AVweb

A Colorado company is planning to build the world’s largest airplane to allow a major advance in green energy. Radia wants to build a 356-foot-long four-engine jet to carry wind turbine blades. The WindRunner would deliver the 320-foot blades to land-based wind farms. The aircraft will be designed to land on austere landing strips built in the wind farms and the massive blades, which will weigh 80,000 pounds, will be extracted and installed right from the aircraft.

Each flight will carry two blades. The aerial delivery is necessary because the big blades can’t be moved by truck or train. The turbines using the big blades are said to be much more efficient than the current turbines, which use blades that are 100 feet shorter and can barely be accommodated by the highway and railway systems.

As for the plane, it will be loaded through a tilt-up nose and support all that weight on multiple trucks of gear assemblies. It will pick up the blades at manufacturing hubs and fly them at airliner speeds and altitudes to the wind farms with a range of 1200 miles. In terms of cargo volume, it’s seven times bigger than a C-5. It’s shown with four jet engines but the manufacturer and type are not included in the specs.

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