Airlander 10: World’s Largest Aircraft Completes Test Flight
Airlander 10, the world’s largest aircraft has successfully completed a test flight by flying for a total of 180 minutes in Cardington, UK. During the test flight, the aircraft’s’ handling and improved landing technology were tested thus bringing it a step closer to commercial use.
Airlander 10 is hybrid ship i.e. it is a partly plane and partly airship filled with helium gas. It combines technology from airplanes, helicopters and airships. It is 92-metre-long and 43.5m wide. It can fly at up to 6,100 metres and reach speeds of 148 kilometres per hour. It can also carry a 10-tonne payload. It can stay airborne for more than two weeks unmanned and up to five days if manned. It was first developed for the US Government as a surveillance aircraft, but the project was shelved amid defence cutbacks.
The first test flight of Airlander 10 was carried out on August 17, 2016. During its second test flight, Airlander 10 suffered cockpit damage while landing in Bedfordshire in central England.