Thursday, September 30, 2010

Litchfield: Why Has America No Rigid Airships?

"Why Has America No Rigid Airships?"

Why indeed!

A recent find on Amazon, which arrived earlier this week and I found myself devouring upon arrival...

The book was published towards the end of 1945, just after WW2 had ended, and P. W. Litchfield, Chairman of the Board of Goodyear Tire and Rubber felt firmly that rigid airships had a place in postwar passenger and freight transportation.

The book is out of print, but as of this posting, there are a handful each of the hardback and softcover versions available used on Amazon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AP Video: Tracking Whales from Above

AP has released their video essay by Ted Warren and Manuel Valdez of our whale research mission from earlier this month, which you can watch below.

Thanks again to Farmers for providing the flight time donation which made this all possible, and to the researchers from NOAA, Woods Hole and Center for Whale Research!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Modern Marvels

Adriano, Joe and Rudy of Modern Marvels. Rudy couldn't wait to get Zepp head!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's a UFO!!

The whale researchers at NOAA were able to solve a UFO sighting reported on The Vike Factor, a Canadian UFO blog. It was of course, Eureka, busy with the whales, but I guess from a distance, hovering below a gray and gloomy sky, she exhibited many characteristics of UFO's. For example, she was 'cigar shaped', and 'moving too slowly to be a plane'. The observers decided that it might be about the size of a normal jet (747 I guess) and they would be right. As the airship rotated and hovered then it 'shrunk and vanished and then reappeared again'. The whole post is an interesting read.

This is not the first time Eureka has been tagged as otherworldly. We received a call about a year ago from someone who was investigating a sighting over the Monterey Bay. The airship was traveling back from Monterey at dusk and seen head on, she really did look like an upside down UFO with her fins helping to create the saucer effect and including a cabin with lights shining out of the windows!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bye Bye Washington State.

Eureka is just passing Portland and will be landing at Salem shortly on the first leg of our return journey. Weather permitting, Eureka will be back at her Moffett Field hangar sometime on Sunday. We'll post a more up to date schedule once we are closer. Everyone at HQ is very much looking forward to seeing the away team again and being all together for the Fall.

The entire team are advocating for us to go to Seattle more often. The scenery, the people and the hospitality were exceptional - the weather, less so. We unfortunately lost a few flights to weather and the locals told us it "usually isn't this bad", but we wondered if they were just telling us that so we'd come back!

Anyway, we will be back. Thanks for all the fun!

Eyeing the Border

On the science mission yesterday, we got pretty close to Canada. We'd love to take Eureka across the border and hope to visit some of the beautiful cities like Vancouver and Toronto at some point in our future!

Maize Maze

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mukilteo Ferry and Boeing Plant

AP Interview

Brad Hanson of NOAA giving an interview for AP.

Friday Harbor

Roche Harbor Airport

Roche Harbor Airport

Erin's House

Passing over the home of one of the researchers.

Oliver and Kate Hold Our Position

Pod of 8 Below

Joining Up

Joining up with the NOAA research boat.

Dual Video Camera Monitor

Still Camera Data Logger

Camera Assembly on the Nose

Orca Field Guide

This field guide shows the family lines of the j, k, and l pods.


Just some of the gear joining us today on our whale research mission. In addition we will have still and video cameras mounted to the gondola.

Whale Spotting

This latest entry in our series of poster art was inspired by a blend of a photo Captain Jim Dexter had taken back in September 2009, and a more recent one that Captain Oliver Jaeger had taken of a whale blowing in July of this year. The blue whales depicted are typical of those we see off the coast of California between San Francisco and San Diego.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Macon Illustration

Mike Whybark poses with this illustration Kent Leech created of the Macon for National Geographic.

Moffett Field, Circa 1950s

Brad Meinhardt sends us these family photos of Moffett Field from the 1950s...

I thought you might find the attached photo of interest. Before I was born, my father and his pal forced the Navy to take them on active duty, October 8, 1954 by volunteering for the Army draft while in the Navy Reserve. They wanted the Korean War G.I. bill for college. The process was very quick and the Korean War was winding down. So they sent them both to Treasure Island for 6 weeks and then on to their assignments My dad ended up at Naval Air Station Moffett Field.

The photo shows what the base looked like back then and the photo below the schematic is his barracks. He described Moffett as quite an incredibly beautiful "campus" at the time.

He worked in one of the concrete blimp size hangars across the field, making modifications in electronics gear with Westinghouse reps.

Our own corporate headquarters are in Building 20, the former BOQ (Batchelor Officers' Quarters), and indeed the NASA Ames Research Park is today a beautiful campus, rich in history, where numerous companies are actively working towards the future.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Swing Dancing at Vintage Aircraft Gala

A lively crowd, most in period clothing, dancing to a rendition of Mack the Knife here at the Future of Flight vintage aircraft weekend gala.

Vintage Aircraft Weekend

The warbirds started arriving today for Vintage Aircraft Weekend here at Paine Field.

Airship Pirate?

Everyone gets wanded. Even Airship Pirates! But Captain Robert of the USS Ophelia took it in stride. You can imagine what such a passenger needs to leave behind -- blunderbuss, cutlass, or perhaps steam powered gauss rifle?