A 91m airship, the world’s longest aircraft currently in operation, has been unveiled in Cardington, the home of UK airships of the past.
British firm Hybrid Air Vehicles originally developed the HAV304 Airlander for the US military, can carry 60 tonnes of cargo, and can remain airborne for up to three weeks.
While the 91m Airlander is longer than all current aircraft including the Boeing 747-8 aeroplane at 76m, it is dwarfed by airships of the past. The ill-fated Hindenburg German zepellin which famously turned into a fireball above New Jersey in 1937 was 244m long.
However, unlike the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg, the triple-bodied Airlander is filled with inert gases, avoiding the possibility of a similar disaster.