Flying cars are so outdated.
In a battle of Google co-founders for air supremacy, bigger may be better.
After new information surfaced recently about Google co-founder Larry Page’s investment in a startup trying to develop a flying car, there’s now talk of fellow co-founder Sergey Brin working on a blimp. According to Bloomberg, which spoke to people who claim to have knowledge of the project, Brin has formed a team of engineers led by the former director of programs at the NASA Ames Research Center with developing the dirigible.
Alan Weston, that former NASA director, has been one of the more outspoken proponents for blimps in recent years, and said in 2013 that he believes they could be more efficient than airplanes in carrying and delivering cargo. At that time, he said he was considering working on a helium-based airship.
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Brin hasn’t commented about the project or his interest in blimps. And although the airship is reportedly being developed inside a hangar at the Ames Research Center, near Alphabet’s Silicon Valley headquarters, it is not directly part of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. That suggests the effort may be under the auspices of a separate startup.
Brin’s apparent plans for air travel follow the posting of an online video this week by a company named Kitty Hawk. That company has received venture funding from Larry Page and is working on what has been characterized as a flying car. Kitty Hawk calls its Flyer an “all-electric aircraft” that will fly over water. The company plans to release the Flyer to consumers later this year.
Page has also invested in flying vehicle company Zee.Aero, which on its website, says it’s working on “a revolutionary new form of transportation.”
It’s unknown what Brin’s plans are for the airships, and in an e-mail to Bloomberg, he said that he didn’t “have anything to say about” the technology. However, the Bloomberg sources claim Brin decided to build airships three years ago. He was inspired by the USS Macon, a blimp the U.S. Navy built in the 1930s, according to the report.
Alphabet did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on the report.