A NASA official said Friday that the top Googlers’ new fighter jet will be used mostly to fly missions for the agency that four other jets owned by Google’s top executives could not handle.
“They are dedicating the plane primarily for NASA payloads,” said Steve Zornetzer, associate director of the NASA Ames Research Center, which operates Moffett Field near the Google campus. He said that the Google executives’ pilots would use the Dornier Alpha Jet for “training and pilot proficiency…”
Mr. Zornetzer said the Alpha Jet will spend most of the next few months in Seattle being converted from military to civilian use. The modifications include making it quieter, to comply with noise restrictions at civilian airports. It will start flying out of Moffett Field in the spring. The NASA missions now being contemplated include the testing of greenhouse gases and other emissions over California and the detection of and response to disasters, including fires.
When news of the agreement between the Google executives and NASA first surfaced, some residents of Mountain View and adjacent communities worried about the extra noise that their flights would produce. Mr. Zornetzer said that the executives’ planes have accounted for only about 88 flights in the past year or so, less than 1 percent of the approximately 19,000 annual flights at Moffett. Ninety-five percent of the flights at Moffett are military flights, he said.
I know just what a useless PITA adjacent community whiners can be. You see, I live right next to a small municipal airport. This may surprise some; but, when my father-in-law built this house decades ago – he actually noticed there was an airport up the hill.
When I married his daughter, I sold my home in town and Helen and I acquired this house – and we knew there was an airport up the hill. In fact, I’m the only member of the immediate family who’s never been a pilot.
Every couple of years, someone buys or rents in our community and discovers some weeks later – there’s a fracking airport nearby. That’s their problem – not the airport’s.