It’s a plane, it’s a hot air balloon … it is the world’s largest aircraft.
A huge airship called the Airlander 10 recently completed a successful test flight, causing the helium-filled behemoth one step closer to commercial use.
Although it looks like a huge hot air balloon, the Airlander 10 , which combines the technology of aircraft, helicopters and airships. It is designed to stay in the air at a height of 20,000 ft for up to five days at a manned, according to Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company that provided the aircraft. And on a mammoth 302 metres long, it is the largest aircraft currently flying. [Photos: Building the world’s Largest Airship (Airlander 10)]
On 10 May, the Airlander 10 flew for a total of 180 minutes for the test of the aircraft in the processing, improved landing technology and more, according to Hybrid Air Vehicles. This was the third flight of the Airlander 10. The first debuted as a HAV-304, and successfully flew in 2012 as part of the U. S. Army’s Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle program. The re-designed and adapted Airlander 10, made her first voyage in August 2016 kick-off of a flight test program to assess the aircraft performance and attempt to fly the airship, away from its base in Cardington, England.
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This last flight had two major objectives, safely out of completing a take off, flight and landing. The first was to determine how the Airlander, including of the aircraft of the new, additional “landing feet” that the extra Landing System (ALS). The second was to collect data about the flight performance, such as speed, according to the Hybrid Air Vehicles.
During the successful test flight, the Airlander 10 “handled beautifully,” said Dave Burns, the Airlander 10 chief test pilot. A statement of the Hybrid Air Vehicles said the flight test team was “very satisfied” with the first analysis of the Airlander 10.
Hybrid Air Vehicles, said the Airlander 10 will one day be used for search-and-rescue operations, border control agents, for crowd surveillance, security, filming or scientific research.
“There will also be passenger variants for the ultimate experience and, ultimately, Hybrid Air Vehicles will play a crucial role in the point-to-point cargo transport to remote areas,” company officials said in a statement.
Original article on Live Science.