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Biggest Aircraft in the World Leaves Hangar

Airlander 10 is ready for ground tests before its first flight.

The biggest aircraft in the world is almost ready for its first flight. Lonely Planet reports that the Airlander 10 has left the hangar for the first time this past Saturday at Cardington Airfield in the UK.

Designed by Hybrid Air Vehicles, the aircraft is intended to create eco-friendly tourism that will allow passengers to travel comfortably and with a fantastic view. Due to the lower fuel burn of the vessel, Airlander 10 will not have a great impact on the environment.

Hybrid Air used innovative aerospace technology, combining characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology in order to create an efficient aircraft that can stay up in the air for five days, if manned, and for two weeks if unmanned.

Now that it has left the hangar, the Airlander 10 will go through a battery of tests before its first flight, which may happen in the next few months. Being such a huge aircraft, maneuvering it out of the hangar was a challenge, but ultimately a success.

“It was a very smooth first journey for Airlander and she behaved beautifully. We’re delighted to have reached this significant milestone,” said Technical Director Mike Durham.

Hybrid Air has plans to implement the Airlander for communication, cargo carrying, survey roles and tourism. The aircraft will also be able to take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites such as ice, water or desert terrain.

The company already has plans for the future – after the Airlander 10, they want to launch an even bigger aircraft, Airlander 50, that will be used specifically for the heavy lift cargo market.

[Photo: The Kansas City Star]

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