The longest aircraft in the world is preparing for its first test flight in a few weeks’ time.
The Airlander 10 is a cross between an airship and an airplane. It generates lift aerostatically through being filled with helium, and aerodynamically thanks to its unique-looking wing shape. Because it’s heavier than air, the 20-ton craft can land without tethers on most surfaces, including water.
Hybrid Air Vehicles, the makers of the Airlander 10 and based in Bedford, England, anticipate commercial uses such as leisure cruises, persistent, airbone research and for cargo to hard-to-reach places.