MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) — Although details are scarce about what’s going on behind the giant closed doors of massive hangar at Moffett Field, word has it that the project involves Google co-founder Sergey Brin and construction of the world’s largest aircraft.
The mystery has piqued the interest of neighbors in Mountain View.
“It’s no longer a secret I think,” said neighbor Ankush Mahkjan.
According to reports published in the Guardian, which quoted anonymous sources, Brin is spending $100 million to $150 million of his own dollars to build a modern airship inside hanger number 2.
It would be giant — more than two football fields in length — but shorter than both the Hindenburg and the U.S.S. Macon, a Navy airship based at Moffett Field in the 1930s.
The hydrogen filled Hindenburg crashed and burned in New Jersey, killing 35 people.
The helium filled Macon crashed in a storm off the Big Sur coast. Most of its crew survived.
Despite the checkered history of such large airships, Brin is said to be fascinated with them. He wants to bring them back both for transportation and as a method to bring relief supplies to inaccessible areas during disasters.
“It’s always a crazy idea that turns out one day to be good for society,” said neighbor Jammy Sehgal.
Tech workers KPIX 5 spoke to were fascinated with the idea, speculating about how Brin’s airship would be filled with technology unavailable over 80 years ago to make them better and safer.
“Like smart balance controls and things like that, so the load won’t get out of balance and much better navigation tools like GPS, which they never heard about with the Macon,” said area resident Steven Goldstein. “I mean, the Macon had its issues, but it also had its promise.”