It was hailed a 'great British innovation' by its makers following a successful maiden flight just seven days ago. However the world's largest aircraft hit a telegraph pole and suffered cockpit damaged as it crash landed today. The £25 million 320 ft-long Airlander 10, nicknamed the 'Flying Bum', made its first test flight only last Wednesday. But the aircraft, which can carry a ten-tonne pay load, has crashed at its base Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire. In a video of the crash, which seems to be in slow-motion, stunned witnesses can be heard voicing concerns.
At first one man watching it says: 'Surely you'd be worried that you're just going to smash that into the ground.' And he then adds: 'Oh my God, he's actually just broken it. He's just smashed that up.' One 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.'
The Airlander is on sale for £25 million and will be able to stay airborne for five days during manned flights. The developers say the plane can be used for surveillance, communications, delivering aid and passenger travel. A spokesman for Hybrid Air Vehicles said today: 'We're debriefing following the second test flight this morning. 'All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries.'