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The world’s biggest airship just crashed into a field

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David Cornish
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The frankly monstrous Airlander 10 - the vast British 'flying bum' that holds the lofty title of the world's largest aircraft - has just crashed into a field during a test flight at Cardington airfield, Bedfordshire.

That's a statement that will probably provoke several questions, so let's answer a few of them. 

The what?

The what?

The Airlander 10 is a hybrid airship: it's got a wacking great big broad-hull design, it measures some 92 metres in length, with flight controlled by four diesel engines and a series of wings.

It was built by British bunch Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) as part of the United States Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) programme - which hoped to create an aircraft capable of long flights with minimal energy for surveillance and the like.

The Americans scrapped the programme, so HAV brought the Airlander 10 back to the UK for 'civilian use'. 

(Image: Philbobagshot)

Why's it called the 'flying bum'?

Why's it called the 'flying bum'?

Because... well look at it. 

It's a massive flying arse. 

A majestic, flying arse. 

(Image: Philbobagshot)

So what's just happened to it?

The Airlander/bum is currently undergoing the latest in a series of test flights at Cardington airfield. 

Having floated about successfully for some time, the craft had some issues when landing - apparently crushing its main cabin upon touching down.

"We're debriefing following the second test flight this morning. All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries," explains the HAV Facebook page. "Airlander sustained damage on landing during today's flight. No damage was sustained mid-air or as a result of a telegraph pole as reported."

So there you have it. Massive bum crashes into field, although it's a 'crash' of slow, threatening proportions. Here's hoping they get better at landing it before it takes back to the skies, inevitably painted pink and hired as a PR stunt for an underwear company...

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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