Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How Green is my Airship?

I came across a neat website the other day which allows you to calculate how many tonnes of CO2 you emit in aviation. It requires info on your fuel, how many liters you burn per hour and how many hours you fly per year.

I was curious about the Zeppelin NT so I ran some numbers for how much CO2 would be emitted for carrying 120 passengers and then did the same for some of the helicopters that are being used to give people tours in the San Francisco Bay Area. The helos don't carry as many people, so they have more flight hours to get to the same number. I then divided the total CO2 by the number of passengers to give me a per passenger figure (1000kg = 1 tonne for those not familiar with metric).

I realize that fuel consumption is always a moving target, but I figured that it would give me some ideas about the relative emissions of these two sightseeing methods. Interesting, but not unexpected, results.

UPDATE. Ecogeek published a fun article about green flight and airships get a mention! Thanks to Andreas at Airshipworld for spotting this.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Airships: The Big, Bad and Bold

Today we stopped by the Anderson - Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum to meet briefly with their exhibit curator who had contacted us after seeing a press release about our airship plans. She is busy putting together a new exhibit that opens on August 12 called Airships: The Big, Bad and Bold and wanted some more information from us. She had visited Friedrichshafen but had been unable to fly the Zeppelin NT at the time, although she saw it in action.

Marilee took us into the partially completed exhibit area. There were already some gorgeous Art Deco airship prints on the walls and a tantalizing number of large model mounts waiting for a set of large scale models which we were told are being built locally. We also got to see some of the memorabilia and artifacts that will form part of this exhibit. My particular favorites were a set of ceramic zeppelins each with a British or European city coat of arms on them.

The Museum is closed on Mondays, but we were grateful for the sneak peak, and to see a 1:200 scale Graf Zeppelin that they have hanging in their main atrium. We will certainly be going back once the exhibit is open! It runs through December 31.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wishful Thinking

Our friend, Betsy, sent us a link to an amusing zeppelin cartoon drawn by Randall Munroe. I've put a tiny clip as the image for this entry to tease you, so you'll have to click on this link to see the full cartoon.

If only.... (removes the need for ground crews...)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Being in one place

We've been surprised - pleasantly - by the number of airship folks who are contacting us with an interest in working for us. As it says on our website, we will be looking to recruit a full team and a list of the positions is given. For those of you that are following what we're up to, we thought we'd post a little more information here.

We plan on hiring only a couple of key posts before the end of the year. Virtually all other positions will be hired during the first half of next year. We are carefully keeping all resumes that are sent to us (thank you!), and will make sure that all those individuals are contacted when the relevant position openings are on the website.

In talking to some of the friendly inquirers, we've discovered that there is an appeal to working with an airship that is mostly in one place. Not that we won't ever do some travel if the event/contract is worth it, but this certainly won't be 11 months on the road. On the other hand, the cost of living in the Bay Area is a notch or two above the usual locations in North Carolina and Ohio....

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Happy Birthday! Ferdinand von Zeppelin

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! to the founder of Zeppelin. Born 8 July 1838.