A six-seater ‘electric plane’, said to be Europe’s largest emission-free aircraft, has completed its first UK test flight.

Powered by hydrogen, the Piper Malibu flew several short journeys from Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire, as part of a project funded by the UK government.

Manufacturer ZeroAvia said it hoped to have a version with 50-100 seats ready by the end of the decade. Chief executive Val Miftakhov said: “This test flight is the latest in a series of milestones that moves the possibility of zero-emission flight closer to reality.”