World's largest aircraft, the Airlander 10, takes off

A blimp-shaped airship billed as the world's largest aircraft has taken off for the first time, days after an earlier attempt was scuttled by a last-minute technical hitch.

The 92-metre Airlander 10 — nicknamed the "flying bum" because of its bulbous front end — rose slowly into the air from an airfield this morning 73 kilometres north of London.

A test flight planned for Sunday was scrapped because of an unspecified technical issue.

The Airlander is a hybrid air vehicle — part lighter-than-air blimp, part plane. It's designed to use less fuel than a plane, but carry heavier loads than conventional airships.

Its developer, Hybrid Air Vehicles, says it can travel at up to 148 km/h and stay aloft for up to two weeks.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Sep 2016 04:23:48 Processing Time: 917ms