WindRunner Aims to Transform Wind Turbine Transport

Radia, established in 2016, has announced its plans to tackle the logistical challenge of transporting enormous wind turbine blades by designing, building, and operating the world's largest aircraft. This innovative aircraft will facilitate the deployment of the largest and most efficient wind turbines, both present and future, to locations that are currently inaccessible to wind energy, at a scale and speed previously thought impossible.
The aircraft, named WindRunner, will have the capability to transport large turbine blades and other components directly to wind farm sites. Furthermore, Radia intends to lead the expansion of onshore wind energy in partnership with industry leaders and collaborate with development partners to establish new onshore wind farms.

Radia has garnered nearly $100 million in funding from various sources, including LS Power, Good Growth Capital, Capital Factory, Caruso Ventures, and ConocoPhillips.
"Radia will create a step-function improvement in onshore wind in terms of profitability, cost reduction, and consistency. This will lead to an increase in wind projects, green fuel projects, lower energy prices, more profits, and greater investment in the energy transition," stated Radia CEO Mark Lundstrom.
Radia's launch comes at a time when the demand on the grid is increasing, and its capacity and reliability are under scrutiny. The global data center market is expected to grow at a rate of more than 10% annually from 2023 to 2030, with U.S. data centers alone projected to consume 33 GW by 2030, largely due to the surge in AI use. The growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will further increase this demand. This is occurring as the grid faces reliability challenges due to the widening gap between demand and power generation capacity, exacerbated by climate-driven severe weather events like the 2021 Texas ice storm. According to Lundstrom, Radia will address these grid demands as well as the renewable industry's need for growth and profitability, alongside the commercial and societal need for clean power.

"Offshore turbines are more than twice as powerful as onshore turbines because they are larger," he explained. "If we could move these large turbines onshore, they would be twice as profitable and open up three times more land for economically viable wind farms. The challenge has been the literal roadblocks in the way.

"Radia will overcome these barriers by building WindRunner, bringing the benefits of offshore wind onshore and delivering what we call GigaWind – the largest land-based turbines today and the even larger ones of the future," Lundstrom added.

"The result will be highly efficient wind energy on an enormous scale. From a business perspective, this means the onshore wind industry's internal rate of return will double, attracting much more capital to renewables. From an energy security and environmental standpoint, it means the lowest cost clean energy to power the grid, commercial applications such as data centers, and hard-to-decarbonize industries like steelmaking, as well as generating green molecules – green hydrogen, green ammonia, and sustainable aviation fuel. GigaWind will enable us to reduce costs and increase generation consistency, leading to as much as a 35% cost reduction – which in turn will help the world meet its decarbonization targets."
Radia aims to unlock the potential of onshore wind by removing barriers to its deployment. The largest wind turbines are the most energy-efficient – doubling the length of a turbine blade roughly quadruples its power output. However, their size has restricted them to offshore use. Radia's WindRunner aircraft, capable of landing on short, semi-prepared runways, including those made of packed dirt, is purpose-built to deliver these large blades and other components directly to onshore wind farm sites. This will significantly expand the number of locations available for large turbines and enable onshore wind to scale. Opportunities include reducing transmission costs, increasing reliability by building wind energy sites closer to demand, creating hybrid wind/solar sites to produce clean power around the clock and throughout the year, and generating the large amounts of clean electricity needed to produce green hydrogen.

The design of WindRunner supports its specialized mission, requiring only a 6,000-foot semi-prepared dirt or gravel landing strip at a wind farm to deliver its payload. It can also land at almost any commercial airport around the world. WindRunner will be 356 feet long and its volume is 12 times that of a 747, with an overall length of 356 feet to carry the largest payloads ever moved by air.

Radia plans to produce a fleet of certified aircraft at Radia’s U.S. assembly site. WindRunner is more than halfway through the design, build, and certification process.

For further details about Radia, please visit