2 December 2005
Thanks to Rick Zitarosa
JOHN IANNACONE, 94, VETERAN OF NAVY AIRSHIPS, HINDENBURG
DISASTER GROUND CREWMAN.
John Antonino Iannacone, 94, of LAKEWOOD, died on Friday
December 2 at Kimball Medical Center, Lakewood, NJ.
John was a retired Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy
and a veteran of the Navy's World War II blimp program, as
well as one of the last remaining remaining "Sky Sailors" from
the Navy's rigid airship era of the 1920's-1930's. He was
also the last known living U.S. Navy ground crewmen from
the 1937 HINDENBURG disaster. John had been independent and
enjoying a busy retirement until falling ill and being hospitalized
on Thanksgiving Day.
Born in Fitchburg, MA on March 7, 1911, John enlisted in the Navy on graduation
from High School and superior aptitude scores qualified him for specialized
training as an Aviation Mechanic in the Navy's Lighter Than Air program at
the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst NJ. In 1931, he received the prestigious
assignment as a crew member on the Navy's giant dirigible USS LOS ANGELES
(ZR-3) and was part of the crew that flew the airship on her famous 27-day
deployment to the 1931 Panama Fleet Maneuvers where they operated from mooring
masts at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and on the converted tanker USS PATOKA (AO-9).
Following transfer to the ground force at the Naval Air Station Lakehurst,
John went to sea in support of fighter Squadrons on the aircraft carriers
USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) and USS RANGER (CV-4). Officers he served under at this
time included future Fleet Admirals Ernest J. King and William F. Halsey.
John returned to duty at NAS LAKEHURST in late 1934. The Navy's rigid airship
program had suffered a devastating blow when the USS AKRON (ZRS-4) had crashed
off Barnegat the year before, sister ship USS MACON was based on the West
Coast. The LOS ANGELES was out of service but still used for mooring experiments
on the Lakehurst field and there were a few small patrol and training blimps
which John flew aboard regularly as the on-board "Mech." It was
in this capacity that his experience with air cooled radial engines on carrier
planes served John well. It is also at this time that he met and married
the love of his life, Catherine, and they remained together for 56 years
until her passing in 1990.
In 1936, John was one of the Navy ground crew that regularly handled the
arrivals and departures of the new German Zeppelin HINDENBURG on her ten
round trips to Lakehurst that year. John was standing underneath the HINDENBURG
ready to grab a mooring line when she erupted in flame while landing at Lakehurst
on May 6, 1937. Within 34 seconds, the aerial pride of Nazi Germany had collapsed
into a burning heap on the landing field; thirteen passengers, twenty-two
crewmen and one member of the ground handling crew died as a result of the
accident. Miraculously, there were 62 survivors.
Along with his fellow sailors, officers and bystanders, John helped rescue
stunned and injured passengers from the burning wreckage. Nearly seventy
years later, John could still vividly relate the events of that night and
was in fact interviewed for many books, articles and TV documentaries in
the ensuing decades. John said he never believed the stories about sabotage
or latter-day "crackpot science" theories that flammable paint
or "dope"on the fabric outer skin of the HINDENBURG was responsible
for the disaster. "We used non-flammable helium gas in our Navy airships,
but our training balloons and the station kite balloons still used hydrogen.
We used to handle it and we knew how dangerous it was. The HINDENBURG was
inflated with hydrogen, she was tail heavy from a gas leak and they flew
in under a thunderstorm ... that hydrogen was an accident waiting to happen.
It's that simple!" he said to a National Geographic documentary producer
just this past July.
Transferred back to sea in the summer of 1937, John was assigned to the new
aircraft carrier YORKTOWN (CV-5) and then became an Aviation Chief Machinist's
Mate and Plane Captain on the aircraft carrier ENTERPRISE (CV-6). He had
just shifted over to the new aircraft carrier WASP (CV-7) at Norfolk Naval
Base when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
Expecting to be sent to fight in the Pacific, John suddenly found that the
Navy had other plans for him. The Navy was expanding its blimp fleet for
anti-submarine and air-sea rescue patrol and all men with Lighter Than Air
experience were ordered back to Airship Squadron 12 (ZP-12) at Naval Air
Station, Lakehurst. John would humorously relate, "A lot of guys in
Lighter Than Air had more time than me, but because I spent more time at
sea I became a Chief Petty Officer before most of them. And we were all back
at Lakehurst, tripping over each other, and we were supposed to be Aviation
Mechanics but they didn't have any TOOLS for us to use. I once had to perform
a 120-hour check on a blimp engine and had nothing but a pair of pliers and
a screwdriver to do it with! Finally, one of the Division Officers got frustrated
with all the red tape and they went over to a hardware store in Lakewood
and bought every tool kit they had on the shelves!"
Not just responsible for servicing blimps on the ground, John logged hundreds
of hours in the air on the Navy's wartime K-type patrol blimps. He flew on
the first wartime patrol out of the new Naval Air Station at South Weymouth,
Massachusetts ... in a blimp they borrowed and flew up from Lakehurst. The
long patrol flights were exhausting, uncomfortable and always dangerous as
they kept an eye out for German U-Boats. John's longest wartime flight was
28 hours' duration. They generally flew every third day. Catherine got a
job in a bank in Lakewood and she and John had an apartment there, deciding
that they would like to make Lakewood their permanent home after the war.
They kept the Lakewood apartment when John was transferred to Squadron ZP-21
down at Naval Air Station, Richmond FL. They had $30 a month apartment in
Coral Gables and John was soon assigned to the Fleet Airship "Hedron" (Operational
Headquarters) at Richmond. Having come through the war in one piece without
ever having to leave the Continental United States, John witnessed his second
major fire when all three of the giant wooden blimp hangars at Richmond collapsed
and burned in a 130 mile-per-hour hurricane in September 1945. Two dozen
blimps, hundreds of Navy and commercial airplanes and hundreds of military
and private vehicles had been parked in the big hangars for safety during
the hurricane and all of them were destroyed ... including John Iannaccone's
1939 Oldsmobile. "Cars were scarce and I had a hell of a time getting
a new car! " he would bitterly relate.
Transferred back to Lakehurst, John ended up being sent to San Francisco
against his wishes and was on his way to an assignment in Hawaii ... where
there was no housing available for Catherine to go along ... when he decided
to retire from the Navy in 1948.
Very shortly afterward, John was able to get a civilian position at Naval
Air Station, Lakehurst. He worked in the Overhaul & Repair Department
until it closed in 1962, then transferred to the Supply Department until
retirement ten years later. Catherine had gotten a job a civilian employee
on the base as well. It was a very happy, comfortable second career. They
travelled extensively, and enjoyed their retirement years in the post-war "dream
house" they built for themselves in Lakewood. They were active supporters
of their church, St. Mary of the Lake in Lakewood, where they had been parishoners
John was an active supporter of The Naval Airship Association, the Lakehurst
Borough Historical Society and was an Honorary Life Member of the Navy Lakehurst
Historical Society, where his generosity made possible the finishing of "The
John and Catherine Iannacone Exhibit Room" at the Navy Lakehurst Information
Center in Historic Hangar #1. John was regularly on hand to answer questions
from serious scholars and young aviation enthusiasts alike; the preservation
of the period of Naval Aviation History that he served in was intensely important
In 2001, John was deeply honored when the Navy named a new access road at
NAES Lakehurst in his honor ... the only time a road on the base had ever
been named after a still-living person. Two years later he was a front-row
guest of honor at the commissioning ceremonies for the Navy's new nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN-76).
John is survived by a sister, Arlene, of Texas, several nieces and nephews
and his "adopted family" of close friends at the Naval Air Engineering
Station, Lakehurst and the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society.
Friends may call at the Timothy Ryan Home For Funerals, St. Catherine Boulevard,
Manchester, NJ Tuesday 7pm-9pm, Wednesday 2-4pm and 7-9pm. A Mass of Christian
Burial will be offered 1030am Wednesday at St Mary of the Lake Catholic Church,
Madison Ave in Lakewood with entombment at St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery
and Mausoleum immediately following.
A Memorial Service will be conducted at the Cathedral of
the Air, Lakehurst to be anounced at a future date.
28 November 2005
Thanks to Dispater
Classic Russian airships ... in Russian with some English
but the photographs are a treasure!
16 November 2005
Thanks to Sig Geist
Josef Sonntag, last of "Graf Zeppelin" crew
dead at age 94
After growing up and going to school in Friedrichshafen, young Sonntag was
apprenticed to the local Maybach Motorenbau GmbH (then still a subsidiary
of LZ). He graduated from there as engine mechanic and was soon assigned
to work in the company's maintenance department for airship engines. Not
mere bywords, safety and reliability figured prominently at LZ, and so beginning
in 1931 after every roundtrip to South America, one of "Graf Zeppelin's" five
Maybach engines underwent a complete overhaul.
Then in 1936, amply experienced Herr Sonntag began his assignment as engine
mechanic aboard the fabled "Graf Zeppelin" (LZ 127) airship. With
no fewer than 14 roundtrips to Rio de Janeiro, two trips Recife - Bathurst
and 15 additional ones, he accumulated a remarkable 183,000 miles in the
air. With the "Hindenburg" (LZ 129) crash in May 1937, Josef Sonntag's
airship career came to an end, because, as ordered by the Third Reich Air
Ministry, airship operations for paying passengers with hydrogen as lifting
gas were forbidden from then on. This meant also that the highly successful
LZ 127 airship, after nearly 1.1 million miles of travel had to be laid up.
Airship veteran Sonntag, however, remained close to engines. First with Daimler-Benz
and then with the maintenance of airplane engines during World War II. Following
a brief period as prisoner of war, Sonntag in 1945 returned home to Friedrichshafen,
where at Maybach and later at MTU he remained occupied with motor engines
right up to his retirement.
Always ready to lend a helping hand in maintaining the rich history and tradition
of zeppelin airship travel and furthering the aims of New Technology (NT)
airships, Old-Zeppeliner Josef Sonntag, together with his previously departed
airship comrades, appeared often to the delight of event planners and those
gathered around him. Fittingly, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, he
was awarded a flight aboard airship NT which he visibly enjoyed. Members
of the LTA-Society "Zeppelin Centennial Tour 2000" to Friedrichshafen
were privileged to have Herr Sonntag as their dinner guest at the GZ-Haus
where he briefly shared his airship experiences with them.
Josef Sonntag died in Friedrichshafen on November 01, 2005. His well-attended
funeral service took place on November 07 at the city's municipal cemetery.
In addition to family and next of kin, the Freundeskreis (FK for the Zeppelin-Museum)
grieves for its esteemed member. Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH (LZ) expressed
closeness to its former Zeppelin mechanic with a wreath adorned in traditional
Zeppelin colors of blue and white.
Taking liberty in speaking on behalf of the 40 American and overseas airship
fans (including myself) who in 2000 briefly met Herr Sonntag at the GZ-Haus,
this reporter wishes to express deepest sympathy and profound regrets to
the Sonntag family on the loss of this special person. All who knew him,
will miss him.
Note: The above obituary was compiled and translated by Sig Geist. It is
based in part on the German-worded obituary submitted by Mr. Manfred Sauter
to the Friedrichshafen print media.
17 October 2005
Thanks to Rohit Belapurkar
on Airship Design & Development (PADD)
PADD aims at developing airship technology in India for
various scientific and commercial applications.
PADD is a national R&D project, launched at the Indian
Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) in 2001, with team
members drawn from various national aerospace organizations,
central government and faculty members from IITB.
14 September 2005
Thanks to Stanislaw
Today, an Au-12M airship fulfilled her first patrol flight
over Moscow. Two airships were delivered to Moscow Government
the week before after finishing flight tests programme.
10 September 2005
Thanks to Jim Smith
Defense Successfully Tests New Propulsion System For
Mid Altitude Airships
Cyber Defense Systems has announced the introduction and
successful testing of a revolutionary new propulsion system.
Cyber Defense's propulsion systems for the Mid Altitude Airships
SA 90 being built by Techsphere Systems International is
designed to maintain geo-stationary position at a cruise
altitude of up to 25,000 feet.
The SA 90 under development is a semi spherical airship
with the four engine CyberPOD propulsion system is designed
for continuous operations 24 hour per day for a maximum of
2 days on station.
A critical subassembly of the propulsion system is the pylon
assembly developed for the MAA program. This system incorporates
an optimized large diameter propeller for the high altitude,
low specific thrust airship conditions.
The support structure, mounting system, and articulating
prop-drive has been analyzed extensively by finite element
methods. A detailed forced harmonic life analysis of the
structures attached to the semi-rigid structure has been
performed, indicating a long life capability.
The 18-ft diameter custom propeller has been designed to
operate efficiently for both MAA and High-altitude Airship
("HAA") M.A.R.S. Airship applications.
Currently this propeller is machined from aluminum bar-stock,
but the production-released version of the MAA and HAA will
utilize light-weight composite blades of similar aerodynamic
"We are excited to introduce what we feel is an advanced
airship propulsion system currently unavailable in the marketplace
today," said Billy Robinson, CEO of Cyber Defense Systems.
"This new system will enable a heavier payload, will
operate longer and more efficiently, and will be able to
withstand severe weather conditions more effectively," added
10 September 2005
Thanks to Jim Smith
BRUNSWICK -- Some of the men who flew -- and flew very slowly
-- at the former Glynco Naval Air Station during World War
II were back Thursday for the dedication of a new $11 million
What is today Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport was then the
home base for airships that protected the shipping lanes
from German U-boats. John Fahey, an pilot, flew there from
1943-1946 and met Barbara Ann Haag, a Glynn Academy high
school student who is now his wife of 60 years.
"I'm so happy to get back here," Fahey said just
inside the doors of the spacious terminal, which opened to
traffic in late June. It was far different in World War II,
when he was at the controls of an airship, he said.
Because they react slowly, blimps are hard to control and
flight was made even more dangerous because the airships
were never grounded.
"No matter what the weather, we flew. We lost people
in weather and fog," he said.
Flying 200 miles off the coast to escort ships, some of
the airships ran out of fuel and their crews were lost, Fahey
The blimps were very effective and used their radar, sonar
buoys and magnetic anomaly detectors to locate German U-boats
and then attacked them with depth charges, bombs and torpedoes.
"We drove the subs out of the shipping lanes," he
Running out of fuel wasn't the only danger, said Ron Hurley,
a crewman who spent time on Fahey's ship.
On an 11-hour flight to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the navigator
failed to compute the wind and other factors into the flight,
"We ended up hitting a mountain in Cuba," and
had to remain in Guantanamo two weeks repairing the badly
damaged airship, he said.
Blimp flight sometimes made for some interesting times at
home. Nearly nauseated by a flight in a pitching blimp and
the sickening smell of a crewman's canned spaghetti, Hurley
said he was glad to get on the ground until he got home.
There he found his wife, Shirley, heating canned spaghetti
"I took the pot and threw it off the back porch," he
"I thought he had gone nuts," she said.
Don Donatt, who manned the radio and radar on the blimps,
attested to the miseries of blimp flight, recalling a flight
to Guantanamo that took 32 hours with a stop in Key West
Fahey went on to even more exciting and dangerous times
spying on the Russian army. His book about that mission is
called Licensed to Spy: With the Top Secret Military
Liaison Mission in East Germany. Another book on commanding
a blimp is titled Wasn't I the Lucky One.
He and the other former blimp pilots and Navy personnel
were invited to help celebrate the base's early history,
which is memorialized in an exhibit at the terminal put together
by Leslie Faulkenberry. Faulkenberry solicited donations
of mementos, writings, uniforms and photos for the exhibit.
The German U-boats had sunk 400 ships in just six months,
but the airship crews put an abrupt end to the destruction,
"Not a single escorted ship was lost," she said.
Thursday's dedication writes a new chapter in the airport's
history, said Glynn County Airport Commission Chairman Charles
Rinkevich. He praised Executive Director Steve Brian for
the vision and leadership to get the new terminal built.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said an estimated 80,000
to 100,000 people will pass through the terminal each year.
Good airport terminals are necessary as Georgia grows to
more than 9 million residents in the coming years and visitation
increases, he said.
"They're going to come here, they're going to see this,
they're going to get a great first impression," Kingston
9 September 2005
Thanks to Dan Nachbar
boss starts new airship company
BERLIN - The men whose failed attempt in Germany to build
a huge cargo-carrying airship wiped out hundreds of millions
of euros three years ago have returned to the fray, saying
they are testing the market again for the Cargolifter.
Carl von Gablenz, the former chief executive, and associates
said in Berlin late Thursday they had formed a new company
named CL Cargolifter to promote the idea and were raising
250,000 euros in equity. ...
9 September 2005
Thanks to Sig Geist
NT in South Africa - An Update
Based on an article in Germany's Lake Constance print media,
September 08 was to be the day when the Africa-Zeppelin departed
for Jwaneng, a mining town in southern Botswana on its first
of several months-long diamond exploring missions for De
Beers Group of Companies.
The departure was preceded by the airship's arrival in Cape Town, South Africa
after a 22-day sea voyage on August 31, 2005 (reported elsewhere as September
05). Since then, the airship was off-loaded successfully although unfavorable
weather conditions in port took extra time and slowed the assembly of engines
and empennage. Notwithstanding, the NT airship was airborne a few days later.
It completed a 50-minute test flight and was then flown to a nearby military
airfield. There, it was fitted with diamond-sensing technology, that once
aboard the zeppelin was reported to be five-times more efficient than existing
The evening before the zeppelin's reported departure on 9/08, De Beers held
a big reception for its VIP's where its press officer Tom Tweedy called the
richly emblazoned airship the "workhorse" for its diamond-seeking
mission in Botswana. Most prominent among the no fewer than six signs and
logos painted on the envelope is one whose undulating ribbon-like lettering
spells out "Diamonds for development in Africa" in multi-color
along both sides of the airship. Of course, the De Beers' "A diamond
is forever" moniker is not to be missed.
According to the "MBendi Information for Africa" website, Botswana
is the leading producer of gem quality diamonds in the world, producing some
30.4 Mct in 2003 compared to 28.4 Mct in 2002. The diamond industry accounted
for 83% of export earnings within the country.
Diamond production in Botswana is dominated by Debswana,
a joint venture company owned by De Beers Investments (50%)
and the Government of Botswana (50%). Debswana has 3 operational
mines, Jwaneng is the youngest among them.
Based once more on the above article and its reliance on
a state of Hessia based media service, the for now two year
agreement with De Beers was reported to be highly profitable
for the airship's builder / parent Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik
GmbH (ZLT). Although De Beers reportedly declined to enter
into a profit sharing arrangement, ZLT'sprofitwas mentionedto
amount to5.5 million Euro (6.9 million USD).
6 September 2005
Thanks to Arnold Nayler
Zeppelin in South Africa for De Beers diamond exploration
JOHANNESBURG – A German-built airship or Zeppelin
arrived Monday 5th September 2005 in South Africa where it
has been chartered by diamond producer De
Beers for use as a platform for diamond exploration in
Astonished onlookers noticed the vessel floating near Cape
Town’s landmark Table Mountain after it was unloaded
at the city’s dock and took off for the Ysterplaat
military base about 30 kilometres away. The cigar-shaped
vessel sported the De Beers logo.
The airship, a prototype Zeppelin-NT of the Friederichshafen-based
Luftschifftechnik GmbH and one of only three of its kind
in the world, was flown from the factory near Lake Constance
to Amsterdam and shipped to South Africa.
De Beers spokesman Tom Tweedy confirmed Monday that the
company chartered the 75-metre long German airship that will
be fitted with measuring equipment to enable the study of
geological formations that indicated the presence of diamonds
in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
The company plans to send the airship, named “Friedrichshafen” by
its manufacturers, on its first mission in mid September.
Beers gets the blimp in
the Zeppelin NT to South Africa for the De Beers Group
1 September 2005
Thanks to Rick Zita
Commander Lundi A. Moore, USN (Ret)., died on 7 August 2005
in Jacksonville, OR, of complications from ALS. The Navy
Lakehurst Historical Society website will carry the
Lundi Moore as well as the Hep Walker obituaries.
Lundi's wish, and that of his family, is for any individual
/ entity wishing to make a donation in memory of Commander
Lundi Moore (USN, Ret). please send to:
Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research Center
2324 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
24 August 2005
Thanks to Christian Michel
I just received a press release from Zeppelin where they
state that the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH has bought the "immaterial
goods" which I would translate as knowledge and scientifc
results from the Cargolifter program. A new "lighter
than air" institute will be founded with offices in
Friedrichshafen and Cottbus. And a national research network
with universities and research facilities will be founded.
With this research activities for larger airships which have
already been performed for Cargolifter should be revived.
Cooperations with supply industries are welcomed to support
the development of the NT14. Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH
hopes to boost German airship activities on the international
This is a short trial of translation of the 2 page press
release which is only available in German so far. Have a
look at the Zeppelin
website for the full english version (which I hope they
16 April 2005
13 April 2005
Thanks to Chris Jisi
Prototype of Unmanned Airship Is Unveiled
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A communications company unveiled a
prototype of an unmanned airship that would function as a
relay platform while floating in the stratosphere some 65,000
feet above service areas.
The lighter-than-air "stratellite'' has been under
construction by the GlobeTel Communications Corp. subsidiary
Sanswire Networks LLC at an airport in San Bernardino County.
The company hopes to begin flight testing of its Sanswire
One later this year over the California desert and is in
discussions with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at
Edwards Air Force Base.
The prototype is 188 feet long, 42 feet high and 60 feet
wide -- about a third the size of the operational airships
being planned, said Leigh Coleman, president of Pembroke
Pines, Fla.-based GlobeTel.
By comparison, the Carson, Calif.-based Goodyear blimp Spirit
of America is 192 feet long, 50 feet wide and 59 1/2 feet
Sanswire One, however, resembles a shark or whale, with
a broad tapered nose rather than the cylindrical shape of
a traditional blimp. It also has a rigid structure, like
the Zeppelins of the early 20th century, but is very lightweight.
"It's a rebirth of an era in our minds,'' Coleman said. "...
We see it as a link to the past.''
The developers hope to fly it to an altitude of 45,000 feet
in July, but first must deal with regulatory and flight safety
issues, Coleman said.
"The actual airship is functional but it does need
approvals, it needs certification,'' he said.
The developers planned to show off the airship during a
press conference Tuesday.
GlobeTel foresees a fleet of helium-filled "stratellites,''
each able to stay aloft for months at a time and automatically
held on station by electric motors powered by batteries charged
by solar cells.
They would relay communications services including voice,
broadband, high-definition TV, interactive high-definition
TV and satellite radio at a cost far lower than traditional
satellites in orbit, the company contends, and could also
have military and government uses for surveillance and remote
"When we prove what we can do the military will use
this immediately,'' Coleman said.
By positioning "stratellites'' at an altitude more
than a dozen miles high, the developers hope to minimize
the effects of winds. There are still winds at 65,000 feet
but the lower density of the atmosphere, combined with the
shape of the "stratellite,'' should allow the motors
to hold it in position, the developers believe.
"I would call that being in calm waters,'' he said.
Coleman would not release the development costs but offered
a general comparison with satellite technology.
"It's hugely and significantly lower cost than a satellite
-- we're a satellite replacement technology -- and you could
talk in the order of this being $20 (million), $30 million
as opposed to $250 million,'' he said. "Operationally,
costs are very low compared to a satellite that might be
$30 (million) or $40 million a year.''
4 April 2005
Thanks to Johannes Eissing
Takes to the Air
"NYK Line, the original Mitsubishi company and a world
leader in shipping and logistics, is taking to the air--in
lighter-than-air craft. The company has purchased a controlling,
62.5% stake in a Japanese venture that is preparing to offer
publicity and excursion services with airships. Actually,
NYK Line has been flying for years through an equity holding
in a large cargo carrier and through its wholly owned air
freight forwarding service. But this is the company's first
ascent in airships. NYK Line's newly acquired subsidiary
is Nippon Airship Corporation, which was established last
year in Nagoya. The venture's business plan calls for inaugurating
service in time for the Aichi Expo, which will take place
in and around Nagoya in 2005.
Nippon Airship's initial craft will be small, and it will
be mainly for displaying advertising messages and carrying
a limited number of sightseeing passengers. But management
at NYK Line is considering the possibility of operating larger
craft. The investment in Nippon Airship is an opportunity
to study that potential carefully."
8 March 2005
Thanks to Hans Paul Ströhle
Rich resources of contemporary Zeppelin NT images!
15 February 2005
Thanks to Sig Geist
19-Seater Zep NT Gets Green Light
Such was the news from German language news media in Friedrichshafen on 2/15/2005
as it reported that Zahnradfabrik (ZF AG) and Zeppelin GmbH - both of them
Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) major shareholders - have givenairship builder
ZLT the release to develop a 19-passenger airship. It will measure 85 metres
(280 ft).in length, 16 metres (52 ft). in diameter andhave a volumeof 14,000
cubic metres (495,000 cu-ft).. Development of the new NT 14 airship (14 for
14,000 cu-ft). is tobegin swiftly. It is expected to take to the airduring
the second halfof 2007 andbegin commercial operations in the fall of 2008.
Thedecision to scale-up to a 19-passenger airship, therebyincreasing the
economies of airship operationshas prompted ZLT's chairman Dr. Straeterto
state he was "much pleased about the decision". This view was also
expressed by Friedrichshafen Lord Mayor Buechelmeier when he said "it
isthe right forward-looking decision".
Followers of the Zep NT airship scene may recall talks from a while ago about
a stretched versionof the current 12-passengerNT airship. In order to offer
a market-ready and economically viable product on short notice, ZLTsince
mid last year has looked atsuch aversion from both thetechnological as well
as the economical point of view. From that it was learned that with an increase
to 19 passengers, while at the same time maintainingall significant subsystems,
the largest cost/efficiecy can be achieved.
19 January 2005
Thanks to Sig Geist
On January 15, 2005 German language SUEDKURIER reported:
Zeppelin flies to Nagoya
Yesterday morning first flight over Japanese airspace -
NAC wants larger airship
Mission accomplished: Zeppelin NT has flown for the first
time over Japan. Yesterday morning the former airship "Bodensee" took
off from the Japanese port city of Kobe where a (special)
transport ship with the Zeppelin onboard had arrived on the
Friedrichshafen/Kobe/Nagoya - "Everything is running
smoothly. We're happy". So said Zeppelin pilot Fritz
Guenther to the SUEDKURIER on the phone yesterday. After
a one-hour test flight, the airship returned again to the
port of Kobe. There, another mooring mast was tried out and
the airship refueled. Then the airship rose again and took
off in the direction of the 240 km (150 mi). distant city
of Nagoya, over which 75 years ago the airship LZ 127 "Graf
Zeppelin" circled during its around-the-world flight.
After five hours, with Japanese Fumio Omori at the controls
and Fritz Guenther the copilot, the airship landed at Nagoya.
During the small party at the Japanese airship operations
base in Nagoya yesterday evening, ZEPPELIN team members had
to stay "dry". Said Fritz Guenther: "We cannot
even have a beer, because we're expecting snow. And when
it snows, we have to go out to the airship". Tanks with
warm water are standing by to rid the airship of snow.
Probably during the coming week the Zeppelin NT is supposed
to continue its flight to Tokyo where Nippon
Airship Corporation (NAC) is headquartered. There Japanese
aviation authorities will examine the airship closely so
that NAC gets final authorization to run an aviation business. "It's
not our first priority, but we'll help should questions arise",
said Guenther. He as well as DZR ground crew chief Christofer
Sandford are helping the Japanese Zeppelin owners until the
end of March to establish flight operations.
But that will not include commercial passenger operations.
Rather, NAC wants to use the airship for advertising flights
for its major shareholder, shipping company NYK-Lines and
for the world's fair at Aichi, Japan (EXPO
2005) beginning in May. Only passengers that will be
invited by NAC and NYK are allowed to fly.
"We're happy that everything finally worked out",
said NAC president Hiroyuki Wantanabe yesterday to the SUEDKURIER.
But he doesn't want to buy another same size Zeppelin. Said
Wantanabe: "We are waiting for a larger one". That
the transfer flight across Russia didn't work out still bothers
him. "But", he added, "I don't even want to
think about what it would have meant if something had happened
13 January 2005
Thanks to Don Overs
Fire: Hydrogen or Incendiary Paint? (12
January 2005: 453kb pdf file, 11 pages) has been published
this month in Buoyant
See also: William H. Appleby's related paper, Airship
Hindenburg: Experimental study of the involvement of the outer covering paint
(dope) in the disastrous final fire.
12 January 2005
Thanks to Arnold Nayler
Association has had a reply in today from Dr Bernd
Straeter, CEO at Zeppelin, after we enquired about how
the dockschiff survived the tsunami. We share this good
news with you:
"Thank you very much for worrying about our ship transport.
Yes they were near to the centre (about 150 km away), but
as you know on the ocean the movement and the waves were
not strong. They noticed some unusual sounds and vibrations
but not severe knocks. Our sensors did not give any severe
respond. Fortunately they arrived meanwhile Kobe. The Zeppelin
is already assembled and they will leave the ship tomorrow
morning if the weather conditions allow."
So with any luck the airship should now have taken to the
air having finally got to Japan.
16 December 2004
Thanks to Jeff Rothal
Quite Out of This World
Next month Sanswire Networks, a company based in Atlanta,
Georgia, is planning to launch the first airship satellite,
or “stratellite”. Floating in the stratosphere
at an altitude of about 20km (13 miles), the airship will
behave just like a geostationary satellite, hovering over
a particular spot and relaying radio signals to and from
the ground. Such airships will, however, be much cheaper
to launch and maintain than satellites—and can do things
that satellites cannot.
16 December 2004
Thanks to Jeff Rothal
Rumor was that John Travolta had purchased a blimp, but
according to USA
Travolta, a real-life aviator and owner of a Boeing 707,
said reports on an entertainment news show last week of
him having purchased a $10 million blimp were false.
"I was a little perturbed by it, because there's
no reason in the world why I would need a blimp," he
14 December 2004
Thanks to Sig Geist
ZLT on December 08 issued a press
release in response to published reports from several
American websites on December 07 that American actor John
Travolta has ordered a Zeppelin NT from Neiman Marcus.
ZLT's release stated that at this time no purchase inquiries
had come in, neither from Neiman
Marcus nor from Travolta himself.
13 December 2004
Thanks to Sig Geist
Dockship with Japan-bound Zep NT onboard leaves
The article below is based on Zeppelin
Luftschifftechnik's(ZLT) German languagepress release,
dated December 09, 2004. Translated and submitted by
Sig Geist, Mendenhall, PA.
Friedrichshafen / Gioia Tauro - TheZeppelin NT that was
sold to Nippon Airship Corporation (NAC)in earlyMarch, has
leftthe Italian port city of Gioia Tauro today (12/09) in
the afternoon as freight aboard a special vessel. The NT
airship is expected to arrive in the Japanese port city of
Kobe by mid-January.
Already on Tuesday (12/07) the Zeppelin NTwas loaded ontoa special vessel
ofDutch shipping company Dockwise and
prepared for the coming ocean crossing. In addition toboth of the side-mounted
propulsion units, the three part empennage was demounted and stowed in special
containers for the sea voyage. So that the (airship's) passenger cabin and
mast truck would suffer nodamage during the crossing, theywere also given
Thecrossing is supposed to take around 30-35 days. By mid-January the ship
is supposed be coming into the Japanese port cityof Kobe. There the airship
will beput together again.To assure thevaluable freightwill be in good hands
also during the voyage, two employees from Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co
KG (ZLT) and one employee from NAC will accompany the ocean transport.
Related web links:
Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co
1 December 2004
Thanks to Trevor Monk
Technology from Geneva Aerospace Transforms Blimps into
Satellite-Quality Communications Links for Army Units;
flightTEK System Makes the ACE Airship Autonomous
CARROLLTON, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 1, 2004--Blimps
are back. By adding Geneva Aerospace's industry-leading unmanned
autonomous flight control technologies to blimps, the military
soon will have more cost-effective communications capabilities
in combat areas.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom,
the military learned its communications coverage, including
the ability to keep up with convoys, was not adequate. The
U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command
(RDECOM), together with the Aviation and Missile Command
(AMCOM) explored the following short-term answer to this
The Airborne Communication Extender (ACE) airship, manufactured
by ISL-Bosch Aerospace Division of Huntsville, Ala. ACE was
recently tested for use by RDECOM in Lakehurst, N.J. The
125-foot blimp can operate at an altitude of 1 mile, move
at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, and stay aloft for
more than 24 hours at a time without a pilot. The blimp is
equipped with Geneva's avionics technologies, which include
the flightTEK(TM) mission computer, as well as communications
"We have given the blimp the capability to be completely
autonomous," said Max Jensen, director of sales for
Geneva Aerospace, Inc. "You can give the vehicle a mission
plan and launch it, and it will be completely hands-off until
you recover it. Plus, with flightTEK, the blimp can be guided
by an operator from the ground."
This application creates a continual communication link
for the military, which currently relies on fixed radio towers
or fixed-wing aircraft to provide communications coverage.
"A lot of communications use towers for relays, but
they provide only a very short range," said Jim Boschma,
manager of the ISL-Bosch Aerospace Division. "On the
other hand, conventional manned and unmanned aircraft can
stay up for only four to five hours at a time before they
have to refuel.
"In contrast, the blimp is like having a satellite
overhead all the time," he added. "If ground forces
are on the move, they can stay in radio range constantly."
Bosch chose Geneva's flight control system for the ACE Airship
after conducting a survey of autopilot equipment available
on the market, Boschma said.
"There are an awful lot of people competing for this
kind of business," he said. "But Geneva had the
system for us. flightTEK is truly on the leading edge. Plus,
the company is flexible about customizing its software to
meet the needs of the blimp."
"The blimp can be built and then operated for years
at a fraction of initial cost of building a satellite," Jensen
said. "In the future, the unmanned blimp could be used
for surveillance activities as well," he added.
About Geneva Aerospace, Inc.
Geneva Aerospace designs breakthrough technologies for unmanned
aerial vehicles, providing unprecedented autonomy and control.
The firm offers advanced flight controls, software, systems
integration services and complete unmanned aerial vehicle
systems. Based in the Dallas area, Geneva's extensive client
list includes the largest U.S. aerospace companies and government
agencies. Learn more at www.genaero.com.
30 November 2004
Thanks to Arnold Nayler
I give a quote from my paper at the 30th Joint Annual Airship
Association and Royal Aeronautical Society Symposium
held in London on 16th November 2004.
I quote (and this also was given to me only three days before the
event on 16 Nov. so it is really up-to-date news from Zeppelin themselves):-
"As already reported by Zeppelin, they are conducting an investigation
of an extended version of the NT 07 for a 19 seater. The engineering work which
should originally have finished at the end of this year is slightly delayed because
of the unplanned work they had to do for their Japanese customer. They
are also in discussion with some other potential customers for a new 12 seater.
Up to now a decision has not been yet made. The highest priority has been the
ferry of the Japanese airship to Japan."
28 November 2004
Thanks to Johannes Eissing
Zeitung online" writes about the Zeppelin NT to be
shipped to Japan (sorry, in German only).
Express 10" of the Netherlands shipping company Dockwise
will haul the NT from the South Italian port of Gioia Tauro.
Express 10 Stowage plan.
They are planing to start between the 4th and 8th of December.
Via the Suezcanal and the Indian Ocean it will take 35 days
Engines and fins will be demounted and a barrier of containers
will protect the airship.
28 November 2004
Thanks to Arnold Nayler
In my presentation entitled' Airship Review', given as one
of the papers at the 30th Annual Joint Airship Association
and Royal Aeronautical Society Symposium "AIRSHIP OPERATIONS
IN EUROPE DURING 2004" held at the Royal Aeronautical
Society on Tuesday 16th November 2004, I gave the following
news about Zeppelin. I had received the information three
I quote from my presentation:
"The Zeppelin which has been sold to Japan left Friedrichshafen
at 10.20 am on Thursday 11th November on its way to Southern
Italy. At the moment it is in France on the way to the Mediterranean.
It's flight takes it through via France, Pisa, Napoli to
Giao Tauro - a large container harbour. The airship will
land there and will be transported to a special dock ship.
The normal haul-in procedure will be used to bring the airship
on to the mobile mast truck and on to the ship. There the
side engine nacelles will be removed in order to use the
attachment points for fixing the airship on the ship. The
empennage will also be removed. Wind and weather protection
will be given by container walls aside the airship. Zeppelin
said that they had to make a lot of calculations to avoid
overcritical loads in heavy weather conditions. The Japanese
crew is supported by a complete Zeppelin crew under the leadership
of their test pilot Fritz Günther. The airship is expected
to arrive at the port in Italy on the 7th of December. The
ship, carrying the airship, should depart for Japan on the
10th of December. The voyage, via the Mediterranean, Suez
Canal and the Indian Ocean will take about 30 days."
27 October 2004
Thanks to Trevor Monk
Steve Fossett Sets New Zeppelin Speed Record
Berlin - American adventurer Steve Fossett broke the speed
record for airships in a flight with a German company's new-look
Zeppelin, the manufacturer said on Wednesday.
Fossett, together with co-pilot Hans-Paul Stroehle, took
off early on Wednesday morning from the airport in the southern
city of Friedrichshafen, Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik said.
The pair averaged 111km/h over a 2,000m stretch - half with
the wind behind them and half in the other direction, the
The existing record of 92.8km/h was set in 2000 by two Britons,
James Dexter and Michael Kendrick.
Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik said Fossett's performance, monitored
by the German Balloon Sport Federation, has yet to become
an official record.
The German group will pass details to the United States'
National Aeronautic Association before it is submitted to
the International Aeronautic Federation for formal recognition.
Fossett made global headlines when he bec! ame the first
man to fly a hot air balloon solo around the world, landing
in Australia on July 4, 2002.
Zeppelin spokesperson Dietmar Blasius said the 60-year-old
acquired a licence to fly the airship in recent months at
its Friedrichshafen headquarters, with Stroehle as his instructor.
The company started building its 75-metre dirigibles in
The craft, named Zeppelin NT for "New Technology",
is filled with helium rather than the intensely flammable
hydrogen that fuelled the earlier generation of airships.
The original Zeppelin era ended when the Hindenburg caught
fire on landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937 - killing
35 of the 96 people on board. - Sapa-AP
20 October 2004
Thanks to Sig Geist
Japan-bound Zep NT on new course
Composed and submitted by Sig Geist
Following Nippon Airship Corporation's (NAC) decision in
late August to break off its Japan-bound Zep NT transfer
flight from Finland, the former Zep NT airship Bodensee has
arrived back at its previous home base in Friedrichshafen
on September 19, 2004. It is currently undergoing early
yearly inspection. Based on recent info (10/05) from
Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) and regional media sources,
transfer plans now call for a new course whereby the airship
is to be flown to the south of Italy by mid-November and
from where during December, the Japan-bound airship will
commence its ocean voyage aboard a special vessel allowing
it to be stowed within a dock-like enclosure. Specialists
in shipboard loading and stowing are reported to be working
hard to assure safe ocean transport for the airship. While
a port of embarkation in Italy has not yet been announced,
the airship's fly route across the Alps to southern Italy
is currently being studied. The month-long sea voyage
was reported to take the vessel-bound airship through the
eastern Mediterranean and Suez Canal into the Indian Ocean
and through the far-eastern archipelago before reaching its
destination in the Land of the Rising Sun, where the airship
is expected to be checked out and made ready in ample time
for its long-planned aerial appearance at EXPO 2005 in Aichi,
Japan, held March 25 through September 25. Following
EXPO 2005, NAC is expected to press their Zep NT airship
even more fully into sightseeing and advertising flight service.
17 September 2004
Thanks to Ford U. Ross <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Latest information on Walrus
Heavy Lift Airships
- Cargo capacity between 500-1000 tons
- Flies 6,000 miles in 4 days
- Capable of delivering brigade-sized units of action anywhere
in the world
- Requires no landing strip
- Significantly lower operating costs than either conventional
aircraft or shipping
2 September 2004
Thanks to Sig Geist
Japan-bound flight broken off, new route viafreighter
During late August, Nippon Airship Corporation (NAC)decided to break off
its Helsinki-stalled airship flight to Japan and for the present, return
the YOKOSO, Japan! to Friedrichshafen. In its official statement explaining
the reasons why, NAC said the question of Russian fly-over approval had"still
not been cleared up conclusively" and that "mid-September expected
weather uncertainties over Siberia" would not allow for any more wait.
How much recent events such as both of Russia's mysterious airplane crashes,
heightened security and inspection measure sand (or) other events have influenced
NAC's decision was not immediately known.
As of September 02, 2004 the airship was said to leave Helsinki (weather
permitting). Its first stop was going to be Stockholm, Sweden. Aside from
the regular required stops, sponsor Konica-Minolta may want to add several
more cities left out on the outbound flight before the airship's return to
Friedrichshafen within the next two weeks.
Now it was learned that, instead of flying the airship to Japan via an alternate,
more southerly route (across Near East countries and India), shipping company
NYK, NAC's major shareholder has decided to put the YOKOSO, Japan! aboard
a freighter on its ocean voyage to Japan. This will allow the airship's owners
to bypass multiple fly-over approvals and save valuable time. It's expected
the sea route will allow NAC to have the airship operational long before
March of next year, in time for the 2005 Aichi World's Fair in Japan.
While questions for the airship's ocean transport are currently being addressed,
no details were available at this time.
Note: The above article was based on recent German language news sources
24 August 2004
Thanks to Erik Sparks <email@example.com>
Airships manufactures and operates high performance,
remote controlled blimps for use in aerial photography,
aerial videography, as an airborne research platform, aerial
advertising and just plain old crowd entertainment."
13 August 2004
Thanks to Sig Geist!
August 14, 2004 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Eckener's
death. Friedrichshafen's Lord Mayor, local industry officials
and Eckener family members were expected to gather on that
day at the airship pioneer's grave at the city's municipal
cemetery for a commemorative service to which the citizenry is
invited as well. Also planned for the day was a performance
of the one-man play "Case Eckener", paying tribute
to the man who was ahead of his time. The piece was
written by local "Zeppelin" musicals producer
Then, a day later, August 15 marks the 75th
anniversary when - under Dr. Eckener's command and expert
guidance - airship LZ 127,"Graf Zeppelin" commenced
its 1929 around-the-world flight from Friedrichshafen
that resulted in the "lucky airship" completing
its first stage non-stop flight to Japan in 101
hours, covering 7,030 miles in between. A truly
remarkable achievement for those days, particularly
when viewed in light of the current undertaking ferrying
NAC's recently purchased NT airship YOKOSO, JAPAN! to its
new home in the 'Land of the Rising Sun' (see August 08 article).
8 August 2004
Thanks to Sig Geist
6 August 2004
Japan-bound Zep NT waiting for Russian approval
Former Zep NT BODENSEE, now Nippon Airship
Corporation (NAC)airship YOKOSO JAPAN is presently still waiting in Helsinki,
Finland for Russia's approval to allow it with crew, support personnel and
equipment to traverse her vast territories on the way to Japan. However,
Dr. Bernd Straeter, Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) CEO remains highly optimistic
that Russia's various ministries and authorities will come through with the
necessary approvals, though it's not clear just when this will happen. "Things
will become critical if we don't have them (approvals) by the coming week",
said he. While presently engaged in advertising flights over Helsinki, the
airship's new owners plan for a period of 36 days to accomplish the roughly
10,000 km (6,250 miles) still remaining before reaching Sapporo on Japan's
northern islands group and enthusiastic crowds in Tokyo.
Based on NAC's request, ZLT provided a proven team to accompany the airship
during its transfer to Japan. In addition to chief pilot Fritz Guenther (though
not piloting),it consists of another eight members who as ground crew are
responsible for vehicles and needed for the airship's maintenance while in
transit. Belonging to the vehicles are a masted truck, an emergency mast,
a shop van and tanker truck.
The entire contingent(excluding security personnel) counting
approximately 30 persons faces many tasks. For instance it
needs to make sure the airship's supply of Helium is assured
while it is traveling over Siberia's endless regions, lest
it'll experience a noticeable loss of buoyancy. Heavy-lift
helicopters will have to transport ground crew equipment,
including their vehicles over thousands of kilometers. In
the end, available everywhere must be the appropriate fuel
for the airship's engines. And all of this under the watchful
eyes of (Russia's) security forces.
Note: The above article was based on a regional German language news source
The Zeppelin NT Transcontinental Flight from Germany
"We will visit ten countries after take-off at Friedrichshafen
in Germany, such as Switzerland, France, United Kingdom,
Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Czech, Denmark, Sweden
and Finland, before entering Russia. Total flight distance
in Europe will be more than 5,000 km and the Russian route
will be another 10,000 km. This distance is shorter than
Graph Zeppelin around the world flight in 1929. But we would
like to celebrate the 75th anniversary of their great record
by our new Zeppelin airship."
15 June 2004
Thanks to Arnold Nayler
75th Anniversary of Zeppelin Flight Around the World
On 21st June at 1130 The brand new Zeppelin NT airship ‘Youkoso
Japan’ will fly through London, following the river
Thames, before overflying the Greenwich meridian as it starts
its 15,000 km flight to Japan. The route will take it through
ten European countries, on a goodwill tour, before it starts
the massive 10,000 km transit through Russia. The photo call
at Queen’s House in Greenwich will provide a unique
opportunity to record the start of this historic flight.
The Nippon Airship Company purchased the Zeppelin airship
in March of this year. Because of the airship’s semi-rigid
design it was impractical to assemble it in Japan, hence
this lengthy transit. Making a virtue of necessity it was
decided to tour Europe on the way and give as many people
as possible the chance to see this modern leviathan. Although
similar in shape to the airships of the 1920s the Zeppelin
NT is a state of the art aircraft that blends modern technology
with the simplicity of lighter than air flight.
14 June 2004
Thanks to Trevor Hunt
The lightship A60 recently inflated in Cardington was destroyed
on the mast due to a severe thunderstorm on Friday. Apparently
the mast failed.
The ship covering the Portuguese / Greece football game,
the French Aeros 40B, crashed into the Atlantic. The two-man
crew escaped unhurt.
3 June 2004
Hindenburg Hydrogen Fire: Fatal Flaws in the Addison
Bain Incendiary-Paint Theory
Professor Alexander J. Dessler
(3 June 2004: 480kb pdf file, 21 pages)
14 April 2004
Thanks to Rick Zitarosa
Navy Lakehurst Historical Society
Werner Franz' 5-day stay in America came to an end today
as he made preparations to leave Lakehurst for Newark International
Airport and return to Germany with his son, Andreas.
Together with Bob and Nancy Holtom (who sponsored their
trip to the U.S. as part of a HINDENBURG commemorative lithograph
project) Werner and Andreas made a goodbye visit to the Navy
Lakehurst Information Center where we received them and outfitted
them with a few souvenir items for the trip home, exchanged
Before leaving Lakehurst, we took Werner to the HINDENBURG
crash site so that he could privately bid farewell and leave
a bouquet of flowers in memory of his departed shipmates
and passengers who perished in the disaster; it was a private,
poignant moment, Werner got out out and walked to the marker
in the bright sunshine. The rest of us stayed in the car.
We didn't pose for pictures, we didn't say anything. It was
Fellow NLHS Members Carl Goldenberg and Hank Applegate accompanied
us to a leisurely farewell lunch at the Charlie Brown's Steakhouse
in Lakewood. The food was good, the conversation lively (though
my German is terrible and Andreas did all the translating.)
Werner mentioned that he had started with DZR in October,
1936 and had made several crossings (all on the HINDENBURG,
none on the GRAF ZEPPELIN ) and that in winter '36-37 he
worked in maintenance/upkeep, climbing ladders and scrambling
all about the ship in the hangar. He spoke of crossing to
the engine gondolas in flight, of almost falling off the
catwalk to the horror of Captain Heinrich Bauer and carrying
thermoses of hot coffee down to the ladder into the control
car at all hours. He warmly recalled two teenagers, a boy
and a girl, that he became fast friends with in Rio; their
father operated a restaurant near the airfield.
Hank Applegate turned his head and asked, quite spontaneously, "Werner,
what was your most unforgettable moment of Zeppelin life
other than May 6, 1937? "
Werner thought a moment and nodded and spoke (through Andreas)
of one flight (he's fairly certain it was the first South
American flight of the 1937 season ) when the HINDENBURG
and GRAF ZEPPELIN met in mid-ocean. The two Zeppelins circled
each other like porpoises, only visible to their each other's
elated crew and astounded passengers. It really must have
Werner said he had hoped to graduate to "Steuermann" (Helmsman)
after a few years and make a life career out of Zeppelin
service. Of course, it didn't work out that way.
And as the time eventually came to say goodbye and exchange
handshakes and hugs, we expressed our hope that maybe Werner
might just come back again and he seemed to think that was
a good idea.
Clear skies, Werner!
26 April 2004
Thanks to Johannes Eissing
Zeppelin images in 3D! Get out your red and blue eyeglasses:
14 April 2004
Thanks to RZita@aol.com
This is the Press Release being put out by the Navy Lakehurst
Historical Society regarding the May 8, 2004 Dedication in
Note that the official name of the place is the NAVY LAKEHURST
VETERANS FROM THE RIGID AIRSHIP ERA TO BE AMONG HONOREES
AT LAKEHURST MAY EVENT
The NAVAL AIR ENGINEERING STATION, LAKEHURST and the NAVY
LAKEHURST HISTORICAL SOCIETY will celebrate the opening of
the new NAVY LAKEHURST INFORMATION CENTER in historic Hangar
#1 on May 8.
Disgintuished honorees on this occasion will include:
Mr. John Iannaccone, 93, of Lakewood,
NJ who served aboard the rigid airship USS LOS ANGELES
(ZR-3) as well as being a member of the HINDENBURG ground
crew 1936-1937 and later rising to the rank of Chief Petty
Officer with Navy blimp Squadrons during World War II.
Mr. John Lust, 93, of Butler, NJ who
trained aboard the USS LOS ANGELES and was a member of
the commissioning crew of the USS AKRON (ZRS-4.)
Mr. Clarence "C.C." Moore,
84, of Whiting, NJ, who graduated in the Navy's last Rigid
Airship Training Class in 1940 and rose to the rank of
Chief Petty Officer, serving on every type of blimp operated
by the Navy thru World War II and into the early 1960's.
Visiting from Germany will be Mr. Werner Franz,
80, one of the last living crew members from the German
Zeppelin HINDENBURG, who, as a 14-year-old cabin boy, had
a miraculous escape as the doomed airship collapsed burning
onto the Lakehurst field, May 6, 1937. A bursting overhead
water tank doused young Werner as the HINDENBURG crashed
to the ground and enabled him to escape with barely a scratch.
Opening Ceremonies for the Information Center will commence
at 2pm May 8. It will feature exhibits and artifacts showcasing
the past, present and future of the Naval Air Engineering
Station, covering over 80 years from the base's start as
an Army Proving Grounds, through the Navy Lighter Than Air
(LTA) era and on to its multiple missions today in the manufacturing,
testing, training and development of all hardware and associated
projects for all aspects of Naval Aviation.
The Navy Lakehurst Historical Society's 3rd Annual "Navy
Lakehurst-A Heritage of Excellence " Dinner will be
held 6-10pm at the Circle Landmark Inn, Route 70, Lakehurst.
Tickets are $35 each. For information, call NLHS President
Carl Jablonski at (732) 244-8861 or Trustee Rick Zitarosa
at (732) 899-4693.
Thanks to Arnold Naylor
Ohio Airships continues work on their DynaLifter project. A
two-seater patrol prototype is under construction now and
should be flying in Summer 2004. Real One video clip > Inventors
in Alliance, Ohio working on new type of airship.
3 March 2004
Thanks to Sig Geist!
Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co KG has
sold a Zeppelin NT to the Japanese airship operator Nippon
Airship Corporation (NAC). The contract was signed
today (3/02/04) at Friedrichshafenby Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik's
Dr. Bernd Straeter and Guenter Schwenck, as well as NAC's
president Hiroyuki Wantanabe. A sale price was not named.
Following Zeppelin NT's first flight six years ago, this
was the first sale of a Zeppelin NT. The new owner is going
to put the airship principally into sightseeing and advertising
flight service. What the Japanese investors for the short
term are also keeping their eyes on is the 2005
World's Fair in Aichi, Japan. By the middle of this
year, the Zeppelin NT is supposed to commence its 12,000
km (7,500 mile) journey to Japan - in the air, naturally.
The "Bodensee" is the Zeppelin NT sold.She will
makethe journey to Japan via LZ127's historic routeprobably
by June this year. Until that time, the media reported, the "Bodensee",
one of two commercially operating Zeppelin NTs will remain
in service by its owner/operator Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei
tourist flying season is scheduled to start in a few
days, the first weekend in March.
1 March 2004
Sky Captain & The
World of Tomorrow. Looks like it took its
inspiration from Fleicher's classic Superman cartoons.
Could be big blockbuster fun. Starring Jude Law and Gwyneth
Paltrow. Kerry Conrtan, director.
3 February 2004
Inc. is committed to the development of
the Dynalifter, which is a unique hybrid airship/aircraft.
The design concept utilizes both buoyant lift and aerodynamic
lift (semi-buoyant). The latter is accomplished by fixed
wings and an aerodynamically shaped hull. The company
has a patent for an unique internal structure and has
completed conceptual designs for four different sizes
of Dynalifters ranging from a 120 ft. Dynalifter Patroller
(two passengers) to a 990 ft. Dynalifter Freighter (160
ton payload). The larger Dynalifters are designed to
cruise un-fueled and trans-globally at 100 kts with high
volume capable cargo bays. The studies have indicated
that the Dynalifter design can be readily scaled to many
payload capabilities, including ramped or detachable
cargo compartments. These compartments specifically designed
large enough for sealed Intermodal type containers.
Assemble building location Barber Airport Alliance, Ohio
is now completed and we are in full fabrication of our prototype
Dynalifter . Our goal per engineering group is to fly this
summer "04". Future production goals are to develop
economical, long-range, heavy-lift, VSTOL, and forgiving
aircraft for use by the US military. This aircraft is designed
to fit seamlessly within current airfreight infrastructure.
We have also issued a reply to DARPA's RFI for their investigation
process for the Walrus program.
3 February 2004
Thanks to Eric Brothers.
The FBI has released 337 of 363 pages of memos and
reports (in four parts of PDFs) concerning the LZ 129 accident. There
are lots of sinister-looking partially blacked-out documents
for conspiracy theorists to ponder! Part 3 of the PDFs
does contain an Air Commerce Bulletin from Aug 15, 1937which
includesa fairly detailed report of the accident, and suggests
26 January 2004
Zep-Oldtimer Bentele no longer among us
Reported by Sig Geist
Mendenhall, PA 19357
Eugen Bentele, former "Obermachinist" on LZ 127, LZ 129, LZ 130
Zeppelin airships and survivor of the "Hindenburg" disaster, passed
away on Friday, Dec. 12, 2003 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. He was 94 years
old. Having crewed on a total of 129 trips, he traveled some 415,000 miles
and crossed the Atlantic 69 times. In his private life as well, he showed
a preference for the "higher regions". He was an active member
of the "Alpenverein" [an alpine-oriented trail club, Sig] and spent
a lot of time in the mountains. Right after retirement at age 65, he scaled
a 16,400 foot high peak while on a trekking tour in the Himalayas.
Bentele was born October 18, 1909 in Friedrichshafen. Following a four-year
apprenticeship as a machinist and engine mechanic at Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH,
he was then sometimes involved in the assembly of "VL2" Zeppelin
engines. The experience that he acquired there prompted August Groezinger,
LZ 127 flight engineer [father of Fredy Groezinger, Sig] to ask young Bentele
to join him at Luftschiffbau Zeppelin. There, he spent his first year in
a branch that conducted powerplant and windtunnel tests. However, Bentele's
lucky day arrived May 12, 1931 when he took his first trip aboard LZ 127, "Graf
Zeppelin". Many trips followed aboard LZ 127 and LZ 129 - up to the
day during which the proud airship LZ 129 "Hindenburg" for reasons
unexplained to this day, burned upon its landing approach at Lakehurst on
May 06, 1937. Eugen Bentele was, at the time of the disaster in "his" engine
car, forward portside, and survived the inferno with some injuries which,
after being hospitalized for three weeks, allowed him to return to Germany.
His last trip with a Zeppelin airship was on September 22, 1938 when he was
aboard the airship LZ 130 on a 760 mile roundtrip from Friedrichshafen to
Vienna. Herr Bentele remained faithful to the Zeppelin enterprise for 50
years right up to his retirement in 1973 [he was 14 years when he was apprenticed
to LZ-affiliated Maybach, Sig].
Following his retirement, Bentele could then really devote his attention
to mountaineering. And when with growing age, the Oldtimer switched to less
strenuous tours and got sick one time - a rare occurrence for him - he wrote
his brochure "The Story of a Zeppelin Mechanic", which appeared
a year after the initial German version in 1991. His book became a best-seller
and based on the number of copies sold surpassed all other scientific Zeppelin
publications. In addition, when it came to matters of "Zeppelin",
Eugen Bentele was an outstanding representative for his hometown and its
office of tourism. Bentele was also a founding member of the Freundeskreis
("FK") zur Foerderung des Zeppelin Museums [Friends for the Zeppelin
Museum, for short, Sig].
Funeral services were to be held on December 17, 2003
at the city's municipal cemetery.
Note: The writer wishes to thank Herr Manfred Sauter,
head of the "FK" for providing me with the German
language version of the above obituary which appeared in
the Friedrichshafen media .
Also, the writer speaking on behalf of some 80 American and overseas airship
fans wishes to express his deepest sympathy and profound regrets to the Bentele
family on the loss of this remarkable man. We had the privilege and pleasure
of meeting Zeppelin veteran Bentele during two Zeppelin tour visits (1996 & 2000)
to Friedrichshafen. He was special and will be missed by us and in many circles.
22 January 2004
Broadband via airship proposed. "The CAPANINA project
will develop broadband capability from aerial platforms to
deliver cost effective solutions providing a viable alternative
to cable and satellite, with the potential to reach rural,
urban and travelling users."
21 January 2004
The following has been pieced together from several emails.
Kaishya (Nippon Airship Corporation) has
contacted the Zeppelin Company regarding the possibility
of importing a Zeppelin NT into Japan. Professor Haruki
Amanuma, a college professor, author and LTA proponent,
is the NHK representative. Bernd Strater, the CEO of
Zeppelin, has been quoted as saying discussions have
been and are still taking place, but no contract has
The NHK website has a proposed transport route featured
on their website: Trans
Eurasia Ferry Flight Project.
Mr. Hiroyuki Watanabe, NHK President
fax: (011) - (81) - (52) -968-7556
tel: (011) -(81) - (52) - 968-7555
20 January 2004
Thanks to Johannes Eissing!
Just stumbled on this airship model store in Frankfurt/Main/Germany.
Unfortunately no english pages available :-(
Thanks to Trevor Monk!
to rebuild '02 blimp in Suffield
Spirit of America, which crashed in Calif., now at Wingfoot
By John Russell, Beacon Journal business writer
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s newest blimp, the Spirit
of America, which crashed during a landing six weeks ago,
will fly again.
The Akron company plans to announce today it will rebuild
the damaged airship and return it to the skies by late summer.
The rebuilding project will take place at Goodyear's Wingfoot
Lake airship hangar in Suffield Township. The damaged blimp
was shipped to the hangar several weeks ago from its base
in Carson, Calif., where the crash occurred Dec. 3.
The blimp will keep its name, and will not undergo any design
Goodyear said it has received a steady stream of cards, letters
and e-mails urging the company to repair the blimp and return
it to the skies.
``The emotional outpouring we've had is another indication
of the attachment that people have to Goodyear blimps,'' Robert
J. Keegan, Goodyear's chairman and chief executive, said in
The blimp crashed after coming loose from its moorings Dec.
3 while landing at its home base. The blimp drifted about
300 yards across a field and crashed into a nearby landscaper's
The blimp's envelope -- the large puffy bag that holds the
helium gas -- sustained a large gash when it hit a fence.
Workers will replace the damaged envelope with a spare envelope,
which the company already has on hand, spokeswoman Jennifer
The gondola -- the car where the pilot and passengers sit
-- suffered minor damage, and will be repaired, she said.
The engine, fins and propellers were undamaged, she added.
The company declined to say how much the repairs would cost.
The blimp was barely a year old when it crashed. It was christened
Sept. 5, 2002, in Akron.
It was the third crash in four years involving a Goodyear
blimp. None resulted in serious injury.
The accident remains under investigation by the National
Transportation Safety Board. A preliminary report said the
pilot aborted his first two landing attempts after descending
to about 50 feet above the ground because the ship was ``very
light'' and difficult to bring down.
On the third and final landing approach, the pilot inflated
a forward ballonet -- a small auxiliary gasbag designed to
help control buoyancy -- in an attempt to allow the ground
crew to grab onto the ship's bowlines.
As the pilot approached the landing site, he used a combination
of engine power and elevator control to maneuver. The ground
crew attempted to pull the nose of the airship down. However,
the pilot and crew were unable to land the ship. The ground
crew directed the pilot to abort the attempted landing, and
workers released the handling lines.
However, the nose of the airship stayed down. The ship drifted
as the pilot tried to force the nose upward. Moments later,
the blimp hit a fence and came to rest in a compost pile.
Goodyear said it is reviewing its operating procedures to
make sure the blimps are handled safely. The company declined
to say whether anyone broke standard procedures or was disciplined
in this case.
Goodyear has two other blimps: the Spirit of Goodyear, based
in Akron; and the Stars & Stripes, based in Pompano Beach,
Fla. It also operates a fourth blimp, the Ventura, in Brazil.
All the U.S. airships are 192 feet long, 59.5 feet high and
hold 202,700 cubic feet of helium. They have a maximum speed
of 50 miles per hour and a normal cruising speed of 30 miles
per hour. They can carry a pilot and six passengers.
The blimps are mostly used as goodwill ambassadors for Goodyear.
The airships hover over stadiums and racetracks to televise
sporting events over network television.
Since 1925, the company has built more than 300 airships
for corporate use and the military, and today's blimps are
among the world's most recognized corporate symbols.
Deutschland: Airship firm sets a course for the home of the
Airship firm ATG is to spread its wings to Germany in a bid
to pocket foreign government funding.
Cardington-based ATG – Advanced Technologies Group
– is to set up an office in the land of the Zeppelins
to push efforts to sell its blimps.
And company director Gordon Taylor hopes the firm could also
benefit from more generous financial help available there
after "derisory" backing from Whitehall.
He said: "We are starting to sell our products into Germany
and so we will need a product support base.
"The Germans are more airship-orientated and are quite
keen to help us. We have only had a couple of grants worth
£500,000 over eight years which, although we are of
course grateful for them, are nothing compared to the huge
amounts they hand out to BAe.
"I would emphasise though it's the fault of the system
rather than the Government. You have to be of BAe's size before
they will look at you."
ATG will have an office staffed initially by ten employees
at Cottbus, 60kms south of Berlin.
Mr Taylor said it would support sales of its AT-10 airship
in Germany, which should receive its certification later this
month after a series of air trials.
The $3 million craft will then be shipped out to Shanghai,
China, as an eye in the sky for traffic monitoring duties.
Stressing ATG had no immediate plans to leave its base in
one of the historic Cardington hangars, Mr Taylor said there
was a chance more help could be coming from the UK Government.
He said: "Four months ago I was depressed because we
had made an application and ended up with a derisory amount.
"We came up with £16 million ourselves and they
came up with £700,000 of Government support, which wasn't
what they had been talking about to start with.
"But they are reviewing something for us, and I am hopeful
of something happening."
St. Hubert Air Museum Runs Into Turbulent Times
Library, photos stored in back of truck. 'We no longer have
visibility. We've lost our reference, our air space, our meeting
The Gazette Tuesday, January 20, 2004
by Alan Hustak
The fate of the aviation museum in St. Hubert is up in the
For the past 10 years, the Fondation Aérovision Québec
has been trying to establish an aerospace museum and Quebec
aviation hall of fame at the airport on the South Shore.
Just before Christmas, Canada Lands Corp. sold the former
military barracks on the airbase that temporarily housed the
Since the museum was forced out of its 26-room premises,
its substantial collection - including its library and photo
archives - has been stored in the back of a truck.
"We no longer have our visibility. We've lost our reference,
our display space, our research library and our meeting rooms,"
the museum's treasurer, Bruce Mcleod, said yesterday. "Not
having a building to house displays is a serious setback."
Adding to the museum's uncertainty is its lack of financing.
The former Parti Québécois government promised
that three government departments would contribute $600,000
to help the museum take flight.
That money seem to evaporate into thin air when the Liberals
Although there are more than 30 aviation museums in Canada
- 12 in Ontario - the St. Hubert location makes the Quebec
St. Hubert is Canada's oldest commercial airport. Aviation
history was made there in 1930 with the visit of the R-100
dirigible. The first airmail service between Canada and Europe
operated from St. Hubert. The first transcontinental flight
to Vancouver took off from St. Hubert.
As well, the museum's hall of fame honours Quebec's aviation
pioneers who don't get the same recognition at the National
Aviation Museum in Ottawa or the Canadian Aviation Hall of
Fame in Edmonton.
"We've inducted 36 Quebecers, all of them pertinent
to Quebec's aviation history, Bush, military and civilian
pilots, all of them great stories, but you would never hear
about them outside of Quebec," Mcleod said.
One of those honoured is Fernand Henley, a Royal Canadian
Air Force pilot during the Second World War. He was a founder
of Nordair, and he directed Hydro-Québec's fleet of
aircraft during construction of the James Bay hydro-electric
Airplanes in the museum's collection include:
A 1943 Consolidated Canso amphibious patrol aircraft built
in St. Hubert.
A Vickers Viscount DC-3, the original workhorse for Trans-Canada
Air Lines, the forerunner of Air Canada.
Replicas of a Supermarine Spitfire and a Sopwith Camel.
Museum president Raymond Leroux, a general manager of the
Longueuil Chamber of Commerce for six years, is counting on
the new South Shore megacity to step in and find a permanent
home for the museum.
"Longueuil takes over the airport in March, and there
is talk of building a special high-tech expo site on the property,"
Leroux said. "We're looking at ways to incorporate the
museum into that new building."
The museum is also looking for support from the obvious corporate
sponsors: Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter
For more information, visit the museum's Web site at http://www.aerovision.org/.
31 October 2003
14 October 2003
AirshipWorld Journal (NZ) ISSN 1175:5024
Please see the Journals
page for details.
2 October 2003
1 October 2003
Thanks to Jeff Rothal!
plans huge 'homeland defense' dirigible
Associated Press, Thomas J. Sheernan, Associated Press Writer
era in giant airships: Akron's Lockheed Martin wins $40 million
Beacon Journal (Ohio)
Thanks to Trevor Monk!
icons of airship era honored: Airdock, a creation of Karl
Arnstein, may have future to rival past
Beacon Journal (Ohio)
16 September 2003
Thanks to Trevor Monk!
firm to reach for the skies with airships
Sharjah, Gulf News Online Edition
By Mahmood Saberi, Bureau Chief, 13-09-2003
It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's an airship.
A Sharjah-based company has got exclusive rights to assemble,
market and lease SkyCats, airships which can land on water,
desert or any other terrain, and which do not need ground
A spokesman of the company, the Offices of Sheikh Ahmed bin
Mohammed Al Qasimi, only said the contract amount was "quite
"It has a huge capacity and can carry double the number
of passengers in conventional aircraft," Omar A. Youssouf,
told Gulf News.
"It has wide-ranging applications depending on the specifications
the company needs." "The technology for these airships
has been 25 years in the making. It will cut the cost of air
travel drastically," said Arq Luis Eduardo Lara Braun,
CEO of Advanced Technology Group, the consulating firm for
These airships give a cost per passenger as low as $9 per
There are two models: SkyCat 20 and SkyCat 220. The airship
also has a VTOL mode (vertical take-off and landing). The
first has the versatility of helicopters and the second reportedly
out-performs all air freight transport alternatives.
SkyCats cruise at 2,400 nautical miles and can also remain
at station, floating, for up to 10 days. The basic model costs
between $25 million and $28 million, and its operating cost
is just under $1,000 an hour. It just requires two weeks of
maintainence every year.
The airships can be used as airborne platforms for missions
such as border control, counter-drug operations, coastguard
search and rescue, harbour traffic monitoring and police surveillance
- as well as civil uses such as surveillance of gas and oil
Shoot a SkyCat with an automatic rifle or mortar and the
ordnance passes through the envelope without causing critical
helium loss. In all instances of light armament fire, under
both test and live conditions, the vehicle reportedly was
able to complete its mission and return to base.
The first airship will be brought to Sharjah next year.
15 September 2003
Thanks to Arnold Nayler!
Hi-tech blimp is new spy in the sky
By Chris Ayers in San Diego
World News September 13, 2003
"DON'T worry, it's filled with helium, not hydrogen,"
Greg Plumb, a defence contractor, shouts as he squints up
at one of the US Navy's new "eagle-eye" blimps tethered
to a mast on a lorry in a San Diego military airfield.
The giant white airship, its balloon inflated by 250,000
cubic feet of helium, squirms in the wind like a recalcitrant
toddler being held by the scruff of its neck. Half-a-dozen
men in shorts and T-shirts try to keep it in position with
ropes, while Captain Bart Van Beest, the Dutch pilot, wrestles
with the controls.
The US Navy has invited The Times to this parched airfield,
within walking distance of the Mexican border town of Tijuana,
to demonstrate why the widely mocked blimp has made a comeback.
It is 66 years since the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg burst
into flames above New Jersey in a disaster that killed 35
people. The navy, however, is now proposing to use antiquated
airship technology, enhanced by state-of-the-art computer
surveillance equipment, as the centrepiece of America's Homeland
The navy wants every big city in the United States to be
watched over by three gigantic dirigibles, each to be shared
between federal and state agencies such as the police and
border patrol during normal duty, but redeployed by the navy
in case of a terrorist emergency.
From a height of 2,000ft those blimps will be able to spot
suspicious craft entering harbours, illegal immigrants crossing
borders, gunfire in urban streets or a person making his way
across a crowded city. They could even film a drug-dealer
handing crack cocaine to a customer.
"Persistent surveillance - that's what everybody wants,
"Mr Plumb, of Science & Technology International,
the private Hawaiian firm that built the so-called spectral
imaging surveillance technology in the prototype blimp, said.
"They want the eye-in-the-sky, 24-hours a day. Every
harbour in America will want three of these things to monitor
arial threats and also the surface area. The blimps can be
used for underwater surveillance, too."
Inside the prototype blimp's cabin, known technically as
a gondola, it is easy to see why the airship is an effective
way of providing surveillance.
The take-off is noisy, with two engines acting as giant fans
to provide forward thrust, while water ballast is released
to make the craft lighter. But once in the air, you feel like
you are sitting on a giant waterbed as the blimp rides the
warm thermals from the Mexican desert. It can be a choppy
ride, as the gondola occasionally lurches towards the earth.
It is, however, relatively quiet and smooth, unlike hovering
in a helicopter. The blimp is also able to remain directly
above a given position, unlike an aircraft which has to circle
at great cost.
Stephen Huett, the director of airship programmes for the
Naval Air Systems Command, which sees the eagle-eye blimp
as a way of remaining relevant in an age defined by terrorism
and guerrilla warfare, said: "Once you're up, you just
sit up here, like you're in a French café. If you watch
anything for long enough up here, you get a sense of what's
normal and what's not normal."
At the rear end of the gondola sit two surveillance operators,
one controlling a powerful zoom camera with a joystick, the
other studying a computer screen. During our demonstration,
we focused on a ship about two miles out to sea, which was
invisible to the human eye from the gondola. We zoomed in
so close that we could almost see the captain drinking his
morning coffee on the bridge.
The spectral imaging computer screen is even more sophisticated.
It breaks down real-time photographs of the environment into
colour based algorithms, using a spectrum of colours far more
complex than could be analysed by the naked eye, which then
highlights unusual changes.
Just beyond the airfield, the navy has set up a mock terrorist
camp under a canopy of trees and the computer screen dutifully
identified it with red marks. Last October, when the Pentagon
used surveillance aircraft to hunt the Washington snipers,
a similar system was deployed to look for a change in colours
caused by sniper gunfire. Within seconds of spotting such
a change, the blimp could relay exact Global Positioning System
co-ordinates to police on the ground.
The blimps will not come cheap. Defence contractors estimate
that a fully-equipped airship costs in the region of $12 million
(£7.8 million), mean-ing that any city requiring 24-hour
eagle-eye surveillance from a blimp would have to pay close
to $40 million for three of them (two to take it in turns
to fly, the other to stand in during maintenance work). Yet
plans for the humble blimp extend even further than that.
The Pentagon has asked several defence contractors to develop
a giant unmanned gasbag that would be able to hover for months
at 70,000ft, carrying more than 4,000lb of an unspecified
These super-blimps would be way out of range of any artillery
fire, yet able to detect any incoming missiles from countries
such as North Korea. They could even end up being a workable
version of the Star Wars programme envisioned by President
Reagan in the 1980s. It is thought that the first prototype
could be built within three years. A fully operational blimp
defence system could be in place by 2010.
Not since the Second World War, when hundreds of tethered
blimps floated above London to hamper German bombers and rockets,
has the airship been taken so seriously. The days of the blimp
being used simply as a giant floating billboard or to provide
footage of sports games seem to be numbered.
14 September 2003
Thanks to Trevor Monk!
probe highlights problems as safety concerns are voiced
A company whose airship caught fire just before a field blaze
at Cople has admitted there are serious faults with the machine.
The AT-10 built by Cardington-based Advanced Technologies
Group (ATG) was seen dropping flaming debris over cut crop
off Northill Road last Monday.
And now in a report produced by ATG for the Civil Aviation
Authority (CAA), the firm has said an engine silencer melted
after oil in the exhaust fumes set it alight.
The news has led Cople parish councillor David Burns to call
for the airship – which is still undergoing test flights
– to be grounded until its gremlins are tackled.
He said: "I shudder to think what would have happened
if a piece of molten titanium had fallen onto Cople Lower
School, or onto a bus or coach on the bypass.
"Safety is the issue. Until there is a statement from
the CAA saying they are happy with the airship, it shouldn't
be leaving the hangar."
Around 20 acres of stubble plus fences and hedges were left
charred by the fire.
It started amid eyewitness reports of fiery exhaust fragments
falling from the AT-10 after it had revved its engines.
ATG's report says the airship was carrying out timed acceleration
runs at 1,100ft when the field fire was spotted below.
After landing, the "right engine silencer was found
substantially damaged with significant splashes of oil around
the area," and parts missing included the steel wadding
packed into the titanium silencer body.
The report adds: "It is believed that the damage to
the silencer was caused by the steel wadding catching fire
and generating intense heat within the silencer body sufficient
to melt the titanium alloy(believed to be due to) oil being
ejected into the exhaust and coating the steel wadding. The
oil subsequently burns and sets the wadding alight. Further
investigations are in hand".
But Coun Burns said a clampdown on further flights by the
AT-10 was also needed.
He added: "I have spoken to a colleague of the farmer
whose field caught alight and apparently he didn't lose much
and the National Farmers Union will sort it out for him.
"But at the moment the airship is a danger to itself
The AT-10 was sold to Chinese police for £2 million
two years ago, but is still undergoing test flights for full
5 August 2003
Thanks to M.Haefner!
Here's an excellent Zeppelin website where you'll see a lot
of Zeppelin NT photos:
4 August 2003
Thanks to Trevor Monk!
airship reaches stratospheric altitude in world first
Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Aug. 4, 2003
A Japanese airship made history Monday after becoming the
first airship in the world to reach a stratospheric altitude,
officials of the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL)
The unmanned 47-meter long airship left Hitachi Port in Ibaraki
Prefecture at 3:21 a.m. Monday and reached an altitude of
16.4 kilometers during the two-hour flight.
NAL officials collected samples of the stratospheric atmosphere
and examined the strength of the airship's body, which was
made from reinforced fiber, before bringing it down in the
sea some 40 kilometers off the port. The airship was successfully
recovered for further examinations.
The experiment is part of the development of a Stratospheric
Platform airship system. NAL is trying to manufacture a 250-meter
long airship that hangs above the Earth at a stratospheric
altitude of about 20 kilometers and can be used as a base
for observations and monitoring of the global environment
or as a broadcasting station for telecommunication purposes.
31 July 2003
Blimp Ride & Demonstration of State-of-the-Art
Optical Sensor System
The Office of Naval Research is testing the use of blimps
and cutting edge sensors for today’s mission requirements.
Science and Technology International’s (STI) Littoral
Airborne Sensor - Hyperspectal (LASH) system is onboard a
blimp that will be berthed and flying from the Manassas (VA)
Regional Airport for four days, Aug 4-8, 2003. (Other times
available to media by request.) The 30-minute test flight
will simulate searching and identifying a terrorist camp in
the nearby woods. The LASH system is designed for passive
and immediate detection of targets of interest invisible to
the naked eye that can be submerged in the water at tactical
depths or land areas.
Phone 808-221-3552 to arrange flight times and to interview
STI. Additional information about STI can be found at http://www.sti-industries.com
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) manages science and technology
for the Navy and Marine Corps. ONR sponsors basic and
applied research in oceanography, advanced materials, sensors,
robotics, biomedical science and technology, electronics,
surveillance, mathematics, manufacturing technology, information
science, advanced combat systems, and technologies for ships,
submarines, aircraft, and ground vehicles. For more information
about ONR's programs, go to http://www.onr.navy.mil
Science Media Leads and Releases are located here: http://www.onr.navy.mil/media
17 July 2003
Thanks to"trevor MONK" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
airship that can counter cross-border terrorism
Imran Qureshi (Indo-Asian News Service), Bangalore
An American company is seeking India's cooperation in building
the prototype of an airship that can combat cross-border terrorism
and change the face of telecommunications and healthcare in
StratCom, a firm headed by Lt Gen James Abrahamson, the first
director of the US "Star Wars" programme, is seeking
India's partnership in the stratospheric airship project for
its expertise in vehicle design, payloads and control systems.
"India can demonstrate its leadership by partnering
this programme. It has the right mixture of talent and the
challenges it has faced," Abrahamson told a news conference
in Bangalore on Thursday.
Asked if such an airship could help monitor the movement
of people across borders like the one between India and Pakistan,
he said, "It can be used for border patrol for homeland
Abrahamson said he was in India to speak to scientists "who
can manage these partnerships".
"I am very optimistic. India is a potential market but
it has organisations like the Indian Space Research Organisation
or the Defence Research and Development Organisation with
specialisation in several payload areas," he noted.
Stratospheric airships are unmanned, solar-powered aircraft
designed to fly at altitudes of up to 20 km or over 65,000
feet. The airships, which are 600 feet in length and 180 feet
in diameter, can carry payloads ranging from 900 kg to 5,440
Airships can be positioned over a single point on the earth's
surface and have defence and civil applications.
"They will offer reliable transmission and help in disaster
management, mobile data communication in remote and rural
areas as well as telemedicine or healthcare," Abrahamson
A fleet of four to six airships can provide coverage of key
regions of India and strategic areas in South Asia.
"We can get the cost well below $20 million. And once
we clear the learning curve, the cost could come down to $15
million," Abrahamson said.
Civil applications could cover wireless communication for
mobile phone users, fixed local loop wireless communications
to fixed homes or businesses and interactive television and
interactive radio broadcasts.
Military payloads could include weapons, very high resolution
multi-spectral cameras for observing ground, airborne or space
targets, radars for ground imaging or aeronautical or space
target tracking, and space-to-satellite relay for long haul
The airships could have ballistic missile defence sensors
or interceptor platforms as well as remote air traffic control
systems that combined radar and communication platforms.
The programme funded by the US defence department is expected
to produce its first prototype by end 2005 or early 2006.
Ramchand, an associate with the think-tank National Institute
of Advanced Studies, said, "Lots of sensors could be
put (on the airship) to monitor cross-border movement or for
telemedicine. The programme is complementary and supplementary
to what India is doing. The US will also benefit, more than
Ramchand was the former director of the Centre for Air Borne
markets airships to India
A US-based aerospace company has begun preliminary talks
with Indian scientists to collaborate on an airship project
designed for civil and military use.
Indian defence officials say it could be used for effective
surveillance of the borders it shares with Pakistan and China.
Lieutenant General James Abrahamson, chairman of StratCom
International and former director of the Star Wars programme
initiated during the Reagan administration, is in talks with
officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
and the Indian Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
Mr Abrahamson said India, with its technical and software
expertise, could play a vital role in developing telecommunication
systems, telemedicine, broadband communications and disaster
Called stratospheric airships, the first airship prototype
is being built with the support of the US defence department.
The unmanned airships powered by solar energy can carry radar
sensors as well as the latest communications devices.
The US defence department has invested $100m in the project.
Each airship will cost about $20m and has an operating life
of five years.
"These airships are ideal for a country like India where
the large geographies demand more complex infrastructure,"
said Mr Abrahamson.
military firm offers India stratospheric airships, eyes partners
Bangalore, India (AFP) Jul 17, 2003
A US-based firm headed by the former director of the US Strategic
Defence Initiative "Star Wars" programme offered
India its stratospheric airships Thursday and said it was
James Abrahamson, chairman of StratCom International LLC,
said Indian state-run and private companies could collaborate
for specific research and development programmes to apply
to the new airships.
"India is potentially a terrific market," said
Abrahamson. "And we are looking for partnerships which
can be for building specific applications and also on the
Stratospheric airships are unmanned, autonomous solar-powered
airships designed to fly at approximately 19,700 meters (65,000
feet) and to carry payloads ranging from 909 to 1,180 kilograms
(2,000 to 7,000 pounds).
The airships, measuring 150 to 180 metres long and about
55 metres in diameter can be used for both civil and military
"These airships will offer reliable transmission and
help in disaster management, mobile data communication in
remote and rural areas and telemedicine," Abrahamson
told reporters in the southern IT hub of Bangalore.
"Stratospheric airships are extremely cost-effective
and offer a range of benefits compared to any other satellite
either for civil or defence applications," he said.
He said the airships, at a cost of about 20 million dollars
each, were well-suited for a large country like India.
Civil applications include wireless communications and interactive
television and radio broadcasts, while military payloads may
carry very high resolution multi-spectral cameras for observing
ground, airborne or space targets.
The US defence department has already pumped about 100 million
dollars into the project and the first prototype will be ready
by late 2005 or early 2006.
The airship will be designed to hover over a single point
on the surface of the earth, autonomously navigating to counter
winds, and will be able to navigate over long distances or
on a combat patrol.
StratCom, a unit of the Delaware company, was formed to investigate
and develop the benefits of stratospheric airships for military
purposes and civil telecommunication applications.
The firm has an exclusive arrangement with Lockheed Martin
Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems, under which the
high altitude airship programme for defence has been in development
17 July 2003
Thanks to airship.org! whose domain I want :)
The great event is over but lives on in the
memories of the attendees who took some great photos of the
great ships for which we are all most grateful. Special thanks
to airship.org for making
server space available to mount airship photos!
16 July 2003
Some interesting websites:
In Japanese! There are some good links there.
"Mobile Airships & Blimps operates and sells radio
control and tethered blimps for advertising and promotions.
Products are now in over 60 counties around the world."
NASA's Balloon Project Office including the ULDB - Ultra Long
History and heritage of Canada's Air Force. "A post-World
War I Imperial gift to Canada included a number of SSZ-type
airships." Spiffy photos.
27 June 2003
Thanks to email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org!
"Under an European Union 5 th Framework CRAFT award,
a consortium of European SME companies is to provide the first
practical safe, quiet and acceptable application of Unmanned
Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system technology for use in civilian
applications. Using small lighter-than-air (LTA) electric
UAVs this €1.5m project starting in December 2002,
is due to complete in December 2004."
23 June 2003
website in German.
Try the Google
Language Tools for an English translation.
Thanks to email@example.com!
Information about the 1930 musical in a Zeppelin.
19 June 2003
Harold Gielow: Lighter
Than Air Homepage
"The site contains a document data base for airship research
which I am trying to expand, as well as many briefs, both
governmental and private, on airship developments. I
have also established a community of practice “Groove”
account which may be useful in assisting developmental efforts. The
Groove program itself is free for “participants.” I
have bought an account to afford a place for collaboration
on airship developmental projects and to enhance the sharing
of information on airship topics."
December 2001: research airship in Hawaii
Anyone know if this program was implemented?
Implimentation of CSS. Let me know
if something on this site isn't working as advertised. Next,
5 June 2003
Ford U. Ross" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
NASA considering demoltion of Moffett Hangar One
Would you believe that NASA is considering tearing down the
historic Hangar One at Moffett Field, CA without justification.
They have already closed the museum, again,and preparing to
move them out.(If they haven't moved out already)
Go to the MFHS
web site and read the newspaper articles listed near the
top of the home page.
Something about old PCB's in the air and the EPA says the
levels are not dangerous. First NASA tried to get rid of the
Museum because they claimed it was not safe, no sprinklers
etc. Fortunately the Museum obtained some much need funds,
through donations, andinstalled everything NASA wanted, even
though the rest of the Hangar One spaces were not upgraded
with sprinklers or anything else.
1 May 2003
Come one, come all! (And remember to buy a copy
of the new book!)
Lakehurst Historical Society is hosting its annual dinner
at the Circle Landmark Inn (Route 70@Lakehurst Circle) celebrating
"Navy Lakehurst. A Heritage of Excellence" this coming Friday
night. Saturday is an LTA Display / Symposium at the Lakehurst
Community Center, Center St (The Fire House Meeting Hall.)
They got some guy named Zitarosa to give the speech at the
dinner. Items from the Historical Collection will be displayed
Friday night and Saturday (11am-4pm) as well.
Rigid airship veterans John Iannaccone (USS LOS ANGELES)
and John Lust (USS AKRON) are expected to be present.
NLHS is pushing to get a couple tours of Hangar #1 on Saturday
if possible, though security remains TIGHT. The concrete barriers
and bullets in the guns at the base entry are REAL STUFF.
No Blue Angels Air Show or Big on-base display this year; let's
hope for next year!
Meanwhile, if you're in the neighborhood, drop on in.
30 April 2003
Thanks to Bruce Blake <email@example.com>
We flight tested the Prop-bike for http://www.parabounce.com
of Los Angeles, California, a couple of weeks ago. A short
movie may be found at that website by clicking on "Added features",
"Propbike", then the movie.
8 April 2003
This Spring, two manned non-rigid airships are operating
11 March 2003
With thanks to Siegfried H. Geist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lakehurst survivor and HINDENBURG crewmember dead at age 92.
Officer Boetius, who manned HINDENBURG's elevator wheel during
the Lakehurst disaster, died on November 07, 2002 at Schuelp,
District Rendsburg, Germany
6 March 2003
Thanks to Wolfgang Pest <Wolfgang.Pest@landshut.org>
CargoLifter has almost completely exchanged its advisory
board. Since most of the former advisory board members faced
the approaching end of their election period, they declared
their demission. A list of new candidates was proposed to the
insolvency court and the court accepted. The new members are
(in alphabetical order by last name):
Dr. Carl von Gablenz - the former CEO who is still
fighting for his idea and his company and who has a lot of
experience and knowledge of the market.
Mirko Hörmann - the speaker of our shareholders'
Dr. Thilo Krause-Palfner - the long-year notary of
CargoLifter and specialist for economic law.
Gerhard Laue - he was the investor relations officer
and is the person who knows more shareholders personally than
Arnd Middelmann - a retired bank and insurance specialist
who strongly engaged himself for CL during the recent period
in supporting our initiative.
Hans-Helge Westerholt - a heavy load logistics expert
employed by Siemens. He is said to be the "grandfather of
the Cargo-lifter" and although his company has stopped its
support for CL, he personally is still fond of it.
This board is a collection of experienced and competent people
as well as a genuine representation of the shareholders.
A few days ago, the board elected Arnd Middelmann for their
chairman. At the same meeting, the board nominated Mr. Hans-Georg
Engelken as the new CEO who succeeds Dr. Wolfgang Schneider,
whose contract ends with the end of March. After his studies
in USA and Germany, Mr Engelken gained experience in several
international companies in leading positions and has got considerable
experience also in contact with American companies and international
business partners. He has been acting successfully for some
years as a consultant and is especially skilled in the field
Although the rights of the advisory board and the CEO are
very restricted during insolvency state, the company is preparing
for overwhelming this state.
One of the main claims against CargoLifter is the reclamation
of the government aid for the hangar building. The company
is preparing to legally attack this reclamation, since the
building is completed and the purpose of he aid thus has been
6 March 2003
28 February 2003
Airships: a remote-controled blimp tused as a camera and
21 February 2003
AeroVehicles, Inc. -- Their proposed AeroCat line
is a hybrid blimp/airfoil/hovercraft design. Not yet in production;
still scrounging for venture capital.
18 February 2003
and Balloons in the World War II Period
US Centennial of Flight Commission
17 February 2003
Thanks to Airship
1) AMS has acquired Global Skyship Industries and
Airship Operations, Inc.
2) AMS has FAA certification of a new Skyship 600, powered
by Lycoming engines instead of the Porche engines.
3) AMS delivered the first-ever airship to a client in the
Dominican Republic by flying it from their hangar at Weeksville,
NC to Miami, FL and then to Great Exuma in the Bahamas and
to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
4) AMS and Skyship Cruise have formed Skycruiser
12 February 2003
Thanks again to Christian Michel <email@example.com>
of the Zeppelin NT in Malmsheim - September 2002
10 February 2003
Annual General Meeting of the Airship Association will be held
on Tuesday 22nd April 2003 at The Royal Institute of British
Architects. There will be an interesting presentation after
the official business has been transacted.This year our speaker
will be Mr John Jones of Skycell
Ltd. His presentation, which will recount experiences with
remotely-piloted airships for heritage tasks,is entitled 'From
Gas to Glass'. All members are invited to attend.
9 February 2003
Many thanks to Christian Michel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Zeppelin NT, No. 3's maiden
See the fabulous photos at
flight of the Zeppelin NT #3 D-LZZF
NT Webcam Archive January/Feburary 2003
via DZR Webcam
1 February 2003
Our condolences to the families,
friends and associates of the Columbia astronauts who lost their
lives in the service of their country and humanity. Through
their joy, comaraderie, determination and skill, they helped
raise our eyes to the wonders of space and the beauty of our
21 January 2003
Dreaming of that special vacation? So are some others>
Still a dream --
Aeronautiqa Aerial Cruises
17 January 2003
Thanks to Arnold Nylor <email@example.com>
c The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Goodyear Blimp won't be allowed near
the upcoming Super Bowl.
No blimps, banner-tow planes or other aircraft will be allowed
within 7 miles of Qualcomm Stadium for most of Super Bowl
Sunday on Jan. 26, city officials said Thursday.
The no-fly zone, which extends 18,000 feet above the stadium,
will be enforced by U.S. military planes and the Customs Service.
``Restricting airspace around the stadium was an optimal
part of security around the stadium,'' Mayor Dick Murphy said.
The only aircraft allowed in the area that day will be flown
by police, fire, military or medical personnel.
The Transportation Security Administration granted San Diego's
request for a no-fly zone Thursday. Temporary air restrictions
also were imposed during last year's Super Bowl in New Orleans
and during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The Blimp is the best-known of the airships that are a familiar
presence in the skies over many NFL games.
8 January 2003
With kindest thanks to Siegfried H. Geist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dateline Friedrichshafen, Saturday Dec. 28, 2002
Groezinger dead - Cook
aboard Zeppelins LZ 127 and LZ129 - Lakehurst survivor
Alfred Groezinger, one of the last Old-Zeppeliners died on
Christmas Eve in his home at Friedrichshafen/Oberteuringen,
just four weeks short of his 86th birthday.
7 January 2003
Want to ride in a Zeppelin? Me too! The next season
begins in April. Book flights via Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei:
Auf deutsch. € 335,00 - € 370,00 per person. Tell
them I sent you. They'll look at you strangely :)
- Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH
- Allmansweilerstrasse 132
- D-88046 Friedrichshafen
- Telefon: +49 (0) 75 41 / 59 00 - 0
- Telefax: +49 (0) 75 41 / 59 00 - 499
6 January 2003
Thanks to email@example.com
Don't forget about the Airship International Press
2003 calendar with all color photos, including Christian's NT
images, and daily historical airship tid-bits! Visit:
and look for the calendar link.
6 January 2003
Thanks to Michael_Vinarcik@msn.com
The Zeppelin Company is issuing a 2003 calendar with
They're $20 or so each, but minimum order is 20. If
anyone is interested, Mike is willing to coordinate an order
(we can dispose of excess ones on eBay).
3 January 2003
Thanks to Jeff Wilson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Found this while web-surfing, great photos or early/unknown
2 January 2003
Thanks to RZita@aol.com!
"Had the honor of receiving a copy of Jim Shock's
new book "US ARMY AIRSHIPS, 1908-1942" from my letter carrier
yesterday. Despite being in the middle of building new
kitchen cabinets, subsequent New Year's Eve festivities and
then having a toilet tank disintegrate and flood the bathroom
a half-hour into the New Year, I have managed to spend several
hours reading Jim's latest gift to LTA. As usual, he does
In 279 pages from Atlantis Productions, US ARMY AIRSHIPS
1908-1942 opens an entirely new area for LTA study and research.
Softbound and reasonably priced at $20, it is a must for the
library of any serious student of LTA history.
It is good that someone the caliber of Jim Shock wrote this
work, because if he didn't accomplish it I don't think anybody
else ever would have....this offers a painstakingly-detailed
view of US Army Lighter-than-Air aviation, from Tom Baldwin
thru the ROMA, RS-1, TC-ships, the inter-service rivalries,
hook-on-experiments (remember the Army actually performed
the first hook-ons in 1924, five years before the Navy did
so with the LOS ANGELES) and the decline and dissolution of
Army LTA in 1937 (save for their limited operations with Motorized
Observation Balloons, which continued for another five years),
with copious notes on individual airships and detailed biographies
of many personnel.
Loaded with rare photographs (and great drawings by Herman
van Dyk), the book is very readable and filled with so much
new material as to have set a new standard for a relatively
old subject. For those of us who love Navy LTA so dearly,
this the important story of what "the other guys" were going
through ( details such as the AKRON/MACON helium requirements
being such that the Army actually endured a pretty severe
gas shortage in 1932 as it had to take a back seat to Navy
With probably a thousand copies in the first printing, I
would advise that interested parties secure a copy while they're
- ATLANTIS PRODUCTIONS
- PO Box 700
- Edgewater, Fla. 32132-0700
27 December 2002
15th AIAA LTA TC Conference & Exhibition
22 - 24 September 2003 > Changed to Nov 2003
Denver Marriott Tech Center
Hotel, Denver, Colorado
The meeting will be held at the same time, and in the same
hotel, as the AIAA Aircraft and Air Transportation Systems
and Operations Group and the AIAA Balloon Group Conventions.
This is a change of venue from Long Beach, CA as there was
not enough meeting space available there.
The call for papers is on the AIAA
web site and it will be published in the next issue of
7 December 2002
Thanks to Michael E. Rentell" <email@example.com>
"Coincidentally with the announcement of our
web-site upgrade and change of address, we are also now able
to announce that we have redesigned the Airship Association
If you would like one of the new ties, please visit the Airship
Shop. Click http://www.airship-association.org/
and follow the signposts."
Spiffy ties! John
26 November 2002
- 1st International Symposium on Scientific Aerostation
- 25-26 june 2003
- Université de Provence - Marseilles - France
- Further information from Eric Faure, EA Biodiversité
2202, Case 5,
- Université de Provence, 13331 Marseille cedex 3,
- Email : Eric.Faure@newsup.univ-mrs.fr
15 November 2002
Here's a recent addition to the models page: ZZ
Modelle. Based in Germany , they manufacture 1/500 scale
ready-made models of blimps.
tel: 0049 9872-2985
fax: 0049 9872-2412
email: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com
14 August 2002
From Skycruise Switzerland
"... since May 14, 2002 we operate the most confortable
airship worldwide with the highest passenger capability available.
Our Skyship 600 N-605SK carries up to 12 passengers from We
to Sun on five to six flights a day over one of the most beautiful
areas of Switzerland. Please find more information and online
booking possibilities on http://www.skycruise.ch/
or email us any questions."
- Skycruise Switzerland
- Tel: +41 52 354 59 70
- Fax: +41 52 354 59 71
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- web: http://www.skycruise.ch/
31 July 2002
Boeing and CargoLifter
to Explore Stratospheric Airship Concepts
ST. LOUIS, July 30, 2002 &endash; Boeing [NYSE: BA]
and CargoLifter AG have signed a contract to jointly explore
stratospheric airship concepts. The contract, which provides
for a detailed study of lighter-than-air stratospheric platforms,
will enable Boeing and CargoLifter to coordinate efforts to
bid as airship system suppliers for current and future programs.
30 July 2002
in Brand is a private initiative to save Cargolifter.A very
ambitious and exceptional initiative.
30 July 2002
The 4th International Airship Convention was held
in Cambridge, England 28-31 July 2002. Please click on Airship
Association web-site and follow the signs for information
about conference papers.
3 July 2002
Head for California and book a blimp ride at Blimptour.com
via Worldwide Aeros.
5 April 2002
Want to ride in a Zeppelin? Me too! The next season
begins 19 April. Book flights via Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei:
Auf deutsch. € 335,00 - € 370,00 per person. Tell
them I sent you. They'll look at you strangely :)
- Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH
- Allmansweilerstrasse 132
- D-88046 Friedrichshafen
- Telefon: +49 (0) 75 41 / 59 00 - 0
- Telefax: +49 (0) 75 41 / 59 00 - 499
- E-mail: email@example.com
4 April 2002
Another company enters the lists: http://www.airtrain-ag.de/
2 Febaruary 2002
The "Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei" is offering three
weekends in March for parachutists to jump from the Zeppelin
in Friedrichshafen. Cost is 299 EUR per jump and each parachutist
can take an additional person in the Zeppelin for free. The
are also offering an additional program for the whole weekend
with excursions. For more information see their web site at:
2 February 2002
Thanks to George Osner
Two recent articles
18 January 18 2002
Thanks to Stephen Chalker
Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The world's newest large airship completed her "maiden flight".
To be named the SANTOS-DUMONT, after the Brazilian-French
aviator who first flew an airship in controlled flight around
the Eiffel Tower almost exactly 100 years ago, this new airship
was built by Airship
Management Services, Inc. (AMS) at its FAA Repair Station
in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The Santos-Dumont, a modified Skyship 600L type airship,
is 200 feet (60 meters) long, with an envelope volume of 250,000
cubic feet (6,800 cubic meters). She is capable of carrying
up to 13 passengers (or two tons of equipment), at speeds
up to 60 mph, and to an altitude of 10,000 feet. This airship
is part of AMS's development of larger airships - "SKYCRUISERS".
The "Santos-Dumont" is fitted with an envelope developed
by TCOM L.P. and with outboard engines manufactured by Textron
Lycoming (IO-540's), and swiveling, ducted propulsors which
allow the aircraft to hover and hold station.
Upon completion of her flight trials, the Santos-Dumont is
to be delivered to her new owners in France, AMS-Europe, during
the spring of 2002.
17 January 2002
Thanks to Eric Brothers
New LTA Society
7 January 2002
News: India launches ambitious airship project
1 November 2001
Balloon Inflator Tested at 35 Klicks Over Colorado
4 October 2001
4, Stepana Shutova Street
tel: (7-095) 359-1001
fax: (7-095) 359-1065
11 September 2001
Center & Pentagon
14 August 2001
As of tomorrow (15 August 2001) a new era begins.
The "Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei" will offer passenger flights
with the Zeppelin NT. They
received their approval as a passenger ride business today and
will start flying tomorrow. They have booked 3500 passengers
for this year's season (going to mid October) and have 500 bookings
for next year. Flights take off from Friedrichshafen and will
last about an hour taking one of two routes over Lake Constance.
News via Christian Michel.
4 Febaruary 2002
4th International Airship Convention will be held
in Cambridge, England 28-31 July 2002 (immediately after the
Farnborough Air Show). Please click on Airship
Association web-site and follow the signs. It is a series
of six very full pages.
21 April 2001
NT has earned its certification!
7 December 2000
"...an epic work of words and music about the R.101 airship
disaster of 1930, written in a new form of narrative rock music
called songstory." This isreally quite good. Somewhat akin to
Jeff Wayne's "War of the Worlds" -- but better.
5 December 2000
02 July 2000
ZEPPELIN JUBILEE: 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
10 May 2000
Friedrichhafen is avalable in English!