Saturday, May 26, 2007

Going on vacation

Dear readers, yes you read right I'm taking a week of. No blog posts for a week. I know this is sad, and I will have to catch up on a lot once I get back next Saturday, but until then, why don't you check out our links that we posted throughout the last 2 1/2 months on here.
Go to an take a look at it's a constantly growing collection of links. Categorized via different tags, so for example if you go to you will get all the links from airshipworld that are about Zeppelin.

If you aren't just on a look out for links to go to and rather read some of our posts, check out the Archives.There are more than 50 posts to read through and I bet that there is something interesting in there for each and everyone.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Russian Airship Blog

A few days ago I discovered a new Blog, it is in Russian, but has some very interesting Entries, of course not everyone knows Russian, and I am one of those persons who doesn't but Google's Language Tools come to help.
The Blog is part of a Russian PR Agency called Aerocrat the Blog is called АЭРОКРАТ КОНЦЕПТ located at If you do not know Russian you can look at the auto-translated version. Here are some links to some of the posts, all of them contain many images so even if the translation isn't great it's worth a look:
It's definitely a valuable resource and we will monitor it, for you, always trying to translate the stories. If you can speak Russian and could help translate those stories your help would be very appreciated.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wonders of World Engineering - The Hindenburg

It has been 70 years since that fatal day when the Hindenburg exploded but none the less it was a great airship. Wonders of World Engineering a magazine published in the 1930s had a great article about the Hindenburg, containing some very good pictures of the great Zeppelin. At all the issues of this magazine are preserverd. You can check out the Hindenburg article if you have the plugin called Deja-Vu installed. You can download and install it from .

If you got the plugin check out the following links:

This is just one of the many articles that where published in Wonders of World Engineering, if you are interested in technology go check out the site, and all the other issues of the magazine.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Random airship stuff (ends up in court ) [updated]

Today I was just scanning the web a little finding some interesting articles and websites that I would like to share.
First of an article about the Dynalifter by Ohio Airships which was published in Popular Mechanics check it out here. The great thing about the article are the pictures showing details of the prototype. The article is from October 2006 but still i found it very interesting. It also mentions the Lockheed Martin P-791 produced by their Skunk Works Company here is a link to a very good picture of it. Also there is an Article at Aviation Week talking about the P-791 airship. If you dig a bit deeper and read the articles then one name pops up, TCOM a manufacturer of airship envelopes, they must have built the envelope for the P-791 but they also must have built the envelope for the Spirit of Dubai at least it's pictured in on their Website. It's interesting how fast you can get around jumping from one article to the other, and finding the interconnections between all the different projects. I hope you liked my little dig through the web and found something interesting for yourself. Please share your favourite links, websites and projects with us. We need your help to bring airship news to everyone.
[Update] So as if the interconnections aren't enough the Aviation Week had also spoken about and everybody interested knows already about it. The P-791 looks an awful lot like the SkyCat designed by Roger Munk and now Lockheed Martin Corporation is trying to sue him for patent infringement. Dan Nachbar from PersonalBlimp posted this on the Airship-list. Here is the link to the Courtfiling Lockheed Martin Corporation v. Jeffery Munk et al. The Courtfiling lists as Defendant Jeffery Roger Munk, Advanced Technologies Group Ltd and Skycat (UK) Ltd, so this is against the old ATG and Roger Munk. We do not know what is going on but we will keep an eye on this, and make it as public as we can, since the Sky Kitten flew way before the P-791 I would call it prior art. But I am not a lawyer and we do not know the whole picture. If anyone has more information about this case please let us know.
Also as a reminder there is the XLTA organised by Dan Nachbar from June 1-3rd 2007 read about it in one of our previous Posts.

Friday, May 18, 2007


The Worldwide Aeros Corp. is a company that has been around for 20 years now. And is actively developing airships they just recently got a FAA Type Certification for their 40D Sky Dragon Airship, which is also being used in China for a broadcasting and advertising mission. The 40D Sky Dragon is a small Airship compared to the Zeppelin NT, the Sky Dragon has a length of 46.6 m whereas the Zeppelin has a length of 75m. Also the number of seats in the Sky Dragon is much smaller, with just 5 compared to 12 in the Zeppelin. But let's not talk about the small stuff. Aeros is also working on something big, something really big. It is called the Aeroscraft a concept Airship which would surpass everything ever built the super Airliner would be around 200 meters long and could carry over 500 tons of cargo. Compared to the round about 11 Tons of usable lift that the Hindenburg had quite the big ship. But aeros seems to understand that such a huge airship can not be built easily in one step, thus their plan is to start with the ML16 having "just" 5.4 tons of useful payload and move in numerous steps all the way up to 500 tons . The website is worth a look, since they provide information about what the airship is gonna be used for and has some renderings of how it could look like.

There has been an Email circulating about exactly this airship, this is the complete text:

Even though the Aeroscraft dwarfs the largest commercial airliners, it requires less net space on the ground than any plane because it doesn't need a runway. The airship takes off and lands like a helicopter: straight up and down.

This is not a Blimp. It's a sort of flying Queen Mary 2 that could change the way you think about air travel. It's the Aeroscraft, and when it's completed, it will ferry pampered passengers across continents and oceans as they stroll leisurely about the one-acre cabin or relax in their well-appointed staterooms.

Unlike its dirigible ancestor s, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two-thirds of the craft's weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body - driven by huge rearward propellers - generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising.

During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent. This two football-fields-long concept airship is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak, whose privately funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, is in the early stages of developing a prototype and expects to have one completed by 2010. Pasternak says several cruise ship companies have expressed interest in the project, and for good reason: The craft would have a range of several thousand miles and, with an estimated top speed of 174 mph, could traverse the continental U.S. in about 18 hours. During the flight, passengers would peer at national landmarks just 8,000 feet below or,if they weren't captivated by the view, the cavernous interior would easily accommodate such amenities as luxury staterooms, restaurants, even a casino. To minimize noise, the aft-mounted propellers will be electric, powered by a renewable source such as hydrogen fuel cells. A sophisticated buoyancy-management system will serve the same purpose as trim on an airplane, allowing for precise adjustments in flight dynamics to compensate for outside conditions and passenger movement.

The automated system will draw outside air into compartments throughout the ship and compress it to manage onboard weight. On a pressurized plane, windows like these would explode outward. The Aeroscraft does not fly high enough to need pressurization.

The company envisions a cargo-carrying version that could deliver a store's worth of merchandise from a centralized distribution center straight to a Wal-Mart parking lot or, because the helium-filled craft will float, a year's worth of supplies to an offshore oil rig.
"You can land on the snow, you can land on the water," Pasternak says. "It's a new vision of what can be done in the air."

Well seeing the first prototype in 2010 doesn't look like we are gonna see lot's of those things in the sky soon but it is an ambitious project which we would like to see succeed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Skycat is back once again

Some might remember the Advanced Technologgies Group (ATG) the seemed to have gone out of business for quite a while. But they are back or let's say the people behind their products are back with a new site a new company, new funding and new products. First the company, it's SGL the SkyCat Group Limited, which bought the assets of ATG. Their company name has the landmark project in it which is the SkyCat, which should make it's maiden voyage with a world tour in 2008 according to World SkyCat Ltd. But they also have an old successful ATG product in their lineup the well known AT-10 developed by Roger Munk in the 80's and 90's. But this is not everything, brand new in the lineup there is the AT-10 plus which is the stretched version of the AT-10 able to carry up to 12 passengers which brings it up to par with the Zeppelin NT and the Skyship 600. We are trying to get into contact with them as soon as possible to get more updates but this should be it for today. It's great to see the SkyCat back again on the scene.
For more information about the AT-10 check out the Airship Heritage Trust.
More info on the SkyCat can be found at Aerospace-Technology.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ohio Akron and it's airships

When you write about airships you have to come accross Akron Ohio sooner or later. To me this happened this week, somehow this city and it's airshipindustry chased after me. First I found this picture on a website called Plan59 they are calling themselfes "the museum (and gift shop) of midcentury illustration. I don't know if they have more pictures and images of airships one might have to look through the archives. They also offer high resolution TIFF versions and a high resolution JPG, too.

But this was not by far every thing about Akron, next there was some buzz about the Dynalifter Project that drew my attention to them, right now I am trying to get an interview from Robert Rist one of the founders and Co-President of Ohio Airships, Inc. the Company behind the Dynalifter Aircraft. The Dynalifter, is not a classic airship because it needs dynamic-lift to fly and and is not able to do VTOL (vertical take off and landing) like most modern airships can. But the project aims to combine the best of both worlds, fuel efficiency of airships and speed and handling of planes. So stay tuned for more on that too.
Our last Akron encounter is with the current owner of the big hangar that is pictured above in the illustration. If you kept track Lockheed Martin is currently the owner and they are/were developing a High Altitude Airship that can stay deployed for a very long time in a high, almost geo-stational, location in the athmosphere. I will try to find out more about the project and the progress they have made if I can. If not all we have is the marketing illustrations that some of you have already read/heard about but out main goal is to satisfy the customer.


Zeppelin insights and the Spirit of Dubai

John Christopher from Airshipinitiatives once more did a trip to Friedrichshafen to Zeppelin with his Zeppelintours this time he brought some exciting news home with him. But before we get to the news we have to make a little detour to Dubai, better to the Spirit of Dubai this was a Skyship 600 that got modified with a new bigger envelope. The Spirit of Dubai was planned to do a "Landmark Journey" from London to Paris via Rome to Kairo and then finally to Dubai to be there for the opening of the Palm the huge artificial island in Dubai. Unfortunately the Airship got into problems with the egyptian authorities and had to stop it's route in Crete around January this year. Since then it had gotten quiet about the airship and the Spirit of Dubai. Until today, and now we come full circle back to John's Zeppelintours he took some pictures and found the missing Spirit of Dubai. The Skyship 600 (reg N605SK) is now in Friedrichshafen at Zeppelin getting a new design, the pictures show the Skyship with it's engines taken off. In the third picture you can see the current Zeppelin NT (reg. D-LZZF) with the Mainau design and in the foreground the first parts of the NT 004, the next and fourth Zeppelin NT.

Thanks again to John Christopher for providing the pictures, they are under full copyright by Zeppelintours and on their Website at there are going to be more soon.
Last but not least I want to point to one more thing. Most of us know the official Zeppelin Webcam looking out on the airfield, which unfortunately is out of order right now. But to compensate for this loss we digged out another webcam, from INSIDE the hangar. Since it is night in Germany as the time of writing you don't see much, but as the sun comes around the globe tomorrow you will be able to see the Zeppelin NT.

We do not know how officially unofficial this Camera is or how long it will stay online after we mentioned it here but for those indered here is the address for you to bookmark

That's it for tonight read you again tomorrow then with something about Ohio.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Zeppelin certification by the FAA

Yes you are reading right today marks a great day for airship friends, investors and operators in the US, the FAA finally got the certification of the Zeppelin NT07 under way. AVWebflash reported on this today here is the full text
FAA Certification Of New "Commuter" Zeppelin Under Way The FAA has issued proposed design criteria for a modern and much smaller incarnation of the famous Zeppelin airship. Built by the same German company that brought us the Hindenburg, among others, in the early part of the 20th century, Zeppelin LZ N07 builds on the hard-won knowledge about safe operation of the aircraft. The newest version first flew in 1997 and is designed as a multi-mission aircraft that can carry up to 12 passengers and two crew. The U.S. and Germany already had bilateral certification requirements for rigid airships, but because Germany elected to certify this new airship in a “commuter” category, the FAA apparently has to rewrite its requirements. The result is dozens of pages of technical and performance specifications that cover everything from the engine-out performance to the quality of water used as ballast (has to be potable water if it’s to be released anywhere but at a sewage treatment plant, which might be difficult to flight plan). Germany first made the request to have the aircraft recognized by the FAA in 2001 and it’s taken six years to get it all on paper. In case you have an opinion on the way these things should be built, a comment period lasts until June 4.

Interesting as this is already some of the insiders from the airship-list pointed out that the certification and the issues around it was already discussed 10 years ago on the airship-list. Speaking about certification besides the FAA Certification document which was linked in the article, I also want to point out the EASA Certification Website for Airships. The EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) is the European counterpart to the FAA as far as I understand. On this website you will find a nicely formatted PDF with the European Zeppelin NT07 Certification which was issued May 2005. Alex and Brian Hall from Airshipventures are also probably more than happy to hear about this, since they want to bring a Zeppelin to the US. Today we got one step closer to that.

Monday, May 7, 2007

List of all Russian airships

Stanislaw from today announced a new Website that lists all airships in Russia since 1991 the site is all russian but Google does a pretty good job in translating it. So if you can read russian check out the original site. If you can not read russian, which will probably be the majority of us, check out the translated page via Google. If you know of anymore Russian airships that might not be mentioned on the site, tell us and Stanislav so that they can be added. The email can be found in the contacts section on the Website

Sunday, May 6, 2007

One of the days in airship history

So today, is that day that pretty much brought us here, the day when the Hindenburg went up in flames. I prepared an article about the Hindenburg disaster since it's been 70 years ago today, but I decided I leave it with this small post. We don't want to dig up that dark chapter year after year. Technology moved on, everybody knows that nobody would use hydrogen for airships anymore and it's time to write the next chapter of airship history starting with everyone working on airships today. It's now time for investors to realize the potential of airships and to use them for new ways of travel and transportation. The future begins now.

=FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 2

It's been a while since Paul Boldt sent us his first installment of =Future>Flight but today it's time for part 2. For those who missed part one go ahead and read it before reading part two, so that you are up to date.
Airshipworld: =FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 1
and now follows part two of our FurtureFi Story


Installment Two: Whale Stats
©2007 by Paul Boldt

The ship being: 300 meters long, 66 meters wide and had a height of 37.5 meters. With 282,150 cubic meters of biohelium capacity (helium mixed with a freefloating adjustable agent that regulated the helium temperature for optimum lift) the ship had a gross lift of 302 cubic tons less the ships weight of 180 cubic tons left a useful load of 122 cubic tons for fuel, passengers and crew, luggage, food and supplies. With the tanks topped off with biodiesel fuel she would fly 8062 kilometers at a cruising speed of 140 kph with a full load of passengers with their needed entourage for a total of 225 very exclusive people. Wink. For shorter flights, as this one would be, the amount of people or cargo carried could go up quite a bit as less fuel weight was needed thus increasing the amount of people carried.

Hitting the translation button automatically pulled the key figures from his speech and displayed for me the English conversions of:

Length: 984.252 feet
Width: 216.535 feet
Height: 123.031 feet
Helium: 9,994,033 Cubic Feet
Gross Lift: 665,577 lbs / 332.6938 short ton / 297.0696 long ton
Ships Weight: 396,832 lbs
Useful Load: 201,170 lbs
Range: 5010 miles
Cruising speed: 87 mph (it’s not about the speed it’s about the journey!< I added that part)

Since the ship would be hugging land (advertising revenues) the miles would be roughly 1500 miles each way. Thus with less fuel needed (2000 less miles to fly), the ship could carry an additional 80,720 lbs of cargo or additional people (not actually just 80,870lbs of people because the airships weight would increase due to including the weight of additional modular staterooms installed and food and drinks... don’t forget the libations!) This trip it’d be additional cargo revenues to the Bahamas, no additional living space needed.

The airship would be stopping (well circling in the air) down the coast in New Bern, NC while he (Ole’ Wiley) met with some Senators, and he said that I should try to get out to Topsail Island someday and find some fossilized shark teeth that can be found on the beaches there.

I think I kind of blew it when I said to him that this trip would probably be better than what I usually do when I fly the jet filled skies (translation: fly on a jet-airliner) and I toss back four scotches and strap in for a flight to Florida, and I sure hope the guy up in the driver's seat is making more money than your average entry-level New York immigrant limo driver, or even my own salary, and I'd even be willing to pay the extra thirty bucks per ticket if that what it would take.  Tack on a couple more bucks and make sure there are a few sky marshals flying incognito too.

It's not unreasonable; I'll pay it.  Just lay out the need for it and charge me for it without the gimmicks.  Well, maybe some extra peanuts would be nice.

He kind of looked at me, and then started talking to Lemming, VP of acquisitions. Well maybe I should have gotten into work early and made the regular boarding, would have saved me the extra G.

... to be continued

Well that's it. Did you enjoy the second part of =Future>Flight? If so leave a comment or send us an email. Let us know if we should continue feeding you bite sized pieces of airship fiction.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

FAA Remedies Amphibious LSA, Lighter-Than-Air Issues With Direct Final Rule

This news reaches us from the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) click here to view the original posting or just continue reading the fully quoted text.
Agency Delivers on Pledge Made at 2007 Oshkosh Summit

April 19, 2007 - An FAA direct final rule issued April 9 solves two lingering light-sport aircraft (LSA) certification issues that EAA has been working to fix since the original Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) Rule issued in September 2004. The action allows special-LSA certification of amphibious aircraft with a retractable landing gear, plus increases the maximum takeoff weight for lighter-than-air LSA from 660 lbs. to 1,320 lbs. Both fixes remedy what the FAA called “unintended consequences” of the original rule that created exceptions to the otherwise rapid growth of the LSA category of aircraft.

“We’re very pleased this has been done,” said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. “EAA’s has been vigilant in assuring that these problems were resolved so that our members and other aviation enthusiasts who wish to fly these types of aircraft will get the full enjoyment from them.”

The preamble of original sport pilot rule was being interpreted by FAA’s legal department as prohibiting LSA certification for aircraft with a repositionable landing gear, which allows a pilot to change the position of the landing gear for land or water operations while the aircraft is airborne. In January 2005, FAA agreed to allow repositionable gears to be reconfigured for land or water operations while the aircraft is on the ground or in the water, but still did not authorize S-LSA certification of amphibious aircraft.

Czech Aircraft Works’ Mermaid received an exemption from the FAA in 2006 allowing that aircraft to be operated as special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA). And during the 2007 summit in Oshkosh, LSA-Aero received its FAA exemption for the amphibious S100 Freedom. But the inconsistency in the rule remained.

At the January Summit, EAA continued to express the concerns of many in the LSA industry/community about the delay in clarifying the issue. FAA committed at the meeting to try and resolve the issue by Sun ’n Fun. The FAA’s action log from the summit included “fast track” clarification of the amphibious issue by May 2007, and it delivered.

EAA’s consistent position was that amphibious airplanes meeting the other LSA performance and specification parameters, regardless of gear-repositioning features, should be included among LSA-eligible aircraft, thus allowing more participation in this category segment.

The original 660-lb LTA weight was found to be impracticable, which has been borne out in the marketplace with no certificated LTA LSA.

“We’re similarly pleased that the FAA has adjusted the weight criteria for lighter than air LSA, brining it in line with the other LSA classes.” Lawrence added.

The final rule’s effective date is June 4, 2007. FAA will accept comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket through May 21, 2007.

This is really good news according to comments made on the airship-list

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Future of Mass Transit (via Bravenewtraveler)

Today reaches us a very nicely written story from it's called The Future of Mass transit - part 1 and describes a world in the not to distant future where airships could become an integral part of our daily commute, helping to ease the pain of mass transit in urban mega cities. Derek C Wallace draws a picture where airships who land on rooftops of the city's skyscrapers could help getting commuters from A to B. It's really worth a read and has some very nice pictures, too. Check it out at the next installment will follow adressing the issues raised in the post and
what life would be like for tourists who could see a city from above as well as from ground-level, the effects on people who live in cities with airships and other unconventional methods of mass transit.
We will keep an eye out on this Blog for the next part of "The Future of Mass Transit"

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Amherst Experimental Balloon, Hopper, Chariot, and Airship Gathering

Dan Nachbar, the man behind the Personal Blimp asked us to point out the following announcement for the XLTA a small gathering of experimental LTA builders/pilots that he hosts annually.
Third Annual
Amherst Experimental
Balloon, Hopper, Chariot, and Airship
sometimes known as XLTA3 and/or XLTA-Amherst)

June 1-3, 2007

Amherst MA (two hours by car West of Boston
in the beautiful Connecticut River valley)

All builders, owners, and fans of experimental and ultra-light LTA aircraft are invited.

This is a small private event: no paid rides, no public audience, no muss, no fuss. Just experimental LTA and the people who love to build and fly them (as well as friends and families, of course.) This event provides both an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences amongst builders and a chance to fly together informally.

My goal is to have a generally pleasant and easygoing event. However, in order to keep things reasonably well organized:


The online registration page is:

Each participating pilot with an aircraft is asked to chip in $50 to cover his/her entire entourage. (All money collected will be put towards covering the fixed expenses of the event. This is a purely non-profit affair.) Folks who come on their own (i.e. without an aircraft) will be asked to chip in $20 per person or family. Non-flying folks will also be asked to lend a hand with crewing and other logistic stuff. This is a participatory, not a spectator event.

To repeat, registration in advance is required. There is limited space available. Please don't just show up on the day of the event. You may well be turned away.
However, all registration fees and food/fuel deposits are fully refundable if you can't make it. So sign up and send a check by May 15 and everything will be just peachy.

I hope to be able to accommodate everyone who is interested in attending this year. However, things were pretty cozy last year. I can take some steps to make more room, but only if I have sufficient notice. After May 15, I'll only be able to accept registrations on a space-available basis. Again, I'll happily refund any money you put down if you can't make it.

Last year's event went amazingly well in spite of truly rotten weather that grounded everyone all weekend. The previous year we had faboulous flying. This year, who knows? And, while I can't promise anything about the weather, I do know we'll have:
  • Nearby or (depending upon winds) on-site launches.
  • On-site field for tethering to show off your latest design.
  • 24 hour on-site inexpensive propane available for purchase.
  • On-site workshop/sewing facilities for experiments/repairs.
  • Pleasant on-site daytime hang-out, cooking, and eating space.
  • On-site camping and RV parking.
  • A wide variety of motels and hotels available nearby. (Be advised motel rooms in this area in June start at $110 per night. Some less expensive motels are a 20 minute drive away.)
  • Local launch and chase crew available.
  • On-site catered group meals available (with sign-up in advance)
  • Nearby dining/entertainment/culture for rainy day amusement of both pilots and non-flying family members.
  • On-site playground and indoor playroom for kids of all ages.
(For all of the above, the term "nearby" means less than a 10 minute drive by car.)

Again, please remember to register by May 15!

Contact Dan Nachbar at 413-549-1321 or dan at nachbar dot com for more information. (If you don't get a quick response to your email please assume that your message has mistakenly fallen prey to spam filtering and give me a phone call instead.)

So the registration deadline is just about two weeks away, please register at, take pictures or videos post them on flickr or youtoube and share them with us.