Largest Aircraft in the World – level 3
We have lift-off. The world’s largest aircraft has taken to the skies for the first time.
The Airlander 10 spent nearly two hours in the air, having taken off from Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire. During its flight, it reached 3,000 feet (914 metres) and performed a series of gentle turns all over a safe area.
The aircraft is massive – as long as a football pitch and as tall as six double decker buses and capable of flying for up to five days. It was first developed for the US government as a long-range surveillance aircraft but was scrapped following cutbacks.
Each one cost 25 million pounds and can carry heavier loads than jumbo jets while also producing less noise and emitting less pollution. The makers, Hybrid Air Vehicles, believe it’s the future of aircraft, and that one day we’ll be using them to get places.
But we’re a while away yet. The Airlander will need to clock up 200 hours’ flying time before being deemed airworthy by aviation bodies. If it passes though, we can hope we’ll all get some extra leg room.
Difficult words: surveillance (for watching people), scrap (stop), cutback (reducing the money that you spend), clock up (collect), deem (consider), aviation (relating to aircraft), body (a group of people who are in charge of something).
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