The world’s longest aircraft has just been unveiled in Britain’s biggest aircraft hangar. At first, you might mistake it for a giant airship – gas-filled balloon on top, pod slung underneath.
But the unique, aerodynamic shape of the balloon – it looks as if a series of cigars have been sewn together – means it can also generate lift just like an aeroplane wing. That is key, because it enables the designers to make the machine heavier than air, which cuts the need to have dozens of crew hanging on to ropes holding it down every time you land.
In fact, you can land it via remote control with no one on board at all if you like. And on water if needs be.
For the complete story by Richard Westcott of BBC, click here.
Photo via BBC