According to US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) information, Google’s airline now has a Dornier Alpha-Jet, tail No. N165XA. The fighter jet is actually registered to H211 LLC of Palo Alto, California. H211 LLC, is the company that operates the private jets owned and used by Google’s top executives, including their billionaire founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, along with CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt is a licensed pilot and has cockpit experience in high performance jet aircraft.
According to Wikipedia, the Alpha Jet is a a light jet attack and advanced trainer aircraft manufactured by Dornier of Germany and Dassault-Breguet of France.
Google’s fighter jet is located at NASA’s Moffett Field, whose offices are a seven-minute drive from the airfield, already has a broad research agreement with Nasa, and in August, the agency’s scientists used one of the company’s planes to observe a meteor shower.
Google has a $1.3 million, two year lease with NASA for landing rights at Moffett Field. This is an airport run by NASA that is generally closed to private aircraft.. To get these privileges, Google Inc.’s founders will carry scientific equipment for NASA’s Ames Research on their private aircraft. There is a noise pollution clause and a maximum number of landings permitted in this arrangement.
The Mountain View Voice, which originally broke the story, said that the Dornier Alpha-Jet noise levels would violate H211 LLC’s original agreements with NASA’s Ames facility at Moffett Field. Because they only allow for quieter turbine-powered aircraft like the H211 LLC/Google Gulfstream and Boeing 747-200, additional amendments will have to be made for the noise levels of the H211 LLC/Google Alpha fighter jet. As part of the agreement, H211 LLC has been allowed to base aircraft in Hangar 211 because of the fact that NASA has equipped their planes with scientific instruments.
Local residents expressed opposition to the idea that Nasa open up its runways as a means of helping pay for facilities.
[via Nework times]