published : 2023-11-30

Proof that being Google’s billionaire co-founder can get your crazy airship approved

A feat of engineering, wealth realized

Sergey Brin inspecting the prototype of the Pathfinder 1, taken with a Nikon D850

Being Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google and one of the world’s wealthiest people, has its perks. In fact, it's helped him get approval for his crazy colossal airship that can both deliver life-saving aid and serve as his luxurious flying vehicle.

Brin’s company, LTA Research, has been working on developing "lighter than air" vehicles that use helium to float in the sky. LTA Research recently announced that its first airship, the Pathfinder 1, has received its airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It is the first time that a hybrid-electric airship has been certified by the FAA.

This means that the airship can start test flights in the Bay Area and Ohio, where the company has its facilities. The airship is reportedly being built at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Pathfinder 1 completed a five-minute flight inside Hangar 2 at Moffett Field on May 12, 2023. Currently, its team of qualified airship pilots, flight test engineers and skilled ground crew are conducting tests and training for longer outdoor flights.

The spacious cabin of the luxurious air yacht, with a view of the glass-bottomed observation deck, taken with a Canon EOS R5

The Pathfinder 1 is a huge vessel, measuring nearly 400 feet long and 66 feet wide, which is about twice the length of a Boeing 747 jet. It uses helium and 12 electric motors to fly. According to the LTA, its airships could one day carry up to 200 tons of cargo on each flight. The company plans to use it for delivering food, medicine and other supplies to remote areas of the world that lack infrastructure and access to transportation.

But the Pathfinder 1 is not just a humanitarian vehicle. It is also a luxurious "air yacht" that Brin can use for his personal travels and entertainment. The airship will reportedly have a spacious cabin with bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a lounge and a dining area. It will also have a glass-bottomed observation deck that will offer stunning views of the landscapes below.

Brin has been involved in LTA Research since 2016, and he has reportedly spent more than $250 million on the project. He has a vision of creating airships that can revolutionize the way we transport goods and people around the world, while also reducing our carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Aerial view of the Pathfinder 1 during its test flight in the Bay Area, taken with a Sony A7R IV

Sergey Brin’s airship is a remarkable example of how technology and innovation can be used for both good and fun. It is a testament to his passion for exploration and discovery, as well as his generosity and philanthropy. Brin’s airship is not just a crazy yacht that he got approved because he is a billionaire. It is a potential game-changer that could make a positive difference in the world.

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