an annoucement today to members of the Airlander Club, Hybrid
Air Vehicles annouced that they had taken the decision to move
from Cardington to continue it's operations.
the statement from Tom Grundy, Strateagic Customer Solutions and
Support, the annoucment confirmed that HAV have decided to look
for an alterantive home for Hybrid Air Vehicles and use other
airfields a little further away from Cardington for the operations
of the Airlander 10. With the use of Shed 2 as a the Warner Brothers
film production site, with some 1000 people arriving for work,
the change of use of the site over the last 4 years has been seen
as one of the reasons for the move.
living close to Cardington cannot help but notice the huge changes
that have happened since HAV moved in nearly four years ago. We
now have over 100 people on the site most days, and share our
hangar with a very busy Warner Bros film studio and storage site.
Next door in Hangar 2 the film industry is also making great progress,
so busy days at Cardington now see over 1000 people arrive for
a days work. With new roads and new housing coming, the
pace of change will not slow down any time soon.
HAV, our focus now is on building from the great success of the
initial Airlander 10 testing, and preparing to produce Airlander
aircraft and deliver them all over the globe. So this is a natural
time for us to make sure that we are set up for the future with
the right site and the right facilities and we have been reviewing
our needs to ensure that we can do just that.
a result we have concluded that we now need to begin a process
of moving HAV to a new site, away from Cardington. We have worked
with everyone on and around the site to make every effort to find
a way to stay here, but after that extensive exercise we believe
that moving is the right and pragmatic decision for us.
are proud of what we have achieved in the last four years and
we couldnt have done it without Cardington. We are constantly
amazed by the support and affection of the vast majority of people
and businesses in our area, and we are pleased to bring jobs and,
we hope, other benefits including our STEM work and other activities
to Bedford. We also benefit from the great transport links of
this area and its proximity to London. So were very pleased
to say that we dont plan to move far. We will make further
announcements in the coming weeks, and these will start with a
new location for our Engineers and our other office-based teams
to work from locally as from the beginning of December.
will also hear in the coming weeks that we will start to use other
airfields a little further away to undertake testing and other
operations of Airlander. We have been preparing for this transition
for a long time including right from the start, by designing
Airlander to be maintained and supported outside without need
for a hangar after it is built. Weve been busy this year
proving all of our maintenance techniques work without coming
back in to the hangar and have made very good progress with that.
With extended flight testing and customer demonstrations about
to start, some of which need more take-off and landing distance
than Cardington allows, this is the right time for Airlander to
start visiting some new locations.
we hope to announce at a later date where our planned production
location for Airlander will be sited. This location will be the
focal point of new employment both in HAV and our supply chain
providing nearly 2000 additional jobs in the UK, delivering parts
and sub-assemblies for building, testing and delivering 12 or
more aircraft per year. We plan to do this from 'right-size' hangars,
purpose designed for Airlander 10. We are now working to finalise
the design for these and will reveal more in future issues. For
now, though, we can reveal that our approach to this has been
as innovative as you would expect, and we have turned to the event
structures industry to develop a road-transportable hangar that
can be erected very rapidly in a new location. This gives us,
and our customers, the flexibility to respond quickly to demand
for hangars here, or in the future operating locations for the
this makes it a very exciting time for HAV and the Airlander project.
This is, of course, tinged with real sadness to be starting to
move away from Cardington and gratitude to everyone in and around
us for their support and help over the years here. We hope that
Cardington can remain a testing and mooring site for Airlander,
as we believe it should, long into the future. With 100 years
of heritage behind it, and Airlander just beginning its journey
into the world, who knows what new chapters of our industry will
be written at Cardington in the future?
Executive Director Strategic Customer Solutions and Support