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Google execs propose paying for renovations to Moffett Field’s Hangar One in return for space for their private jets

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Future home of Google founders' jets

Future private hangar of Google founders

Larry Page, Sergey Brinn, and Eric Schmidt have proposed to NASA that they will pay for renovations to the historic Hangar One at Moffett Field in exchange for use of some the hangar space for their own private jet fleet.   The bill for that renovation would come to $33 million.  Right now, the government is in the process of removing the old “skin” from the hangar, as it is made of some ill-conceived mix of asbestos, lead paint and PCBs.

The Google excecs’ jets are operated by an llc called H211.  According the San Jose Mercury News article on the proposal, H211  is proposing to house 8 jets in the hangar, using 2/3 of the available space.  Given that 2/3 of Hangar One is the equivalent of four football fields, that seems like a lot of space per plane — so I’m not sure exactly what they have in mind.  From what I can gather the Google execs own one Boeing 767-200, one Boeing 757, two Gulfstream G-V s, some sort of fighter jet, and who knows what the other 3 are.   At any rate, Hangar One will no doubt be the coolest private hangar this side of Saudi Arabia once the work is complete — should NASA decide to take them up on their offer.

The Google trio already enjoys special treatment at Moffett Field.  In exchange for $1.3MM / year and allowing NASA a certain amount of “scientific” use of their planes, they’ve had landing and parking rights on the field for some time.   Just what sort of experiments NASA is running on the Google boys’ flying pleasure dome is anyone’s guess, but it’s probably fun.

If you’ve never seen Hangar One, you should.  It’s an absolutely  unbelievable building.  It was built during the Depression to house the Navy’s fleet of airships.  It is immense.  There’s a good Wikipedia article on it here.  The San Jose Mercury news story on the proposal also has a very nice photo gallery of the hangar here.  The scale of the building is preposterously huge.  To give you an idea, it’s doors weigh 200 tons each.  It is big.  It’s also a remarkable feat of engineering and a great piece of design.  I’m personally very glad to see them offering to refurbish it, as it would really be a shame to lose such a remarkable landmark and a fascinating piece of aviation history.

Of course, reactions appear to be mixed.  A lot of Bay Area Hangar One enthusiasts are excited by the plan and glad to see someone offering to pay to restore the landmark.  A lot of people are getting hung up on why those guys have 8 planes and enough money to drop $33MM on a place to park them.  Probably a lot are, like me, more than a little jealous.

Google Founders' 767

Here are some links about the story:

Google founders offer ‘100 percent’ funding to save Hangar One

Hangar One (on Wikipedia)

Save Hangar One (.org)

Google’s 3 Top Executives Have 8 Private Jets

Wait A Minute — The Top 3 Google Execs Have HOW MANY Jets?

Lawsuits Fly Over Google Founders’ Big Private Plane

Google Founders’ Ultimate Perk: A NASA Runway

Written by mojofinance

December 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm