Sergey Brin’s gigantic blimp aims to change the future of aviation

Lighter Than Air, a company owned by Google's co-founder, begins testing Pathfinder 1, a next-generation airship that could revolutionize air travel, cargo transport, and the movement of humanitarian aid.

Lighter Than Air (LTA) Research has publicly unveiled its first blimp, the Pathfinder 1. The airship is still a prototype and a proof of concept, and LTA will now thoroughly test it in the skies of California. 
LTA's work on Pathfinder 1 began in 2016, shortly after the company's founding. The startup aims to revolutionize air travel by making airships cost-effective for passenger and freight transportation. Sergey Brin, the billionaire co-founder of Google, is a prominent backer and has been a proponent of alternative air transport solutions for quite a while. 

According to LTA official data, the Pathfinder 1 is 124,5 meters long, more than a Boeing 737-200, and looks just like you would expect a giant blimp to look. Its underlying technology is completely new, and LTA has tried to explore new solutions in most aspects of the building process. The airship features 12 electric motors, and its giant body comprises 13 helium-filled bags made from a specific type of puncture and rip-resistant nylon fabric with a urethane covering. 
Pathfinder 1 will undergo testing for one year at Moffet Airfield in Silicon Valley and then be relocated to another facility in Ohio, where LTA is already developing Pathfinder 3, an even bigger new-generation blimp. 

LTA's goal is to use the Pathfinder airships to move freight and eventually for passenger flights. Another use could be delivering a large amount of humanitarian aid in disaster-stricken areas that can't be easily reached via land. 
According to LTA, there's no intention to position its blimps as an alternative to airplanes. They'd rather represent an alternative form of air travel that could contribute to the decarbonization of the industry, especially as future models will try and leverage carbon-neutral solutions such as hydrogen fuel cells for power.

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