The world’s largest (longest) aircraft the Airlander 10 has embarked its maiden flight at an airfield in Cardington in central England. It is a hybrid airship made by Hybrid Air Vehicles in United Kingdom.
Its successful flight comes 85 years after another airship the ill-fated R101 took off in October 1930 from the same airfield before crashing in France.
Features of Airlander 10
- Airlander 10 is hybrid ship i.e. it is a partly plane and partly airship filled with helium gas. It is 92-metre-long and 43.5m wide.
- It can fly at up to 4,880 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. It can also be used for commercial purpose