November 20 - Hybrid Air Vehicles' (HAV) innovative aircraft Airlander 10 has reached another milestone in its 'Return to Flight' programme.

On October 31, the 92 m long aircraft was filled with helium for the first time and moved along the length of its 248 m hangar in Cardington, Bedfordshire. It was moved in unison with four forklift trucks, one at each corner of the aircraft, each carrying a 2-tonne block of cement with a restraining rope attached.

During November and December, the engines, fins and mission module will be finalised and attached onto the Airlander. A series of ground tests will take place from early 2016 onwards to prepare the craft for its first flight, scheduled to take place during the first quarter of 2016.

HAV's technical director, Mike Durham said: "Seeing the Airlander come to life and floating was simply breath-taking. This is a key moment for the UK's aerospace industry in getting this unique aircraft ready for flight."