In March 2016, new photographs of the world’s longest aircraft were released and on Saturday (August 6), the aircraft fondly dubbed as the ‘Flying Bum’ was brought out its hangar for the first time.
The Airlander 10, a plane-airship hybrid, was piloted out of the UK’s biggest hangar at Cardington Airfield, Bedfordshire, at 04:00 BST. However, the date of its maiden flight has not been fixed.
Christened as Martha Gwyn, the Airlander 10 is 302 foot (92m) long — about 60 foot (18m) longer than the biggest airliners.
After the US Army faced a cash crunch to fund vessel as a surveillance project back in 2012, a British firm, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) had taken over the task of its completion. It spent the past nine years developing the prototype at Cardington.
The aircraft requires 1.3m cubic feet of helium to fly. It can vertically take off and land on any surface—ice, water or desert. The £25 million airship can stay in the same spot for three weeks and can even fly with bullet holes in it, according to reports.
Hundreds of people invested £500,000 in less than 10 hours for crowd funding the project. The HAV believes the vessel could be the future for air travel as it is quieter and emits less pollution than traditional aircraft. It has plans to build 12 Airlanders by 2018.
People are quite excited about it launch. Here’s how Twitter reacted.
— Bean (@BeanInHarrison) August 7, 2016
— Lucy FT (@LucyUKRecruiter) August 6, 2016