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Google's Sergey Brin just wants a luxury vacation air yacht that he can also use for good PR

Posted by on in Search Engines
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When you're a cofounder of one of the world's most valuable companies, your passion projects tend to take on a more massive scale than, say, simply tuning up an old hot rod in the garage.

Take Google's Sergey Brin. Word leaked last month that he has a team working on a secret project in the Google-controlled Hangar 2 at the NASA Ames Research Center: a massive airship, or dirigible, which serves as a spiritual successor to one of the hangar's previous tenants, the USS Macon. Sources close to the project claimed that the metal frame of the craft, which looks like a zeppelin, was complete and taking up most of the space inside the hangar.      

More sources "with knowledge of the project" have come forward, claiming to have new insider info about Brin's airship. The leakers spilled their secrets to The Guardian, giving us a better understanding about Brin's mission and exactly what he wants to do with his own personal sky yacht, which is ... go on lavish family vacations that double as humanitarian aid missions. 

The sources claim Brin wants to use the craft both as a "luxurious intercontinental air yacht" for friends and family — and a vessel for humanitarian trips to deliver supplies and food to remote areas. The airship could wind up costing Brin $100 million to $150 million of his own money, so he can do with it what he wants. But the image of a gigantic vanity project miraculously touching down in an impoverished area, no matter its intentions, seems more than a touch dissonant.   

The airship will reportedly stretch to nearly 200 meters (around 660 feet) in length and be "massive on a grand scale,” making it the biggest aircraft in the world right now, twice as long as the Airlander 10, aka the "Flying Bum." Brin's project won't quite measure up to the airships of old he's modeling it after, though. The USS Macon measured in at 239.3 meters (785 feet), and the largest, the Hindenburg class, was a massive 245.3 meters (803 feet).

Brin's airship was originally slated to be powered by hydrogen, according to the sources. But the gas still apparently has a bad rep as fuel for airships, what with the legacy of the Hindenburg still fresh in our cultural consciousness after 80 years. 

Brin's airship will instead depend on helium for lift and use a system of internal gas bladders to compensate when freight is removed during landings. Sources claim this will allow for off-loading almost anywhere in the world. 

Neither Brin nor Google provided comment about any of the rumors about the airship, so until someone spots a massive zeppelin coasting through the California skies, we're likely going to be kept in the dark. 

Source: This blog was published on mashable.com by BRETT WILLIAMS

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