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LTA Research Advances Helium Airships

Google co-founder Sergey Brin's company, LTA Research, has received a special airworthiness certificate for its helium-filled airship, Pathfinder 1, the largest aircraft of its kind since Hindenburg. The airship's use of helium instead of hydrogen makes it unique, and its hybrid propulsion system combines diesel generators with batteries for electric motors. LTA plans to use hydrogen as fuel in later versions. The initial flights will take place at Moffett Field in California before the airship moves to a former Goodyear Airdock airship hangar in Ohio for further development and testing. The ultimate goal is to use these airships for humanitarian missions, delivering cargo and personnel to inaccessible areas. We expect helium's use as a lifting gas to drive significant demand in the coming years. There are several other companies aiming to grow the airship sector including AT2 Aerospace, Euro Airship, Thales, Hybrid Air Vehicles, h-aero, Airbus, SoftBank (via its HAPSMobile unit), Stratospheric Platforms, Avealto, and BAE.

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