HAV explained that the damage resulting from the heavy landing was confined to the external structure of the cockpit, and a new structure is being built. Extensive testing of all aspects of the Airlander continues throughout this period, added HAV.

A statement said: "Over the past two months the team at HAV have been conducting a rigorous investigation into events that led to the heavy landing. These events are now well understood.

"Flight test by its nature encompasses risk and while the company, like all aircraft developers, runs robust processes to mitigate these risks, events such as this do occur."

HAV added that it was encouraged by the capability of the aircraft demonstrated in its initial flight tests and the performance of its aircraft systems, despite the hard landing at the end of the second flight.

HAV claims that the Airlander 10 can stay airborne for five days and carry up to 10 tonnes, without the need for runways.