A test flight of ‘Flying Bum’, the world’s longest aircraft, was recently launched. It was a four-hour surprise test flight that many eyes witnessed, along with the aerial maneuvers executed by the 20-tonne Airlander. Even though, to avoid the crowds, the test drive wasn’t publicly announced. The prototype of the aircraft was 38,000 cubic-meter and it took off from the Cardington Airfield.
Previously, a similar test drive failed when the 92 metres long airship plummeted down from the skies, on 24 August last year, being severely damaged.
The company is hoping to launch the official flights in 2019, after the wide-ranging repairs and some successful test drives. They hope to be able to launch it as a luxury commercial flight that would be able to accommodate around 60 people.
At the launch, an amateur photographer Roger Skillin, took some remarkable photos of the aircraft. He also shared his take on the test flight. He said, “I was standing at the edge of the main road, when the engine of the aircraft revved into motion, all the traffic on the road, stunned into its place. Everywhere around the airfield, there were sound of screeching brakes of the vehicles. When the flight started to go across, only then we realized that how huge it was. The effect was huge in comparison to ever see it standing on the ground before the take off. It was a wonder sight as no one has ever witnessed such a huge thing in the sky. It was directly up above our heads, covering our sight of the sky and even though it would be hardly 150ft above our heads but it looked massive and moved elegantly high into the sky.”
The test flight of the prototype was declared to be an enormous success after the many practices of the landing and when it went above 3800ft into the sky with the speed of 37knots, by the representative of the company. He also mentioned that the flight once launched will take up the speed of 80knots which would rise up to 16,000ft into the sky giving the aircraft a speed of 93 miles per hour. It will have a huge fuel capacity, will also be fuel efficient and would be able to fly for 5 consecutive days.
The spokesman also referred that the flight would be open for public for tourism around Europe. It will be a first ever flight that would be able to land on the water and will do so much other than that.