World's Largest Aircraft Pathfinder-1 Officially Revealed


What is the name of the largest airplane in the world now? The answer is the Stratolaunch which is equipped with a wingspan of 117 meters and two bodies of 73 meters. It was developed as a rocket launch platform. But Stratolaunch is small when placed next to Pathfinder-1 which is 124 meters long and 20 meters in diameter which is currently the world's largest airship.

Pathfinder-1 was developed by LTA Research which received funding from Google founder Sergey Brin. It is an aircraft designed to carry cargo and provide relief in times of disaster. Because it does not require a long runway to land or fly, Pathfinder-1 can go to any location it is needed as long as there is enough space.

Although it looks like a Hindenburg airship from the 1930s, the Pathfinder-1 uses current technology. The frame is made of titanium and carbon fiber tubing which is not only durable but lighter than the aluminum on the Hindenburg. There are 13 helium gas airbags made of tear resistant nylon. LiDAR systems are used to detect leaks in real time.

A total of 12 electric motors are used not only as a propulsion system but help it land and fly. A sophisticated fly-by-wire (FBW) control system is also used to make it fly more precisely.

Pathfinder-1 has received FAA clearance to begin flight testing. It is a major step before the 180 meter long Pathfinder-3 is produced for commercial operation. Although the Pathfinder-1 is the world's largest airship today, the world record is still held by the 245 meter long Hindenburg which burned in 1937.

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