WindRunner aircraft infographic
Graphic shows Radia’s proposed Windrunner cargo aircraft.
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AEROSPACE

WindRunner – the world’s largest aircraft

By Duncan Mil

March 25, 2024 - A U.S.-based energy startup, Radia, has unveiled plans to build the world’s largest cargo aircraft, WindRunner. The aircraft will deliver giant blades directly to land-based wind farms.

Current turbine blades are 70 metres long or less, but Radia wants to deploy blades up to 105 metres long. The company says its GigaWind turbines could be two to three times more powerful and two to three times more profitable than those typically deployed today.

WindRunner will use sustainable aviation fuel and needs only a simple 1,800-metre packed-dirt or gravel runway to land on, something no other large commercial aircraft can achieve

With a cargo bay that’s 12 times larger than a Boeing 747-400, WindRunner will be 108 metres long, 37.4 metres longer than Boeing’s Jumbo jet.

Radia says it’s focusing “on existing technology and safety by using, where applicable, tried-and-true aviation materials, components and fabrication techniques that have FAA [U.S. Federal Aviation Administration] approval, are already in mass production and are lowest-risk.”

Mark Lundstrum, an MIT aerospace engineer, founded Radia in 2016. The company says its team includes advisers from Boeing, MIT, Rolls-Royce, the FAA, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull.

The company has, so far, raised more than US$100 million and is planning to have the gigantic aircraft in production by 2027.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 25/03/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Radia
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