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IPFS News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Sergey Brin's 400-foot airship reportedly cleared for takeoff

• by Loz Blain

At 407 ft (124 m) long and 66 ft (20 m) in diameter, it's considerably longer than the "flying buttocks" of the Airlander 10, although less than half of its width. It might not qualify as the world's largest aircraft, but it's still absolutely enormous, approaching twice the length of an Airbus A380.

While the concept of rigid airships and the basic airframe design are a throwback to pre-Hindenburg times of the early 1900s, Pathfinder 1 uses a frame made from 96 welded titanium hubs, joined by some 289 reinforced carbon fiber tubes. These materials advances keep it light enough to fly using helium, rather than hydrogen as a lift gas.