TechCrunch's Mark Harris is reporting on Sergey Brin-backed airship startup LTA Research. 

The article discusses the unveiling of Pathfinder 1, an electric prototype airship developed by LTA Research and backed by Sergey Brin. At 124.5 meters long, it is the largest aircraft to take flight since the Hindenburg, and is designed for climate-friendly air travel and humanitarian aid.

The airship, which is visible from the 101 highway in Silicon Valley, uses helium as a lifting gas and features a rigid framework for protection, with a capacity for vertical takeoff and landing via twelve electric motors. Initial tests are being conducted at low altitudes and speeds, with a focus on safety and regulatory compliance. The company plans to test the airship's response to sunlight and perform maneuvers over water to benefit from smoother air. LTA Research is also planning a larger airship, Pathfinder 3, and hopes to create a fleet for disaster relief and zero-carbon passenger transport. Sergey Brin's nonprofit, Global Support and Development, may use such airships for delivering humanitarian aid quickly after disasters.

The FAA has issued a special airworthiness certificate for the Pathfinder 1, which is valid until September 2024.

Source: TechCrunch

(This article was written with help from ChatGPT)
Written by Ursa Nova

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