The world’s largest aircraft, dubbed the Kim Kardashian due to its resemblance to the reality star’s biggest asset, is about to take to the skies again.
The Airlander 10 aircraft was grounded last summer when a rope attached to it hit a power line during testing, sending it crashing to the ground and damaging the cockpit.
Hybrid Air Vehicles has just announced that it has repaired the damage at its base at Cardington Airfield in the UK, allowing the craft to resume testing once more.
The amazing aircraft can stay airborne for up to five days at a time if manned, and over two weeks if unmanned. It will be able to fulfil a wide range of communication, cargo carrying and survey roles in both the military and commercial sectors, with a significantly lower carbon footprint than other forms of air transport.
The Airlander produces 60% of its lift aerostatically, by being lighter than air, and 40% aerodynamically, by being wing-shaped. It has the ability to rotate its engines to provide an additional 25% of thrust up or down.
After the Airlander team has finished an extensive testing and training schedule it will resume its flight test programme. The aircraft will also be able to hover as well as land on almost any surface, including ice, desert terrain and water.
The company behind it plans to introduce a larger aircraft, the Airlander 50, in the future, which will be designed specifically for the heavy lift cargo market.
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