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World’s Longest Aircraft Gets Full-Production Go-Ahead

The Airlander 10 — the world’s longest aircraft — is set to go into full production with the model designed to take its first passengers. “It comes after the prototype Airlander 10 — a combined plane and airship — was formally retired following successful final testing,” reports the BBC. “As a result, Bedford firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has been given Production Organization Approval from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).” From the report: An eyewitness said the aircraft appeared to “break in two” after breaking its moorings and deflating, in November that year, less than 24 hours after completing its sixth successful test flight. The firm was given Design Organization Approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) in October. Stephen McGlennan, HAV’s chief executive, said 2018 had been very good, with Easa’s backing a “huge highlight.” He said the firm had changed its focus last year towards the production of Airlander 10 as a commercial aircraft for customers. “The prototype served its purpose as the world’s first full-sized hybrid aircraft, providing us with the data we needed to move forward from prototype to production standard,” he said. It is now hoped the full commercial model will take to the skies with its first paying passengers “in the early 2020s.” Approval from the CAA and Easa now puts the firm in a “strong position to launch production.”

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