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Announcements: 2000-2005

2 December 2005
Thanks to Rick Zitarosa


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 since 1934.

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 to John.

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

Program 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 Fuodoroff

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

Cyber 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 design.

"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 Mr. Robinson.

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 airport terminal.

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 said.

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, he said.

"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 for dinner.

"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 for fuel.

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, Faulkenberry said.

"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 said.

9 September 2005
Thanks to Dan Nachbar

Cargolifter 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

Zeppelin 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 equipment.

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 southern Africa.

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.

Related links:

De Beers gets the blimp in

Shipping 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 market.

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 will publish).

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 high.

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 sensing.

"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

NYK 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 previous Friday.

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 with it".

13 January 2005
Thanks to Don Overs

Hindenburg Fire: Hydrogen or Incendiary Paint? (12 January 2005: 453kb pdf file, 11 pages) has been published this month in Buoyant Flight.

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

The Airship 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

Not 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 Today:

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 said.

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 Gioia Tauro
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 special protection.

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 KG
Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei

1 December 2004
Thanks to Trevor Monk

New 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 problem.

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 equipment.

"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

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

The "Schwaebische Zeitung online" writes about the Zeppelin NT to be shipped to Japan (sorry, in German only).

A "Dock Express 10" of the Netherlands shipping company Dockwise will haul the NT from the South Italian port of Gioia Tauro.

Dock 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 to Japan.

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 days earlier.

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 company said.

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 1996.

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
Mendenhall,  PA

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 <>

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 from Friedrichshafen.

24 August 2004
Thanks to Erik Sparks <>

"Carolina 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!

Eckener/Zeppelin Anniversaries

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 Martin Weber.

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

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 dated 8/04/2004.

6 August 2004

The Zeppelin NT Transcontinental Flight from Germany to Japan!

"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

The 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 addresses, etc.

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 Werner's moment.

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 been something!

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

This is the Press Release being put out by the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society regarding the May 8, 2004 Dedication in Hangar #1.

Note that the official name of the place is the NAVY LAKEHURST INFORMATION CENTER..




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.

24 March 2004
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 (DZR). Its2004 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

Ohio Airships, 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 possible causes.

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.

Nippon Hikousen 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 been signed.

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 :-(

See also:

16 January 2004
Thanks to Trevor Monk!

Goodyear to rebuild '02 blimp in Suffield
Spirit of America, which crashed in Calif., now at Wingfoot hangar

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 changes.
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 a statement.

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 compost pile.

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 Arnold said.

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.

Destination Deutschland: Airship firm sets a course for the home of the Zeppelins --
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 rooms.'

The Gazette Tuesday, January 20, 2004
by Alan Hustak

The fate of the aviation museum in St. Hubert is up in the air.

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 museum's collection.

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 won power.
Although there are more than 30 aviation museums in Canada - 12 in Ontario - the St. Hubert location makes the Quebec museum unique.

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 project.

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 and Heroux.

For more information, visit the museum's Web site at

31 October 2003

Airships in Polish!

14 October 2003

AirshipWorld Journal (NZ) ISSN 1175:5024
Please see the Journals page for details.

2 October 2003

Zeppelin Calendar (NT)

Highest quality!

luftbild bodensee
Stanko Petek
Karl-Bücheler-Strasse 10
D-78315 Radolfzell

1 October 2003
Thanks to Jeff Rothal!

Pentagon plans huge 'homeland defense' dirigible
Associated Press, Thomas J. Sheernan, Associated Press Writer

New era in giant airships: Akron's Lockheed Martin wins $40 million for design
Beacon Journal (Ohio)

23 September 2003
Thanks to Trevor Monk!

Akron 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!

Sharjah 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 infrastructure.

A spokesman of the company, the Offices of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, only said the contract amount was "quite high".

"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 this deal.

These airships give a cost per passenger as low as $9 per 100 km.

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 pipelines.

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 Security programme.

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 payload.

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!

Company probe highlights problems as safety concerns are voiced
Bedfordshire Online

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 and others."

The AT-10 was sold to Chinese police for £2 million two years ago, but is still undergoing test flights for full certification.

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!

Japanese 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) said.

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

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

Science Media Leads and Releases are located here:

17 July 2003
Thanks to"trevor MONK" <>

An 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 the country.

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 defence."
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 kg.

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 said.

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 communications.

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 India."

Ramchand was the former director of the Centre for Air Borne Systems.

US 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 management.


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.

US 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 seeking partners.

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 technical side."
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 applications.

"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 since 1998.

17 July 2003
Thanks to! whose domain I want :)

Great Blimp Meet: Photos
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 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." Awesome.
NASA's Balloon Project Office including the ULDB - Ultra Long Duration Balloon
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 &!

Airscan Europe
"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

New CargoLifter website in German.
Try the Google Language Tools for an English translation.
Thanks to!

Madame Satan
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." 

12 December 2001: research airship in Hawaii
Anyone know if this program was implemented?

17 June 2003

Implimentation of CSS. Let me know if something on this site isn't working as advertised. Next, templates.

5 June 2003
Ford U. Ross" <>

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!)

The Navy 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 <>

We flight tested the Prop-bike for 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 in Japan.

11 March 2003
With thanks to Siegfried H. Geist <>

Eduard Boetius, 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 <>

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' initiative Zukunft in Brand.

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 anybody else.

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 of restructuring.

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 fulfilled.

6 March 2003

28 February 2003

Carolina Airships: a remote-controled blimp tused as a camera and advertising platform.

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

Airships and Balloons in the World War II Period
US Centennial of Flight Commission

17 February 2003
Thanks to Airship Management Services

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 Corp.

12 February 2003
Thanks again to Christian Michel <>

Videos of the Zeppelin NT in Malmsheim - September 2002

10 February 2003

The 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 <>
Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH !!!

Zeppelin NT, No. 3's maiden flight!
See the fabulous photos at
First flight of the Zeppelin NT #3 D-LZZF
Zeppelin NT Webcam Archive January/Feburary 2003

Zeppelin NT3
Image 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 world.

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 <>

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 <>

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

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

The Zeppelin Company is issuing a 2003 calendar with airship posters …

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" <>

Found this while web-surfing, great photos or early/unknown airships ...

2 January 2003
Thanks to!

"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 not disappoint.

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 requirements.)

With probably a thousand copies in the first printing, I would advise that interested parties secure a copy while they're around."

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
Marriott 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 Aerospace America.

7 December 2002
Thanks to Michael E. Rentell" <>

"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 tie. 

If you would like one of the new ties, please visit the Airship Shop. Click 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, France.
Email :

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.

ZZ-Kunststoff GmbH
Grenzweg 1
D-91560 Heilsbronn

tel: 0049 9872-2985
fax: 0049 9872-2412

Zeppelin Hotline
0049 9872-802558


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 or email us any questions."
Skycruise Switzerland
Tel: +41 52 354 59 70
Fax: +41 52 354 59 71

31 July 2002
From Boeing

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

Zukunft 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 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

4 April 2002

Another company enters the lists:

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 website

7 January 2002

BBC News: India launches ambitious airship project

1 November 2001

Mars Balloon Inflator Tested at 35 Klicks Over Colorado

4 October 2001

Russian Aeronautial Systems, Ltd
4, Stepana Shutova Street
Moscow, 109380

tel: (7-095) 359-1001
fax: (7-095) 359-1065


11 September 2001

World Trade 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

The Zeppelin NT has earned its certification!

7 December 2000

CURLY'S AIRSHIPS " 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.
Curly's Airships -- cd cover

5 December 2000

When Giants Roamed the Sky -- bookcover

Dale Topping, edited by Eric Brothers
When Giants Roamed the Sky: Karl Arnstein and the Rise of Airships from Zeppelin to Goodyear
Akron-University of Akron Press-2000 / ISBN: 1884863690 (hbk), ISBN: 1884836704 (pbk)
Chapter One: pdf file

02 July 2000


10 May 2000

The ZeppelinMuseum Friedrichhafen is avalable in English!

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This site was created, written and is maintained by John Dziadecki 1995-2014. Images and quotes that are not the author's remain in the copyright of the originator. The information contained in this website is for educational purposes only. Additions and corrections are welcomed! Please send comments, suggestions and possible links to Last update: 13 January 2005