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!