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World's largest aircraft takes off

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By Euronews
World's largest aircraft takes off

<p>It is thought to be the world’s largest aircraft. Airlander 10, a giant blimp shaped helium-filled airship, has made its maiden voyage in front of hundreds of spectators, taking off from a field in central England. </p> <p>It has been nicknamed the “flying bum” because of its bulbous front end.</p> <p>“Well this is a piece of aviation history. I see a lot of vintage aircraft flying around, and find them fascinating. So to see something that is at the cutting edge of aviation technology, I wasn’t going to miss that for the world,” said one spectator. </p> <p>The company which built the airship says it uses less fuel than a plane, can carry heavier loads and stays up for days at a time. </p> <p>“What it does now, and will do, is fly, point to point, a bit like a giant helicopter, taking bigger loads, longer distances, cheaper, safer and crucially, without the same damage to the environment,” says Stephen McGlennan, <span class="caps">CEO</span>, Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. </p> <p>The airship was initially developed for military surveillance use in Afghanistan until the US scrapped its blimp programme in 2013. </p> <p>Different from aircraft, it doesn’t need a runway to take off, which means it can land on water, ice or even the desert and can also travel up to 100 kilometres per hour.</p>