Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's been a year

Friday marks the blogs first anniversary. It's really interesting for us to go back and read some of the early posts when we were just starting on this road. We have actually got a lot more blog posts to put up in the future - I tended to write a post when something exciting was going on, even if, for confidentiality reasons, I couldn't post it! There will come a time when I can release a bunch of those and make the record even more complete.

These past couple of weeks have been crazy with us trying to hire people, and we look forward to telling you all about our new team members and having them join in blogging.

Monday, March 17, 2008


We have an office to decorate, and eventually we'll need to have things to adorn our public spaces. So I've been hanging on ebay picking up airship related stuff. There seem to be a lot of Christmas ornaments around right now, but one that I had to have was a Department 56 piece of 'Kitchmas' with a rotating Goodyear blimp!

Aside from fits of laughter at how really dorky this ornament is, the instructions made us laugh the most. For those of you that can't quite see this, it says

Contents: Goodyear Blimp

Michael from Zeppelin who is with us at the moment looked very carefully at the model and from the ducted fans concluded it was based on a GZ22.

Regardless, it would have been a real steal at $16 plus shipping.

Friday, March 7, 2008

How many lawyers does it take to ...

get an airship off the ground?

Have a think about it for a moment. I'm sure most of you said 'someone to help with the FAA'. Good, that's one. But actually, it takes quite a few more than that. As we are fortunate to have a wonderful group of patient and easy to understand representatives of the legal profession working with us, I thought I'd take a moment to give you a little insight into how many legal plates are spinning!

First, there are indeed experts helping with the FAA and DOT. That's Jennifer, Jonathon and their colleagues in Washington DC at Pillsbury Law. San Francisco Pillsbury also provide us with Bob for copyrights, patents and trademarks and a colleague on federal lease documents, LA Pillsbury houses Deborah and Erin who are experts in gift certificates and other consumer issues, and Daveed is in Sacramento where he's helping us figure out what airline travel sales rules we need to abide by.

Our corporate stuff (incorporation etc) is handled by Rob and Teresa at Morrison and Foerster, and they also handle all our critical work with investors such as term sheets, convertible notes and the like.

There's a pile of tax issues to deal with. We have a great accountancy firm in Berger/Lewis and they, through principal Tom, coordinate with Steven from Reed and Roth to ferret out all the rules and issues related specifically to aviation sales and use tax, and business property tax.

You can imagine that we have quite a number of complex aircraft purchase related contracts to deal with and a veteran of aircraft contracts, Stuart, from Warren Sklar, casts his eyes over the material that comes from Zeppelin.

And finally, we have some visa related work as we expect a couple of the team from Zeppelin to be with us for the first few months of operation which Paul from Fragomen, Del Ray is coordinating.

And as to my question? The answer is at least Eleven. You can do the math on the fees yourself.

Yeah, I know, there's a punchline in there somewhere about hot air, but I'm grateful that it doesn't apply to any of our team.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cover Up

Following the installation of the last piece of the airframe, the Zeppelin continues to get closer to completion. Here you can see the pressure tested envelope suspended from the hangar roof in preparation for pulling over the airframe - if it doesn't swallow #3 first!

Image courtesy of Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik.

6 inches

.....of resumes have piled into our offices in response to the three job postings we have open right now. So if you're one of those who have applied and you're reading this, we're doing our best to get through everything! (The USPS box is for sending to our CFO who is doing the initial reviews on the Controller position)

Monday, March 3, 2008

New & Improved! "Less Flammable" Helium

On a visit recently to the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum, I came across yet another attempt to communicate to the public the relevant (to airships) difference between helium and hydrogen. It really cracked me up! While the sign is true, you have to wonder how many other statments could receive this treatment. I guess that makes dirt "less explosive" than dynamite?

All kidding aside, the museum was really fantastic. More photos/blog posts to come soon!