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Kanye West’s ‘iPlane 1’ idea is 6 years old—and it’s not even his

But the designer seems stoked that West likes his idea.


Alexis Tatum


Posted on Oct 15, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 4:05 am CDT

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.

After typing his iPhone password in front of international press, West showed photos of the concept to Trump, suggesting that it would be built by Apple, run on hydrogen, and be called the iPlane 1.

“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

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*First Published: Oct 15, 2018, 5:09 pm CDT