World's longest aircraft Airlander 10 crashes on 2nd flight

The world's longest aircraft, the Airlander 10, has been damaged after nose-diving on landing during its second test flight.

The 92 metre long aircraft - which is part plane and part airship - was damaged during the flight from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire. The £25 million craft is understood to have sustained damage to its cockpit when it hit the ground at about 11:00 local time.

HAV, the developer, said all the crew were "safe and well". A spokesman said, "The flight went really well and the only issue was when it landed."

The company has denied claims from a witness that a line hanging down from the vehicle hit a telegraph pole about two fields away from its landing. It said a debrief was being carried out and a further update would be provided after that.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has confirmed it is investigating the crash, but said it would not be sending a team to the site.

The aircraft had its first test flight from the airfield on 17 August.

Christened the Martha Gwyn, it was first developed for the US government as a surveillance aircraft but the project was shelved amid defence cutbacks.

HAV launched a campaign to return the Airlander 10 to the skies in May 2015. It claims it could be used for a variety of functions such as surveillance, communications, delivering aid and even passenger travel.

It says the huge aircraft will be able to stay airborne for about five days during manned flights.

The company hopes to be building 10 Airlanders a year by 2021 (See: Airship technology comes back to fore courtesy Airlander 10).