Airlander Crash-Lands on Its No-Longer Flying Bum

Public Domain. Philbobagshot via Wikimedia Commons

TreeHugger covered the recent first flight of the Airlander, now formally named the Martha Gwyn after the wife of the company chairman. Perhaps they think people will stop using the "flying bum" nickname. There might be some new jokes make about it landing on its butt in a very silly looking crash landing. One observer claimed that "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 company denies this, and simply says "The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage which is currently being assessed." They told the Independent: "We're debriefing following the second test flight this morning," a spokesperson for the ship's makers, HAV, said. "All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries."

I think it is actually confidence-inspiring; if this is what a crash landing of a helium-filled aircraft is like, bring it on. No explosions, no injuries, the whole thing in slo-mo. The Airlander people noted that "The flight went really well and the only issue was when it landed." I suppose that can be said of every crash, but it is particularly true here.