World's longest aircraft leaves hangar for the first time

World's longest aircraft leaves hangar for the first time

Aviation fans had a glimpse of the world's longest aircraft when it was brought out of its hangar for the first time.

The Airlander 10 - part plane, part airship - delicately emerged from a giant hangar at Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire at 4am on Saturday.

The enormous aircraft, measuring 302ft (92m) long, was gently piloted from the hangar in a delicate operation that lasted five minutes, its fin tips passing just six metres from the sides of the hangar doors, before it was towed 30 minutes to its resting point at a primary mast site, one of two specially prepared on the airfield.

It is the first time the aircraft has been publicly visible and comes after tests on its engines, generators and systems were completed last week.

Further ground systems tests will now be carried out before the Airlander 10, christened the Martha Gwyn in April, takes to the skies for the first time at a date yet to be announced.

The aircraft is around 50ft (15m) longer than the biggest passenger jets. It was first developed for the US government as a long-endurance surveillance aircraft but it fell foul of defence cutbacks.

World's longest aircraft leaves hangar for the first time

British firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) launched a campaign to return the Airlander 10 to the skies in May 2015.

The huge aircraft will be able to stay airborne for around five days during manned flights. HAV claims it could be used for a variety of functions such as surveillance, communications, delivering aid and even passenger travel.

More in this Section

Renewables beat fossil fuels in power generation during third quarterRenewables beat fossil fuels in power generation during third quarter

Johnson’s Brexit deal hopes in the balance as both sides say more work to doJohnson’s Brexit deal hopes in the balance as both sides say more work to do

Syrian troops to help Kurds in wake of Turkish invasionSyrian troops to help Kurds in wake of Turkish invasion

SNP's Cherry: 'Conservatives could be prepared to 'lose' Northern Ireland to secure Brexit deal'SNP's Cherry: 'Conservatives could be prepared to 'lose' Northern Ireland to secure Brexit deal'


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan says we are the least strict in all of Europe.Praise over punishment: Irish parents least strict in Europe - study

Kya deLongchamps detects a hint of rebellion behind the ritual of afternoon tea.Vintage View: English tradition of afternoon tea won't exit with Brexit

Friends and Young Offenders actors Shane Casey and Dominic MacHale speak to Pat Fitzpatrick about struggling to make it but why they are not seeking out fame.‘I was down to a euro’ - The Young Offenders actors tell of struggle to make it in acting

Gerry Fitzgerald runs Bandon Books Plus in Riverview Shopping Centre, Bandon, Co Cork.We Sell Books: Turning over a new leaf from bank to bookshop in Bandon

More From The Irish Examiner