The world’s biggest aircraft has lifted off from the ground in Britain for the first time – but it will not be ready to leave the hangar where it is being developed until next year. The Airlander, which is a cross between an airship and an aeroplane, was originally developed as part of a US Army project but was scrapped by military bosses. It is now being converted to provide business and leisure flights in a hangar in Cardington, Bedfordshire – and recently took off for the first time.

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