Saturday, December 31, 2011

Purdy: There is, too, a local team in the Rose Bowl

Two for two?

Check out the San Jose Mercury News today.

Columnist Mark Purdy gives us a shout out as the "local team" in the upcoming Rose Bowl this Monday.

Mark had the chance to speak with Will Spivey, mechanic/inspector (and former defense for San Jose State Spartans), and Ben Travis, Pilot for the story.

As to who will end up on top - Wisconsin Badgers or Oregon Ducks - we shall soon know!

Will Spivey, mechanic/inspector for Airship Ventures, with a camera adaptor ring that is used when the zeppelin hovers over sporting events providing TV coverage. At Moffett Field in Mountain View Wednesday Dec. 21, 2011.
The crew that flies the zeppelin will be flying over the Rose Bowl game on January 2nd providing TV coverage.
(Photo by Patrick Tehan/Mercury News)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Morning Paper

A good way to start the day - a cup of coffee and Eureka on the front page of the paper. We are here in Long Beach thru the middle of next week offering passenger flights and to provide aerial tv coverage of the Rose Bowl.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Palos Verdes Lighthouse

Collapsed Section of Road

Coastal Batteries

Look closer at the hills for ww2 era coastal defense positions

Terminal Island

An intermediate level federal penitentiary near Long Beach.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Presenting on Flight Training and Simulation

Francis Govers, Airship Ventures Special Missions Manager presenting a session on LTA pilot training and flight simulation.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Roger Munk and George Spyrou

Alan Handley reading a tribute to Roger Munk and George Spyrou, airship pioneers gone west in 2010, to whom the conference has been dedicated.

Upper Platform L30

Zeppelin Tail Gunner

From a model of the great war airship L30.

Fokker D-VIII at Museum of Flight

Aachen Model Airship Regatta

The DGLR (Germany Society for Air and Space Travel) held an airship workshop in Aachen, Germany last month.

To coincide with the event, a group of European airship modelers held an "Airship Regatta" at the same time. Past events have taken place all over Germany, as well as in the UK and Italy.

If you would be interested in seeing a similar event take place in the United States, either to participate with a design, or as a spectator to watch the airships compete, let us know via a comment to the blog.

Airships to the Arctic

A Full House for Airships to the Arctic at the Edgewater Hotel

A number of us (Joanne, Francis and myself) are in attendance this week at the Airships to the Arctic conference in Seattle. Earlier today we presented our experiences and lessons learned during the "Farmers Airship Covering Communities" coast to coast tour this past summer. Tomorrow Francis (special missions manager) will be doing a presentation on airship flight simulators and our LTA pilot training program.

The conference is a gathering of airship operators, airship vendors, government agencies, and commercial customers looking at the challenges and opportunities of operating airships in the arctic, with a particular focus on Alaska and the northern territories of Canada.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flight of the Mini Macon

View of the Test Flight from Above
Last month, a 20 foot working model of the Macon built by Jack Clemens was flown in our hangar at Moffett Field.

There was nice coverage by the San Jose Mercury News as well as other local news outlets.

After two prior attempts -- one was destroyed by his pet cat, one drifted away on a test flight -- this was the 3rd model that he had made, and fortunately for all of us, it was a success.

Hats off to Jack and his mini-macon!

Comic Art - Eureka!

Over the holiday weekend one of the followers of our facebook page posted the story of their airship flight using a cool web site/tool called "Pixton". Pixton lets you create your own comic strips online with pictures you upload, and characters you create and then arrange to tell a story.

Be sure to check out the whole story online!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grand Theft Airship?

The new video trailer for Grand Theft Auto V by Rockstar Games features appearances by an airship. You can spot it in the background over the city several times. A few of those times, it looks like it could be the Goodyear Blimp. A few other times, it looks long and slender, like it could be Eureka. As both airships sail the skies of LA, could be either! But we have our favorite.

Check out the video and see which airship YOU think it is!

Scan for it at the following points -- 00:17 over the golf course, 1:04, 1:09, and 1:11 above the city.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wall Street Journal Holiday Charters Ad

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, look for our holiday charters ad in the Wall Street Journal today!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flight School

Juergen teaching airship structure basics to a class of pilots, inspectors and engineers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quote for the Day

"These are not the world's slowest aircraft, they are the world's fastest ships."
 -- Chuck Myers, veteran military pilot and president of AeroCounsel

Saturday, November 5, 2011

26,347 Nautical Miles

This diagram illustrates the Oakland, California to Oakland, California round-the-world trip this aircraft took back in 1997.

Grumman Loo with a View

The original loo with the view, this lavatory also has a shower!
Clearly we need to get our engineers working to meet this challenge!

Grumman Albatros

Reid Dennis took this floatplane around the world. Here she is on display at the Hiller Museum benefit gala.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ben is Back

Pilot Ben Travis reporting for flight duty.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Classic '69 Fuel Truck

Last week in San Antonio, the crew came across this true classic -- a 1969 fuel truck built on a Ford chassis with tank by Newberry Tanks & Equipment Company. Even better, Newberry is still around, and made the tank for our own fuel bowser back in 2008.

Troy with a Classic (our modern one in the background) 
Still in West Memphis, Still Making Tanks!

Tank Lid Circa 2008

Tank Lid Circa 1969

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Grand Canyon State Welcomes You

The Grand Canyon State Welcomes You (photo: MK)

The ground team is rolling into Arizona right now.

The ship arrives to Tucson today, then next stop, California.

One more state to go!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Time Lapse from Milwaukee

From YouTube:
"This is a very good video of the "airship" Eureka on it's visit to Milwaukee. Data about the craft, Stills, and time lapse of the day at Timmerman airport. One time lapse covers 11 hours."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Zeppelin NT in FlightGear

FlightGear is an open source flight simulator, and has had a Zeppelin NT in it for a while now. It runs on many platforms, including Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac OS and Windows.

For September, the Zeppelin NT was selected "Aircraft of the Month" and featured in a demo video.

The video gives a demo of two VTOL aircraft supported by FlightGear, the EuroCopter 135 and the Zeppelin NT.

Learn more about this simulated NT on the Flightgear forums.

The Gateway Geyser?

What's this?!?

The Gateway Geyser?

Eureka Spotted in Google Maps

Speaking of Google Maps and satellite imagery, Eureka happened to be captured on the field at Oshkosh.

The map images were recently updated to include the field as of opening day, July 25, 2011.

(Thanks to EAA for the tip!)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blue Marble: QR Codes at 1000 feet?

Want to have a giant QR code on your roof?

Want to have it seen in Google Maps and Google Earth?

Public Relations and Marketing firm Phillips and Company recently did a press release announcing a service called Blue Marble, where they put a QR code on your roof, then make sure it gets into Google Earth and Google Maps.

Well if you can do it from earth orbit, why not 1000 feet?

We'll see what they have to say!

(Thanks go to Android Central for the image and first place I saw the story...)

Moon Express Radar Altimeter Airship Flight Test at OSH

Moon Express, one of the entrants in the Google Lunar X-Prize, used Eureka twice from April to July to flight test a radar altimeter they are working on.

Internally, we nicknamed the test platform the "cow bells", but that playful name doesn't do justice to the serious part it will play in their quest to reach the moon.

"Radar provides autonomous landing spacecraft with crucial ranging information to the surface and has been one of the most challenging and high risk elements of all lander systems. Radar systems have also been historically very expensive in terms of dollars, mass and energy. As part of its risk reduction engineering activities, Moon Express initiated a program to continue the development, test and space qualification of an innovative, low cost, low mass, low energy radar concept invented by Stellar Exploration that showed great promise through progressive developments under NASA Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) programs. The Moon Express investment significantly advanced the radar technology toward spaceflight readiness." -- Moon Express

Watch their latest video on the project , and see how they took advantage of our appearance at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, to complete testing of the project.

Our flight schedule posed some challenges, in that they had to get their monitoring equipment small enough to be carried during our normal operations. However it also presented opportunity in that they were able to check the data between each flight during the passenger exchange, refine their algorithms with the data from the previous flight, and upload new code!

Now that is what I call iterative programming!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

NAS Richmond

In an email from the EAA today, the newsletter included a link to this video telling a bit of the history of NAS (Naval Air Station) Richmond located in Florida. NAS Richmond was one of the many blimp bases built along the east and west coast of the US during WW2, and perhaps the largest.

To learn more about Naval Air Station Richmond and the history of naval airships, visit the Gold Coast Railroad Museum page on the topic at

Airships over Ft. Worth, Then and Now

This isn't the first time a Zeppelin has visited Ft. Worth. Back in October 1928, the USS Los Angeles, built in Germany, flew over downtown Ft. Worth. Yesterday, Eureka posed for a similar picture, 73 years later. You'll notice she is a bit higher over the building -- these days we have rules to follow regarding altitude!

Thanks go to Bob Adams and the B-36 Peacemaker Museum for helping us recreate a historic image of the first Zeppelin visit to Ft. Worth in 1928. If you're in the D/FW area, stop by the museum to learn about the city's Zeppelin history.

ZR-3 USS Los Angeles, 1928

N-704LZ Eureka, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ft. Worth

We're here!

Our shadow over downtown Ft. Worth.

(Thanks to MK for these and other pictures today)

Running Along the Border

The Oklahoma-Texas Border that is...

The Oklahoma Side
The Texas Side - Border Runs Along River

Making Way for Ft. Worth

After a number of delays waiting for a part to arrive from Germany, we are on our way to Ft. Worth.

Here is the view passing Oklahoma City...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Zeppelin Spicy Wheat Ale

When in Oklahoma... Drink Zeppelin Beer? Matthew found this gem on our recent stay in the OK state.
"A unique spin on a classic style, this spicy wheat ale starts with a blend of Maris Otter, white wheat, and a hint of rye, which is then infused with Cascade hops and fermented on German Hefe’ yeast. Notes of clove and banana can be found along with hints of spice from the rye."

Sounds good to me. Prost!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A4 Rocket

Taking a walk in Germany recently, I came upon a memorial at the location of an old V2 production facility and associated forced labor camp in Friedrichshafen. The parts not already having been destroyed by allied air attacks during the war, were removed by the French after the war. It is today forest and field. Like many other German companies during that period, Zeppelin was pressed into service in support of the war effort, and contributed to the testing and production of the V2 ballistic missile (also known by the German Army designation A4, for "Aggregat-4").