Google co-founder Sergey Brin is reportedly building one of the largest airships in human history for the purpose of transporting humanitarian aid to remote locations easily. The giant airship is being built in the same group of NASA-owned hangars where the historic USS Macon was built. The project is meant to produce an airship that's nearly 200 meters long, and will supposedly cost somewhere between $100 million and $150 million when it's all said and done. The aircraft will use a unique design dreamed up by multiple engineers, including airship designer Igor Pasternak and former NASA director of programs Alan Weston, to avoid a common issue with cargo airships and boast the ability to carry almost any payload to almost any location and leave smoothly, even after dropping off only some of its payload.
The earliest designs can be credited to Pasternak, but Weston took the helm of the project when Brin contacted him back in 2014. The design supposedly uses multiple air bladders to control buoyancy. In airships, buoyancy has to be carefully controlled in order to avoid having the ship end up in the stratosphere after a cargo drop. Whereas normal airships with a single bladder have to have a predetermined amount of floating gas and an equal weight to offset losing the cargo ready for when they make their drop, Brin's ship can adapt to whatever cargo load fits the mission.
In November of 2014, a company under Google's control got a 60-year lease on 1,000 acres of Moffett Field in return for promising to restore the iconic old hangars there. It reportedly paid out about $1.1 billion to do so. That lease allowed Weston to build a 1/10 scale model of the planned airship at Brin's behest, and after the ship was tested, the full-scale version reportedly began construction. According to inside sources, Brin's private family company and wallet are funding the construction, testing, and eventual deployment of this airship. Brin himself has yet to say anything to the public about these plans. The current report comes from alleged inside sources, while a previous report was broken last month, albeit with far fewer details. When journalists reached out to Brin at that point, he did not deny the story, but decined to provide any comments or further information. That situation has not changed, and it can only be assumed that the Google co-founder will reveal more details when things are further along.