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Airlander 10 awarded production approval by UK CAA

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Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded Production Organisation Approval (POA) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for its Airlander 10 hybrid airship.

The company was awarded Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in October 2018, and it said this latest achievement sees HAV starting 2019 in a strong position to launch production.

The world’s largest aircraft uses innovative technology to combine the best characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft. It can stay airborne for up to five days at a time.

Airlander 10 will provide 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.

POA considers the manufacture and assembly aspects of aircraft production. This includes supply chain management, processes relating to manufacture and assembly, and the production facility itself.

Both the DOA, which covers design activities and flight test, and the POA, covering manufacture and assembly, are required to move forward into a type certification programme with the production Airlander 10.

Hybrid Air Vehicles said being awarded the POA in 2018 is a “remarkable achievement” as it typically takes over a year to prepare a facility for a POA audit. HAV only moved into a production facility, the Airlander Technology Centre, in June and were able to be audit-ready in under six months.

In addition to preparing the facility, it’s employees have been working to establish rigorous supply chain and quality assurance processes.

“The POA approval is a significant milestone for HAV. It is the culmination of months of hard work and focused effort,” said HAV’s head of aviation safety & quality assurance, David Lindley. “It demonstrates that the safety, quality assurance, and supply chain management processes are in place, along with the production facility.”

“Successfully being awarded our POA in the same year as our DOA is fantastic,” added executive director, Nick Allman. “The POA is the regulator’s stamp of approval for us to move ahead with the productionisation of Airlander 10 on the path to type certification. This puts us in a great position going into 2019.”