The sky is forgiving. It's the ground that isn't. The Airlander 10, a long and bulbous airship that borrows design features both from flexible blimps and rigid zeppelins, is trying to fill a void in the sky largely abandoned after the Hindenburg crash. It's a large vehicle, faster than a cargo boat and slower than a cargo plane, and has a distinctive shape that calls to mind a certain human part of human anatomy, to the delight of journalists everywhere.
Airships are no longer a thing of the past. The Airlander, by Hybrid Air Vehicles, combines the best of the rigid design of a zeppelin with the flexible floppiness of a blimp into a single, massive vehicle designed to carry 10 tonnes of cargo to places no other vehicle can go. Before it can make a play to revolutionize shipping, it first needs to get off the ground. This afternoon, it did just that near the Cardington Sheds in Bedfordshire, England.