HC Deb 24 November 1995 vol 267 cc346-7W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total cost of his Department's airship, the Skyship 600, Prince of Wales; where it is currently based; what investigation his Department is carrying out into how it burst; what estimate he has made of the total cost of repair to the airship; and if he will make a statement. [2252]

Mr. Arbuthnot

The total procurement cost of the Department's Skyship 600, registered number ZH 762, was approximately £2.6 million and it is based at the Defence Test and Evaluation Organisation site at Boscombe Down. The incident which resulted in rupture of the envelope occurred during a masting operation at Boscombe Down in May 1995 following a day's flying. This was investigated at a formal board of inquiry which concluded human error to be the cause. Repair of the envelope has not been possible; the cost of a replacement has not yet been established.