March 9 - The structural damage of Hybrid Air Vehicles' (HAV) Airlander has been repaired, and the airship is in an extensive test phase prior to its next flight, resuming the Flight Test Programme.

HLPFI reported last month, that the Airlander 10 airship will be back in the air soon following its heavy landing last August.

According to HAV, there have been a number of improvements made to the Airlander, including an Auxiliary Landing System (ALS), a pressurised air cushion which contacts the ground during landing, which allows the aircraft to land safely at a greater range of angles. In addition to the ALS there have been improvements to the ground systems to reduce the chance of an equipment failure, such as the problem with the mooring mast winch that triggered the incident in August last year.

HAV claims that there has been modifications to the aircraft to make sure that if the mooring line were ever to hang down from the aircraft again, as it did last year, it can be recovered so that it does not interfere with the approach and landing of the aircraft.

A rigorous testing and training programme has now commenced to prepare for Airlander taking to the skies again. "Over this period the whole focus of the team has been to improve the way we work and the way we operate the aircraft so that our next stage of flying achieves all of our objectives. Our work in this has been guided by our investigations, which were conducted and reviewed in line with the exhaustive standards that are the norm across the aerospace industry," says Tom Grundy, operations director.
HAV is yet to announce a specific date for the next flight of Airlander, but advised achieving a safe flight is the priority. It will make further announcements in due course.