VIDEO: World’s longest aircraft makes maiden flight

The world’s longest aircraft – the Airlander 10 airship – has completed its maiden flight, taking off from Cardington Airfield in the UK last night (see end of article for video).
The £25m aircraft had been due to make its maiden flight last Sunday, but take-off was delayed because of a technical hitch. Instead, Hybrid Air Vehicles’ (HAV) Airlander 10, named the Martha Gwyn, finally took off for the first time at 19:40 (local time) last night.
It wouldn’t be the largest man-made object to take to the skies – the US military version of the Airlander, from which HAV took over the design after the project was abandoned in 2012 − did manage a test flight in New Jersey.
And the Hindenburg airship of the 1930s was a mind-boggling 804ft long. The Airlander 10 – and planned the larger Airlander 50 which will be able to carry 50 tonnes – is being pitched for a range of commercial uses, including cargo transport, surveillance (a strange choice because of its size) and tourism.
The aircraft will be able to stay airborne for around five days and HAV hopes it will have a production run of 10 aircraft per year by 2021.

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