The Airlander 10, a plane-airship hybrid, leaved the UK’s biggest hangar at Cardington Airfield, Bedfordshire on Saturday, for a short flight.
The 302ft-long aircraft passed with just a few feet to spare through the hangar doors and was then towed for 30 minutes to its mast site. The airplane outing was the public debut for the £25m craft, christened the Martha Gwyn.
Tests on its engines, generators and systems were completed last week, while ground systems tests will now be carried out. The date of its maiden flight has yet to be announced.
The machine is about 60ft longer than the biggest passenger jets. British firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has spent the past nine years developing the prototype in the Cardington hangar after the US Army ran out of money to develop it as a surveillance machine.
HAV has said the vessel could have many uses including surveillance, communications, transporting cargo, humanitarian missions and passenger travel.