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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Airlander 10, world's largest aircraft, crashes again in UK

Two people were injured as the 92-metre craft broke free from its mooring

The world's largest aircraft has had a bumpy ride since its creation.

Airlander 10, made by UK company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), crash landed on it second test flight last year.

And now the aircraft, which measures 92 metres long, 43.5m wide and 26m high, has had another mishap, having broken free from its mooring mast at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire, injuring two members of staff.

One sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital and was later discharged. Another also sustained minor injuries while dealing with the aftermath of the incident, the company said in a statement.

Local roads and a footpath were temporarily closed by Bedfordshire Police while the incident was dealt with.

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Read more:

World's biggest aircraft, Airlander 10, crash lands on second test flight

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"The aircraft has a safety system which operates automatically in circumstances of the aircraft breaking free of its mast, and is designed to rip open the hull and deflate the aircraft," said HAV.

The Airlander 10 hybrid airship is pictured before its maiden flight at Cardington Airfield in Britain last year. Darren Staples / Reuters
The Airlander 10 hybrid airship is pictured before its maiden flight at Cardington Airfield in Britain last year. Darren Staples / Reuters

"This is a safety feature to ensure our aircraft minimises any potential damage to its surroundings in these circumstances. The aircraft is now deflated and secure on the edge of the airfield. The fuel and helium inside the Airlander have been made safe."

It added that such incidents "can occur during this phase of development".

Airlander 10 can stay airborne for up to five days at a time.

HAV says the part plane part airship will fulfil a wide range of communication, cargo carrying and survey roles in both the military and commercial sectors "all with a significantly lower carbon footprint than other forms of air transport".

It is due to move to a new, bigger site next year as it enters the second phase of test flights.