It’s been a year and a half since the founders of Google finally stepped down from leading Alphabet (Google’s parent company). Sergey Brin, the ninth richest man in the world, has now surprised everyone with the fact that his company plans to use the world’s largest mobile hydrogen cell.
We first read about LTA (lighter than air) Research a few years ago when a company report from Alphabet revealed that the company “related to Sergey Brin” was renting a hangar from them. At the time, Business Insider could only find out that the company was founded in 2014 and employs primarily aeronautical engineers. Since then, we know that LTA has ambitious plans with the airships they design: “complement or accelerate assistance in the aftermath of humanitarian disasters, especially in areas that are difficult to reach by plane or ship”.
They also aim to enable their vehicles to move cargo and people without emitting pollutants. If that alone weren’t ambitious enough, TechCrunch has now gotten even more exciting information: one of LTA’s job advertisements says the world’s largest mobile hydrogen cell will provide fuel for their airships. The article highlights that the current largest such system is on ZeroAvia’s small passenger planes, and the Brines want to use a six-fold cell. The main argument in favor of hydrogen cells is that they are much lighter than conventional lithium-ion batteries. In the article, an expert states that with their help, the range can be roughly increased eightfold.
LTA’s first aircraft, the Pathfinder 1, could be operational this year – albeit not with the giant cell – so the Zeppelin NT tourist airship will not be the only active such vehicle in the world.