London - The Airlander 10 aircraft took to the skies on Wednesday evening for its successful maiden voyage at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire.
At 302ft long (92m) it is the world's largest aircraft, about 50ft (15m) longer than the biggest passenger jets.
The aircraft was revealed in March after undergoing “hundreds”of changes by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) over two years.
First developed for the US government as a long-endurance surveillance aircraft, the British firm launched a campaign to return the craft to the sky after it fell foul of defence cutbacks.
HAV chief executive officer Stephen McGlennan said: “This can do the same thing that a helicopter can do... but this thing can take more over longer distances, it's cheaper and it's greener. It's a great British innovation.”