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Longest-ever aircraft takes damage in second flight

The airplane/airship hybrid smacked the ground on landing.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 24, 2016
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Reuters/Darren Staples

The future of air travel may have to wait a while. Airlander 10, Hybrid Air Vehicles' cross between an airplane and airship, suffered damage at the end of its second test flight. The longest-ever aircraft wrecked its cockpit when it nosedived on landing. HAV reports that the crew is "safe and well," thankfully, but it's not clear how long this will delay the Airlander program. The company tells the BBC that it's waiting on the results of a debriefing before it provides more details.

This isn't likely to be a major setback for the oddly-shaped (okay, butt-like) aircraft, which promises to be useful for everything from long surveillance missions to eco-friendly passenger flights. However, it's going to be expensive. The Airlander 10 costs about £25 million ($33.1 million), so even a comparatively modest accident will prove costly.

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