World's Largest Aircraft Prepares for First Flight

world's largest aircraft Airlander 10
The Airlander 10 airship is pictured during its media launch at Cardington Airfield in Shortstown near Bedford on March 21, 2016. The Airlander, which was originally developed for the US military, is 300 feet (91 metres) long, according its British maker Hybrid Air Vehicles. ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

An aircraft as long as a football pitch and as tall as six double decker buses has left its hangar in Bedfordshire, England, in preparation for its first flight.

The Airlander 10 aircraft, dubbed 'The Flying Bum', is essentially three streamlined airship-type bodies merged into one with wings and rotary engines.

Capable of flying for up to five days without refueling, the Airlander 10 was originally developed by the U.S. military as a surveillance craft. Defense budget cuts meant to government decided to sell it.

Its new owners, Hybrid Air Vehicles, has converted it for commercial use, allowing it to take passengers and cargo.

airlander 10 first flight
Chief test pilot David Burns poses for a photograph in the cockpit of the Airlander 10 airship. ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

The hybrid aircraft uses an array of thrusters and propulsors to maneuver in the air, making it 70 percent greener than a jet aircraft.

"We believe the hybrid air vehicle will become a mainstream aerospace product," Stephen McGlennan, chief executive of Hybrid Air Vehicles told The Financial Times at a press event in May.

"In the past, no one really found a way to make airships a practical and economic product for people that buy aircraft."

McGlennan believes that some of the aircraft's potential applications could include providing mobile communications networks for sports events, or to help monitor refugees crossing the Mediterranean.

The Airlander 10 is set for its first flight later this month. McGlennan said: "We'll be taking it out to those places and seeing it do the job. With something like this, seeing is believing—we need to show people."