The size of this new plane is astonishing

When you visit the Town of Assiniboia the first thing you’ll probably notice is the giant windmills that generate electricity for the province. Wind power has become widely used as a way to generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way with governments and private companies investing heavily in the construction and technology associated with it. Like all industries, the wind power industry is forever changing and evolving to be more reliable in less windy conditions. This means blades, turbines, and components are getting larger and larger and not suitable for highway transportation.

Photo: Windmills east of Assiniboia. Photo by Cody Glydon

One of those massive, new projects that is in the works is a huge airplane which will used to transport windmill blades and turbines all over the North American continent. Maybe it’ll land in Assiniboia one day? The “cargo runner” airliner by Radia will have a cargo bay volume of 272 thousand cubic feet and a wing span of 261 feet, which would be the equivalent of four Golden Mile bowling lanes lined up back to back! The cargo hold is large enough to hold multiple 300 foot wind mill blades which can be flown directly to wind power locations. The plane is not the most attractive looking unit, in fact it almost looks like a whale with a hard hat on! The hard hat looking thing is actually the cockpit of the plane. So far it’s still in the construction phase at this point, but the company behind it hopes to have it up in the air within three years. Something this size probably needs a huge runway to land and take off, but in actuality it only needs about 1,800 metres, making it able to get into those smaller airports to drop its cargo. If this plane gets completed it will become the largest aircraft in the world, eclipsing the the now destroyed Ukrainian jet the Antonov An-225.

Photo from Radia

According to SaskPower, there are nine wind power facilities in Saskatchewan which is adding five per cent of generating capacity. SaskPower says this can power 95,000 homes in the province and there are plans to expand wind generation to 30% capacity by 2030.

photo from Radia

More from 620 CKRM