World’s largest aircraft, Google co-founder’s Pathfinder 1 tests flight – Interesting Engineering

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Pathfinder 1 inside the hanger

Aiming to make airships viable in aviation, Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s aviation startup has completed the first flying test of its Pathfinder-1 airship. The 408.5-feet-long (124.5 meters) airship prototype by Lighter Than Air Research (LTA) features modern-day technologies such as fly-by-wire controls, electric motors, and lidar sensing. 

With its massive airships, the firm aims to provide a zero-carbon transportation solution suitable for humanitarian missions and cargo transport. The firm uses “modern technology and advances in manufacturing to make them safer, stronger, and more efficient than ever before,” said the LTA website. 

Last month, the firm secured a special airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allowed outdoor flight testing at Moffett Field, a combined civil-military airfield in Silicon Valley. 

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