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29 June 2006
Thanks to Sig Geist!
„News from Friedrichshafen“
New German LTA Institute and BTU sign
Composed and submitted by Sig Geist, Mendenhall, PA
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
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
to work together in the area of "Lighter
than Air" pertaining to research and industry projects.
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)
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
Zeppelin's Planes – The airplane
in the Zeppelin group and its successor companies
June 30 to October 1, 2006
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
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.
(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.
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.
Museum Friedrichshafen GmbH
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.
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
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.
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
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
6 April 2006
Thanks to Rick Zitarosa!
Giant Blimp, Deflated
DefenseTech.org | 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
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
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
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
Note: the above article was composed based on information
obtained from ZLT's press office and regional German language