Airlander 10, the butt-shaped airship that just flew for the first time last week, crashed earlier this morning on its second test flight, damaging the cockpit.
Nicknamed "The Flying Bum," the helium-filled aircraft took off from its central-England airfield last week to begin its initial testing, and was flying this morning for a second round of test flights. The aircraft completed its tasks for the day during its hour and a half flight before coming in for a landing.
Video posted to YouTube from witnesses on the ground show the aircraft’s slow descent, nose first.
Photos published by the BBC show that the crash damaged the cockpit. According to a tweet from Hybrid Air Vehicles, there were no injuries in the crash, but the company denied that it had been damaged in a collision with a telegraph pole, as had been reported earlier by eyewitnesses:
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.— Hybrid Air Vehicles (@AirVehicles) August 24, 2016
The company said in a statement that they are "debriefing following the second test flight this morning. All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries."
The airship, (which is formally named Martha Gwyn) was originally created by the US Army as a surveillance vehicle. The project was ultimately shut down, but the concept was repurposed by Hybrid Air Vehicles for short-range cargo flights, aerial surveillance, and potentially even passenger flights.
The aircraft took off last week in the first of a series of test flights from its airbase in Cardington Airfield.