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Announcements 2006

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29 June 2006
Thanks to Sig Geist!

„News from Friedrichshafen“

New German LTA Institute and BTU sign Agreement
Composed and submitted by Sig Geist, Mendenhall, PA

Previously, on August 24, 2005, a Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) press release reported that Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH (LZ) had acquired insolvent CargoLifter's (CL) entire "immaterial goods", read: "technical know-how". In an accompanying move, LZ was to set up a "Lighter-than-Air" Institute with offices in Friedrichshafen and Cottbus / Brandenburg to make CL's former research findings as well as Zeppelin's 'New Technology' ('NT') know-how available to a national grouping of research institutions, including universities located in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Brandenburg.

Toward that end, a recent Friedrichshafen newsmedia report provides us with an update. The June 02 article, titled Joint Research in Airship Aviation reports the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation between Cottbus University (BTU, Brandenburgische Technische Universitaet) and the German LTA Institute ("Deutsches Leichter als Luft Institut"). Both parties intend to work together in the area of "Lighter than Air" pertaining to research and industry projects. 

The German LTA Institute was established a few weeks ago by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH (LZ) in Friedrichshafen and has now a second seat in Cottbus at the campus of BTU. The goal of the Institute, which has full access to former CargoLifter AG development results as well as historical and actual Zeppelin development findings, is aimed at the cooperation with BTU and industry in the area of "Lighter than Air" for research and industry projects.  In Germany the entire airship technology know-how is bundled up in the LTA Institute. In this respect cooperation with BTU seems reasonable as the university has made a name for itself in transmission technology and lightweight construction.

The Institute will have two to three scientific employees who shall be looking after the CargoLifter (CL) data. In addition, the Institute has also taken over patents from insolvent CL. Following start-up financing for the Cottbus office, it is expected to pay for itself within two years. 

The cooperative agreement was signed by BTU's president, Prof. Ernst Sigmund and Michael Schieschke, managing director of the German LTA Institute and a ZLT official. Also present at the signing was Dr. Bernd Straeter, former head of ZLT and current Senior Director.


Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen
Press notice, courtesy of Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen (on the occasion of its exhibition "ZEPPELIN'S FLIEGER", June 30 - October 01, 2006)
Submitted by: Sig Geist, Mendenhall, PA

logo: Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen

Zeppelin's Planes – The airplane in the Zeppelin group and its successor companies
June 30 to October 1, 2006

The exhibition Zeppelin’s Planes looks at almost one hundred years of aviation history in the Lake Constance region and its place in the international context. In a dramatized exhibition landscape, the visitors embark on a journey through time and the varied history of the airplane.

Until now hardly anyone is aware of Count Zeppelin's role in the development of the airplane. Starting in 1899, at a time when the first Zeppelin airship was being built, he provided financial support for the (unsuccessful) efforts of Ludwig Rüb, the first airplane constructor on Lake Constance.

Count Zeppelin invested in the Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen GmbH, which was founded in 1912 by Theodor Kober. During World War I, this oldest airplane company on Lake Constance built over 40 percent of the seaplanes.

The Riesenflugzeuge (giant airplanes) of the Zeppelin Werke GmbH in Staaken superseded the airship during World War I as the main means of strategic aerial warfare. In airplane construction since 1914, Claude Dornier strove for long ranges and large payloads. Count Zeppelin took a keen interest in these developments as well, until his death in 1917. Between 1914 and 1918 Dornier succeeded in finding convincing solutions to the problems he faced.

In the 1920s and 1930s airplanes such as Dornier's Wal, Komet and Merkur made their mark on expanding air transportation. In addition, intensive and clandestine work proceeded on military developments, preparing the way for the buildup of military air power in the 1930s and 1940s.

In 1942 the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH again set up its own "Aeroplane Construction Department", which not only worked on military projects but on studies for future postwar air transportation.

Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen GmbH
Seestraße 22
88045 Friedrichshafen
Tel: +49 / 7541 / 3801-0
Fax: +49 / 7541 / 3801-81

19 May 2006
Thanks to Rick Meir!

Fire at Airdock
Akron Beacon Journal

The spectacular inferno drew a crowd to the Lockheed Martin Airdock, but experts believe the damage isn't as bad as many had feared.

Read the ABJ for details and further information including video of the fire, now extinguished. Also, read "Peril of quirky Akron icon touches public".

18 May 2006
Thanks to Jim Smith!

Akron Hangar On Fire

Smoke and flames are pouring out of a hangar at the Lockheed Martin Airdock and firefighters are on the scene of the two-alarm fire.

The Airdock is 1,175 feet long, 325 feet wide and 211 feet high. It has been in Akron for 76 years.

Lockheed Martin is currently in the process of building a high-altitude airship for missile defense.

This is the second time in less than a year that firefighters responded to the Airdock. In September, a welding spark started the insulation in the building smoldering and it created a lot of smoke.

Thanks to Rick Zitarosa!

The potentially serious aspect to the fire's location is that it's at the "operating end" of the hangar. As long as it didn't warp or deform the door structure or otherwise damage the kingpin hinging mechanism, or "running gear" of the door they should be able to re-sheath it and go about their business.

3 May 2006
Thanks to Rick Zitarosa!

Up Ship! "The Bird" Flies

With Pilot Jim Dexter wearing a "USS LOS ANGELES-ZR3" hat and Pilot Carl Daly wearing his "I LOVE N.Y." cap, "The Bird" made its first test flights at Lakehurst yesterday.

"Up Ship" was at 0810 yesterday and about 30 minutes later my wife called to tell me that she could see the ship sailing over Point Pleasant as it headed out to touch the Atlantic Ocean before performing amidst various tests before returning. The late John Iannaconne's flag was fluttering proudly from the stern. (My daughter Olivia's Fourth Grade class were all up out of their seats and at the windows watching it pass, much to the consternation of their teacher who finally gave up and let them watch! Olivia was able to tell her classmates: "I know the man who gave them the flag for the blimp! He was supposed to come to our house for Thanksgiving dinner but he died!") The airship handled beautifully and all those connected with its flight were pleased.

There were two flights in the morning and one in the afternoon, whereby they really got to show off its excellent maneuverability. Have gotten a very good education in nuts-and-bolts LTA operations the last several days watching this machine and its handlers. Used to think I knew a lot, but honestly feel now that for all the reading up in manuals, etc. over the years I know NOTHING. With a little more studying and observation, it's a most likely opportunity for me to know EVEN LESS!

29 April 2006
Thanks to Rick Zitarosa!

A New USN Airship!

For years, the history books have always said that "The last flight of a U.S. Navy airship occurred on August 31, 1962." That apparently will now have to be re-stated, because a new era is about to occur.

Test flights are scheduled for this week, followed by some form of "official" announcement. As details are fed to me, I will pass on what I can.

All entities involved from "way up" to "way down" have been friendly and accomodating. A piece of the old USS LOS ANGELES and a copy of the book THE AIRSHIP EXPERIENCE (with Lundi Moore's memoirs) have been set asidefor them to carry aloft as a bit of added good luck to go with her. This particular airship is brand-new, but she's a tried, proven model with the necessary capabilities for the Training/R&D work that will be essential to developing a successful larger-scale program. To this end,"The Bird" represents the most rational, responsible and business like approach for Lighter Than Air to make a significant impact in a realistic time frame, to learn from and lean on experience and grow incrementally.

As Lundi Moore advised in the parting words of his memoir, " Keep the Faith. It will rise again! " And 46 years after the delivery of the last Navy airship, nearly 44 years after the last flight of one, that appears to be exactly what's happening.

6 April 2006
Thanks to Rick Zitarosa!

Giant Blimp, Deflated | Noah Shachtman | April 05, 2006

No! Nooooo! Say it ain't so, Darpa! The Walrus program -- the fringe-science agency's awesomely, almost insanely, ambitious plan to build an aircraft carrier-sized blimp -- is over, Defense Technology International discovers.

Congress had always been skeptical about the idea of an airship that could schlep 500-1000 tons halfway around the world . (After all, the Pentagon's current go-to airborne hauler, the C-130 Hercules cargo plane, holds about 22 tons.) But blimp-lovers had pushed the " tri-phibian " (air, land, sea) Walrus as a way to make American forces less reliant on deep-water ports, foreign bases, and billion-dollar airports to wage war.

But it wasn't meant to be. Darpa took away the fiscal year 2006 funding for the Walrus. And the agency's 2007 budget request calls for "termination of the Walrus effort."

Now, the Army's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command had its own plans for a heavy-hauling airship, too. I'm checking to see if they're still interested. Keep your fingers crossed.

UPDATE 9:46 AM : Don't get too bummed, blimp fans. Darpa's plan for an all-seeing airship that tracks an entire battlefield at once is still intact.

26 January 2006
Thanks to Sig Geist

Fourth Zeppelin NT 07 Gets Green Light Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH (ZLT) shareholders on 1/20/2006 gave the airship company the green light to build a fourth Zeppelin NT 07. The 12-seat passenger airship is reported to take to the skies by spring 2008 to coincide with the annual start of Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei's (DZR) operating season. By then it will almost double DZR's present passenger capacity. In the meantime the Reederei has to make do - as it has since summer 2005 - with the current NT 07 airship (one Zep NT 07 was sold to Japan earlier, the other is in South Africa since September searching for diamonds). ZLT's go-ahead was based on the growth of the enterprise (around 10,000 passengers in 2005) and a steadily increasing number of inquiries for tourism, advertising and special missions as well. In the past, sometimes such inquiries could not be followed through. Hence Thomas Brandt, ZLT's new CEO in a quote from the regional press assuredly said: "It's only through the build of a new zeppelin that we are going to be able to increase our flight capacity". Furthermore and critically important, the new build assures the continuation of ZLT's base of operation at Friedrichshafen for years to come. According to ZLT's press office - following the procurement of parts and components from vendor/supplier sources around the world - building and assembly work for the 4th Zep NT 07 will commence in late fall of 2006. Since the beginning of the Zep NT project (mid 1990's), US-based ILC Dover, Delaware has successfully manufactured and installed the envelope for each of the previous three NT airships. With ZLT's priorities now being shifted toward a fourth Zeppelin NT 07, its current 19-seater "Zeppelin NT 14" project continues to be pursued and in parallel to the smaller NT 07 build. Actually, its status has progressed well and would be further along had it not been for the temporary assignment of personnel and resources for special missions in 2005, such as the Paris Airshow, preparing the Friedrichshafen airship for transport and operations in South Africa as well as providing traffic monitoring with the remaining airship during Cologne's World Youth Day with the Pope in attendance. By-line to Zeppelin NT in Africa: The mission so far has proven to be quite satisfactory. Flights carried out todate are ahead of schedule. Men and machines are performing better than expected, often under demanding regional conditions. In dealing with the region's intense heat, ZLT personnel has devised a helium management system. DeBeers is pleased with results todate, though understandably, won't elaborate on details. With DZR's crowded season begining March 23, 2006, the number of flying days will now increase from six to seven days a week and airship maintenance will be performed overnight. In addition to DZR's 2006 multi-destination passenger flight schedule, the airship will be engaged in aerial advertising missions as it goes on tour (quite profitable) for a major German car maker in April and in June will be circling over Munich during the opening ceremonies for World Cup Soccer 2006. Note: the above article was composed based on information obtained from ZLT's press office and regional German language news print.

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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: 1 February 2007