Phew. For a while there we'd pretty much given up on the aviation industry doing anything interesting. Since Concorde was retired it seems that people are less interested in the fastest plane than they are the fastest smartphone, so news of the Airlander 10 is very welcome. This huge airship is over 300 feet long, can carry a payload of more than 10,000 kg, and can stay in the air, unmanned, for up to two weeks.
Developed by Hybrid Air Vehicles here in the UK, the maiden test flight took place at Cardington Airfield and lasted just half an hour, giving the team time to prove that the vehicle can fly. Using helium tanks for lift, and turbo-charged diesel engines for thrust, Airlander 10 was originally developed for the US military, but the craft has now been adapted for communications use and can even keep a crew happy and in the air for five whole days.
Find out more at www.hybridairvehicles.com