The world’s largest aircraft has been officially named The Martha Gywnn as it prepares to take off within “three-to-four weeks”.
The Airlander 10 is named after the wife of Hybrid Air Vehicles chairman, Philip Gywn.
In his speech on Tuesday morning, Mr Gwyn praised the HAV team and the suppliers which have made the Airlander dream possible.
He added he looked forward to the first test flight over Bedfordshire “within three-to-four weeks”.
Having been registered G-PHRG with the Civil Aviation Authority, the Airlander’s name was unveiled by the Duke of Kent at a ceremony in the iconic Cardington Hangars.
Arriving by helicopter, the royal entourage was greeted by a group of children from Shortstown and Cotton End primary schools, who had earlier been shown the Airlander.
They formed a “guard of honour” with members of 134 Bedford Squadron air cadets as the Duke was taken into the shed to meet HAV staff and members of the Airlander Club.
The Duke was then given a tour of the shed, took a “flight” on the simulator with Chief Test Pilot David Burns before boarding the cabin of the aircraft.
Taking the pilot’s seat, he was shown the flight deck ahead of pulling the cord on a velvet curtain to reveal the airship’s official name.
Other guests included the Lord Lieutenent of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson, Bedfordshire Chief Constable John Boutcher and Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller.
Meanwhile, HAV has raised more than a million pounds through it’s latest crowdfunding iniative, which will close on Friday (April 15).