World's longest aircraft leaves hangar for first time

The world's longest aircraft has left its hangar for the first time.

Airlander 10, christened Martha Gwyn in April, emerged from its giant hangar at Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire at 4am on Saturday.

It has been described as part aircraft, part airship, and measures 302ft (92m) in length, making it 50ft longer than the biggest passenger jets.

On Saturday morning it was towed for 30 minutes towards its primary mast site, one of two specially prepared at the airfield.

It is currently on a primary mast site at Cardington Airfield. Credit: PA

It the first time the aircraft has been publicly visible.

The aircraft's engines, generators and systems were completed last week, and further systems checks will now be carried out before it takes to the skies for the first time.

When completed, it is hoped the aircraft will be able to stay airborne for around five days during manned flights.

Airlander 10 is part aircraft, part airship. Credit: PA

Airlander 10 was initially developed for the US government as a long-endurance aircraft, but fell victim to defence spending cutbacks.

British firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) launched a campaign to get the aircraft to the skies in April 2015.

HAV claim it could be used for surveillance, delivering aid and even future air passenger travel.