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Airlander 10: Maiden Flight at Last for Longest Aircraft

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Airlander 10: Maiden Flight at Last for Longest Aircraft;

Airlander 10: World's Largest Airship Dubbed 'Flying Bum,' Takes Maiden Voyage.

Flight of the £25million bum plane! World's largest aircraft finally takes to the skies for a successful maiden voyage.

-302ft-long Airlander 10 is part plane, part helicopter, part airship, and has been refurbished in the UK
-Today, plane spotters gathered to watch its maiden voyage at the Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire
-Bulbous exterior has earned the famous aircraft the nickname of 'the flying bum' among enthusiasts

The world's largest aircraft branded 'the flying bum' has taken to the skies in a successful maiden voyage - the first since a revamp in Britain.

The 302ft-long Airlander 10 - part plane, part helicopter, part airship - loomed overhead at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire as the sun started to set on this evening.
Photographers and plane spotters baked in the sun as they waited to see the aircraft, whose bulbous exterior has earned it the less-than-glamorous nickname 'the flying bum', take off.

The developers called the ship a 'great British innovation' after the flight, which was a modern milestone in airships, which was all but abandoned after the famous Hindenburg disaster in 1937.

Stephen McGlennan, chief executive of Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), added: 'It's a combination of an aircraft that has parts of normal fixed-wing aircraft, it's got helicopter, and it’s got airship.'
The Airlander is designed to use less fuel than a plane, but carry heavier loads than conventional airships.
HAV say it can reach 16,000 feet, travel at up to 90 mph and stay aloft for up to two weeks.

Mr McGlennan, who is not a pilot but has practiced flying the craft on a simulator, said it was 'very simple' to manoeuvre.
He said: 'It's a very stable, benign aircraft that responds very gently in flight, we expect it to be an unusually calm flight experience.'
People have been practicing to fly it for at least five years, he added.
Source:BBC News & dailymail.co.uk

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