The American startup Radia plans to build a fleet of the world’s largest WindRunner aircraft to transport the blades of ultra-large offshore wind turbines to the depths of the continent, writes The Sun US.

The length of the Radia WindRunner must exceed 108 meters to accommodate the wind turbine blade inside the cargo compartment. This is 24 meters more than the An-225 Mriya. The WindRunner’s wingspan is not as impressive, especially considering the aircraft’s length of only 80 meters (Stratolaunch Roc is 117 meters, Hughes H-4 Hercules is 98 meters, and Mriya is 88 meters). The planned cruising speed of the Radia WindRunner is 715 km/h, with a maximum payload of 72 tons.

According to Radia, transportation of blades for ultra-large offshore wind turbines will be very popular due to the high efficiency of ultra-large turbines compared to conventional ones. Currently, they are built exclusively on water, also because it is simply impossible to transport such large blades by land by trains and trucks. The Radia WindRunner is designed to solve this problem by allowing the construction of ultra-large wind farms in foothills, deserts, and semi-deserts.

Radia WindRunner will be able to transport blades up to 104 meters long. As of now, the typical size of ultra-large turbine blades is about 70 m, although a wind turbine with 131 m blades is already under construction in China. Radia plans to start operating WindRunner in 2027.

If you think that building a large cargo plane for only one cargo is not reasonable, remember that all ultra-large aircraft were built exclusively for one task. The AN-225 Mriya was built to transport the Buran spacecraft, the Stratolaunch was built to carry out space launches from the air, the Hughes H-4 Hercules was built to satisfy Howard Hughes’ ego, and the KM aka Caspian Sea Monster was built at the whim of the Soviet military leadership.