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During a meeting at the White House last week, Kanye West pitched an idea to President Donald Trump for a hydrogen-powered replacement to the Air Force One. In a not-so-surprising twist, it turns out the “iPlane 1” wasn’t West’s idea at all.
Shabtai Hirshberg, an industrial designer, originated a futuristic plane concept six years ago in his master’s thesis addressing problems surrounding air travel on a global scale. He told the Verge that while his designs weren’t realistic, he was pleasantly surprised that West pitched his idea.
“No, it completely caught me by surprise,” Hirshberg said. “A good surprise, I would say—it’s always nice to see your designs being thought well for.”
West’s meeting with Trump in the Oval Office on Thursday was accompanied by reporters and White House staff. West rambled for several minutes on varying topics including social issues, race, politics, endorsement deals—and the hypothetical plane.
USA: Kanye West shows Trump an iPlane 1 • hydrogen-powered • Oct 2018 pic.twitter.com/iqwu5xHQ3a— redball (@redball2) October 12, 2018
“We’re going to have Apple—an American company—work on this plane with us,” West said. “This is what our president should be flying in.”
Hirshberg’s original idea did not run on hydrogen and was not associated with Apple at all. The designer wasn’t sure how West found his idea, but despite lack of credit, Hirshberg said that he’d eagerly work with West and Apple if the opportunity became available.
“I’d be more than happy to collaborate with Kanye West and Apple if they decide to actually take this forward,” Hirshberg said.
Hirshberg did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment. You can view more details of his original plane concept here.
H/T Daily Mail
Alexis Tatum studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She's an editorial intern with the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Orange magazine and the Daily Texan.