Figures in the tech world often work on passion projects when they can, like that one time Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg built his own digital assistant for his house. However, a side project from one well-known name is reportedly taking on gargantuan proportions.
Google co-founder and Alphabet president Sergey Brin is reportedly working on his own private airship — a massive one expected to span a whopping 200 meters in length, sources familiar with the matter tell The Guardian (opens in new tab).
Funded personally by Brin, the massive aircraft is reported to cost somewhere between $100 million to $150 million and could wind up as the world's largest aircraft in use today — though not the largest of all-time, as the rigid airships of the 1930s still hold that record.
According to The Guardian, Brin's goal for the airship is to assist humanitarian efforts by delivering supplies to remote or hard-to-reach locations.
The craft would also serve as a luxury transport for friends and family looking to travel in style.
Bringing back the zeppelin
Should Brin's airship take off (both figuratively and literally) the design could inspire more aircraft like it, potentially revolutionizing the intensely lucrative cargo industry.
Airship designer Igor Pasternak tells The Guardian that buoyant aircraft have the advantage of not needing runways, tracks, or roads to reach their destination, allowing them to deliver massive quantities of goods "from point A to point Z without stopping anywhere in between."
Now, zeppelins did have occupy the spotlight over 80 years ago, but technical limitations — and disasters like the Hindenburg in 1937 — prevented airships from becoming the next major transport vessel.
Thankfully, sources say that Brin's airship will be FAA-compliant, meaning that non-flammable helium will be used to lift the high-tech throwback instead of hydrogen.