Is it a bird, or a plane or is it ... an airship?

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Does Batman fly, or does he use an aeroplane?

The question came up during a session on flight and airships held at Shortstown Primary School, hosted by its Cardington Shed neighbour, Hybrid Air Vehicles.

The school, which is studying flight as its autumn project, invited the team behind the Airlander to explain to Year 1 how the aircraft combines the way wings, helicopters and gas work to fly.

HAV head of partnerships and communications, Chris Daniels, said: “It was a great session. I started by asking them to name things that fly, and the first hand that went up said Superman!

“We then discussed insects and aeroplanes, and they even came up with rockets, which few classes think to mention.”

He added: “I was amazed how much the children knew about airships and am really looking forward to showing the Airlander next week.”

Teacher Simi Thaneja said the 56 children from two classes took part.

She said: “They’ve been learning about the R101 airship and its tragic end.

“They were able to tell Chris all about the gas bags and the weight of the rain making it heavy, so they were able to talk about the differences between that airship and the new one.”

The school is visiting HAV next week to see the Airlander up close. Miss Thaneja said: “All the staff are desperate to go as well.”