What’s Sergey Brin been up to? Look up and you’ll soon find out

Brin’s LTA (which stands for “Lighter Than Air”) wants to bring back airships. Yes, really.

Hot air is attributed to many billionaires, but Google co-founder Sergey Brin is taking that to a new place.

What’s Sergey Brin been up to? Look up and you’ll soon find out

Brin’s secretive side venture, LTA Research & Exploration, indulges his long-held flight of fancy: airships.

Yes, like the Hindenburg…

… but modernized, per Bloomberg Businessweek.

  • LTA’s airships, built largely with carbon-fiber tubing, are lighter and more durable than dirigibles of old.
  • Its first model, Pathfinder 1, is shaped like “a very tubby cigar” and powered by “helium cells,” diesel generators, and lithium-ion batteries.

OK, but why?

LTA imagines a few use cases:

  • Eco-friendly hauling: Its airships can travel 2k+ nautical miles per trip and carry ~10x more cargo than a Boeing 737.
  • Supply drops: Following disasters, ports, railways, runways, and roads can be inaccessible; airships can make vital deliveries without any of them.
  • Exotic travel: If people want slow, scenic jaunts between destinations, LTA’s open to making it happen.

Your takeaway: Find someone who loves you like Brin loves airships; this is his second startup attempting to revive them. Brin — still an Alphabet board member who’s worth ~$105B — has funneled an estimated $250m+ into LTA so far.

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Topics: Transportation

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