While everyone is harping on smart cars and unmanned aerial vehicles, one man seems to be taking slightly different approach. To simply call Sergey Brin a man is a bit of an understatement. The co-founder of Google is now apparently secretly building an aerial craft resembling a giant blimp.
According to Bloomberg, Sergey Brin has been working on the airship for the last 3 years and has been storing it inside Hangar 2 at the Ames Research Center located in NASA. If you recall, in the year 2015, Planetary Ventures was given the control of the hangars at the Ames center on a lease basis and they proceeded to convert them into laboratories for the company. Sergey Brin’s airship is not technically part of the Alphabet project but has taken up residence in one of these hangars. Engineers have crafted a metal frame of the craft which apparently fills up a majority of the hangar.
Leading Brin’s Airship project is Alan Weston, the former director of programs at NASA. Weston was interviewed via radio in 2013 where he described a goal to create an airship that could be used to haul cargo. This would differentiate from regular airplanes as airships would be more fuel-efficient and also would be able to carry payloads to exactly where they’re required, rather than taking them to airports and shipping stations. In addition, Weston also described a prototype airship which would make use of helium and perform a breathing process to gain sufficient lift and carry approximately 500 tons of cargo without the need for a ballast. Currently, VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) vehicles are limited to carrying anywhere between 1-5 passengers. A blimp or airship by contrast, could carry a lot more passengers and also add some cargo as well.
It remains to be seen if the airship is just a hobby that Sergey Brin is indulging n or whether he actually wants to use it as a business venture. We do know that Sergey Brin has shown a keen interest in Airships. Over the years, there have been multiple attempts to construct airships. In fact, it would seem highly appropriate for a project of this nature to take flight in Silicon Valley (pun intended).
Larry Page, the current CEO of Alphabet and Brin’s partner in founding Google, is also responsible for funding a few flying car projects, among them are Kitty Hawk and Zee.Aero. These too are separate from Alphabet. It seems that Page has finally unveiled one of projects as a video showing a vehicle from Kitty Hawk taking off and flying over a lake fully intact with a driver perched on top.