Maior aeronave do mundo em ensaios de voo infographic
A infografia mostra como funciona a aeronave Pathfinder 1.


Maior aeronave do mundo inicia ensaios

By Ninian Carter

November 14, 2023 - O Pathfinder 1, um protótipo de aeronave elétrica concebida para prestar auxílio em desastres quando as estradas e aeroportos estão impraticáveis, bem como transporte isento de emissões, iniciou ensaios de voo em Silicon Valley.

Pathfinder 1, a prototype electric airship that could usher in a new era of climate-friendly air travel and aid humanitarian work, has begun a series of increasingly ambitious flight tests in California.

LTA Research, based in Silicon Valley and backed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, has been working for 10 years on the project that it hopes will supply future disaster relief to areas where roads and airports have become impassable, as well as one day providing zero-carbon passenger transportation.

The airship, the world’s largest aircraft, coming in at 124.5 metres in length – longer than three Boeing 737s, is able to carry four tonnes of cargo over many hundreds of kilometres.

Running on twelve electric motors that can propel Pathfinder at up to 120km/h (75mph), the airship is kept aloft by 13 gigantic nylon cells inflated with approximately 28,000 cubic metres of helium gas. It’s then further enshrouded by a rigid carbon-fibre frame and wrapped in a lightweight synthetic Tedlar skin.

Test flights are currently underway around Moffett Field, before extending over the southern part of San Francisco Bay.

If successful, Pathfinder 1 will move to Akron, Ohio, where LTA Research is planning an even larger airship, the Pathfinder 3, capable of carrying even greater payloads.

PUBLISHED: 14/11/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images