This is a story that comes around every few years: a UK company’s attempt to reinvent the wheel with the creation of a mega-sized airship, which was originally developed as a concept for the US military. Hybrid Air Vehicles is readying itself for flight tests of its Airlander 10, a multi-hulled airship measuring 92 metres long, with a 10-tonne payload and said to be able to stay airborne for up to three weeks when carrying one tonne – which seems pretty impressive. Flight speed is 90mph. And on the drawing board is the far bigger Airlander 50, most closely resembling Laputa, the flying island in Gulliver’s Travels, which is set to begin flying in three years, apparently. Only in Britain.

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