Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sure, we can do that...

So, we're going to Los Angeles. And we had planned a parachute drop on Thursday morning to excite the press. But now we're being upstaged by the moving of Michael Jackson's body to Neverland Ranch. All the helicopters that would have been watching our jump are now going to be following a motorcade for several hours. Most of the press we had scheduled to fly on Thursday will be otherwise engaged. Drat. Time for plan B or C.

Wait a minute, how about having the Zeppelin follow the motorcade?......Watch this space..

Monday, June 29, 2009

Red Tape Cutter

A bit of deja vu but here's another picture of a very happy Meghan holding the plates for the new International Mast Truck. Wading through all the DMV paperwork is not for the fainthearted when there is no check box for a truck that is also part of an aircraft. But we found a talented 'can do' person called Brenda who has now helped us with figuring out what to do with all three trucks so that we can legally drive them on the road!

The International is getting ready for its first road trip which will be to Los Angeles (there are only 140miles on the odometer right now). We'll post some pictures of the airship on her shiny white mast truck as soon as we get some!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Clothes (2)

This morning we came out of the hangar with a new brand! More soon.

"23andMe, Inc. is the leading personal genetics company dedicated to helping individuals understand their own genetic information through DNA analysis technologies and web-based interactive tools. The company's Personal Genome Service™ enables individuals to gain deeper insights into their ancestry and inherited traits."

New Branding (23andMe)

This morning is the debut of our second branding partner, 23andMe. 23andMe is a leading personal genetics company dedicated to helping individuals understand their own genetic information. Named for the 23 sets of human chromosomes, 23andMe is building awareness for their personal genome service. The colorful 23andMe logo, representing intertwined chromosomes, now appears on either side of Eureka.

The team captured this fantastic time-lapse video of the decals being applied. It took 1 day per-side to do the application -- they started on Monday, and finished Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Childs play..

Remember when you used to have piles of colorful paper to do crafts at nursery school? These are piles of colorful decal material, all cut and ready to be applied to "Eureka" for our new branding partner.

The branding was finished tonight and roll out is tomorrow. Watch this space for a new timelapse!
Thanks to Matthew K and the team for the photos and hard work!

Up on High

Branding work is not a task for those who don't like heights.

Cherry Pick'n' Army

And taking off one brand and putting on another requires a small army of cherry pickers... (Thanks Hertz!)

This Job Blows...

Removing decal material requires gentle heat. Among the many specialized tools at Airship Ventures we have a number of hairdryers and extension cables that were put to good use over the last couple of days removing the UP branding.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Vertical Challenge

We made an appearance yesterday at the Vertical Challenge air show at San Carlos Airport put on by the Hiller Aviation Museum. Eureka looked wonderful, and the flag deployment operation the team had worked on all week was a success. We're hoping next year the winds will be more co-operative and allow us to land during the show!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dartmouth Alumni Association of Silicon Valley

We were host to the Dartmouth Alumni Association of Silicon Valley this weekend. It was a great use of the facilities. -- the event included presentations by the alumni association, staff of Airship Ventures, and an astronaut! Lunch was held on the lawn, and there were ample opportunities to view the airship.

(Pictures thanks to George Hamma)

1000 Hours

Usually covered by an access plate, Matthew sent us this snap of the engine run time indicators. Sure, it is "just a number", but the aft engine passed the 1000 hours run time mark today. The aft engine ends up with slightly more time than the others. Why? Among other reasons, at the end of the day when we mast, we shut down the side engines, but continue running the aft engine both to maneuver, as well as to continue generating power until we attach the ground power unit. Over several months, that adds up.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Flag Testing with Old Glory

Today Matthew, Jim and Fritz did "Final Candidate" testing on our flag display procedure. We're looking good!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Mast Trucks of Airship Ventures

Our friends over at Big Moving Pictures put together this excellent video short on our Mercedes and (recently departed) MAN mast trucks.

Slimming Down

Hmm... Could we be getting ready for a new branding?

Monday, June 15, 2009

That Sounds Great

My friend Lauren, in the backseat on the right in the video below, sent me this clip from a taxi she hailed the other night - the Cabaret Cab. Check out the song the driver sings, the Enophile Anthem (anyone know who recorded it?); it's about flying in a balloon over the fields of the Wine Country here and spotting each of the wineries. Hmmm... that sounds fun!

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Mast Truck is Here -- First Look!

The new mast truck is here!

Matthew sent these pictures from his iphone.

We hear that the instruction manual is thicker than the one that came with the airship itself. Could make for some heavy reading this weekend.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zeppelin on a String

It wasn't quite a sighting, but I actually did a double take when I glanced in the window of this print shop in my neighborhood in San Francisco and spotted Eureka hanging in the front display in diorama form. Not a bad likeness!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The ops team is working out a method for us to display a flag at air shows or other events. For the upcoming Vertical Challenge we will carry the US flag. For this test run, Matthew dug out the German tri-color, which Jeremey captured on his iPhone.

TV Film Crew

We started early this morning to film a television episode of a fun date. Several vans, great talent, and a 20-person crew have been all the flurry. The Production Manager and crew have been great and Eureka is a star! (yet again :-) )

More to follow!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Palm HQ

Google HQ

NASA Ames Wind Tunnel

'The Blue Cube' aka Onizuka Air Force Station

Roger Smith, a software developer I know, suggesting this stop on the tour, wrote:

Stuck in a corner of Moffett (101 & 237), it is technically an Air Force installation that is being decommissioned. It was owned by various three letter agencies in it's heyday. Reportedly there were (still are?) more nuclear weapons aimed at that site than any other place on earth. It was the US hub for spy satellite telecommunications. The dish array kinda gives that away. The biggest cube is (was ?) filled with jet turbines for power generation.

Also known as Onizuka Air Force Station, check out what wikipedia has to say.

Yahoo and Great America Amusement Park

Spikesource HQ


Hiller Aviation Museum and San Carlos Airport

We'll be participating at the 'vertical challenge' air show here later this month.


Stanford Campus

Stanford Linear Accelerator

'The Dish'

Foothill College and the Packard Orchards

Apple - 1st Stop on Geek Tour 1.0 BETA

The Apple HQ at Infinite Loop in Cupertino is the first stop on our inaugural 1.0 BETA 'geek tour' of Silicon Valley.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Farewell to a good MAN (mastwagen)

The MAN mast truck served us well for nearly 10 months, but it is now time for it to return to Germany.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pilot Experience Days -- Our 2nd Class

We've completed our second Pilot Experience Day

In addition to California, these pilots had come from Washington state, South Dakota, Texas and Florida to learn about, and fly, the Eureka.

It started yesterday with a half day of ground school, pilots reception, and informal dinner. Then bright and early the 2nd day started with breakfast, trip to the hangar to watch the ship come out, and then the prize -- 30+ minutes of stick time for each of the 6 pilots.

The day wrapped with a celebratory champagne toast and log book sign-off. It isn't many log books that you'll see "NT-07" and "N704LZ" appear in!

When asked for their reaction flying our girl, several pilots remarked that it was "humbling" and "amazing -- unlike anything they had ever experienced".

There were so many amazing stories shared over the two days -- some were EAA members that had built their own planes over the years, others were commercial pilots, a few had served in the military. They all shared a love of aviation and delight in a shared experience.

Interested? We're opening up additional sessions in August and September. Just call reservations at 650-969-8100x111 for more information.

Up Ship!