Billionaire Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin has spent $100 million on building what will become the world’s largest aircraft.
Billionaire Brin has been busy bringing to fruition his grand plans of creating the world’s biggest aircraft. Inspired by the airships and zeppelins of yesteryear, he is spending around $100 million to bring one to life for both humanitarian purposes and personal family usage.
Social media immediately called out Brin for virtue signaling. Netizens accuse him of using the creation of his luxury blimp to give him brownie points for appearing as a charitable saint. This kind of corporate virtue signaling is allegedly rife within Silicon Valley.
Nevertheless, time will tell whether humanitarian good will come from what many have dubbed a luxury “Air Yacht”. If the airship helps the poor and desperate, then the project is a good one. Even if for most of the time Brin is simply traveling with his family in it to exotic luxury vacation destinations. After all, the funding is entirely out of his own pocket.
Reviving an aircraft from yesteryear
Brin’s fascination with dirigibles appears to have sprung from his curiosity with his Silicon Valley neighbors. Google’s umbrella company, Alphabet is situated next to NASA’s AMES Research Center. Located on their site are the gargantuan hangers that once contained giant airships of the 1930s, including the famous USS Macon.
The USS Macon was larger than Brin’s intended craft and measured at an enormous 784 feet long. According to project workers, Brin’s airship is alleged to measure at 650 feet. This will see the aircraft measure in at the largest in the world.
Many remain curious as to why Brin is creating such a notorious form of aircraft. Airships and Zeppelins lost their popularity during the 1940s after a series of tragic accidents. The most infamous being the Hindenberg, which became the first air disaster to be caught on film.
“Oh, the humanity!”
Most famously, people remember the Hindenberg for the horrified response of radio journalist Herbert Morrison. He happened to be broadcasting live at the time of the disaster. Morrison’s cry of “oh, the humanity!” should be enough to shake anyone to the core and fear such potentially dangerous air travel.
Nevertheless, Brin’s project team claim they are adding improvements derived from modern technology innovated throughout the several subsequent decades. They alledge that consequently such a tragedy can be avoided in the modern day.
Today, airships still occasionally grace the skies; however, they are smaller and contain the less dangerous, and more expensive gas, helium. Much of the tragedies involving historical airships resulted from the ignition of the highly flammable hydrogen that they were once inflated with.
Brin’s team have stressed the cost effectiveness of the modern day airship. Additionally, the technological advancements that they will apply to it will enable the craft to be a superior way to transport humanitarian aid to hard to reach disaster areas.
Such an aircraft can bypass the typical congestion found on roads and restrictions created by rail travel. They also claim that the airship can drastically reduce the costs generally associated with transporting bulk goods.
The future of disaster relief
On a smaller scale, other humanitarian organizations are utilizing similar ideas to benefit disaster zones or remote communities. One such entrepreneur, Jay Godsall, started Solar Ship Inc. in 2006. Godsall became inspired to develop an aircraft that could reach remote areas after a discussion with a Burundi diplomat.
From their conversation the development of the solar ship evolved, which is a hybrid mix of airship and aircraft. The craft also runs on solar power and can land and take off from an areas as small as a soccer field.