Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dynalifter update - AirshipsAfrica Website

It has been quiet around Dynalifter for a while now after the prototype got severely Damaged by a storm. But now a new website has been launched called AirshipsAfrica the domain is registered to a guy from California by the name of Harry Etheridge. And they just issued a press release unfortunately not containing any new information about Dynalifetr. That a Californian is hosting a website of an African company is interesting and one has to ask what the plan of this company is. We do not know for sure yet but will contact Airships Africa for further information. We also want to find out why (for example) the logos are so similar and what the connections of Airships Africa and Dynalifter are. If we find out more we will post it. We still have not heard any replies to our inquiries for an interview with Dynalifters Robert Rist. As of today now Dynalifter has ever flown, the prototype is in no condition to fly right now. One interesting bit that I found was on the Dynalifter website it states there:
Shortly after receiving certification, Ohio Airships achieved its primary goal of "gaining international attention" by making the Associate Press and United Press International newswires, and appearing in the New York Times, National Geographic, Wired Magazine, and on the cover of Popular Mechanics Magazine.
To me Dynalifter still seems to be in an early stage of gaining publicity, eventhough their websites press section has not been updated since November 2006. Another claim that is made by Dynalifter is that there is little need for infrastructure which is true, in fact there must not be to much infrastructure around otherwise the Craft will not be operable. With the smallest Dynalifter (according to being 580ft (176m) long which is 2,4 times the length of the A380 with 239ft (73m) which is going to make it difficult to manoeuvre on a regular airport with other ground traffic. Since the Dynalifer can not take of vertically it needs a runway even if it is small. With a lift of 45,000lbs (22 t) the Airbus in it's freight configuration A380F has a maximum payload of 300.000lbs (150 t). So the question has to be asked, how is buoyancy's handled if 22t are removed from the craft. And how are trucks with together 22t of cargo drive on a grass strip. It has to be seen if there is a niche for the Dynalifter when the first one is built and sold. Until then we will continue to keep an eye on Dynalifter and will report of any updates and progress of the project. If you want to read more about the project read our previous posts about Dynalifter.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Theolia Windream One airship - status update

Since we posted the first article about the Theolia Winddream One project back in June 2007 there has not been much new with the project. So to refresh you memory the Windream One project sponsored by Theolia aims to fly across the Atlantic from Africa to America in a small two person airship that is powered by solar energy and the wind. The team consists of Stéphane Rousson who built the Zeppy pedal powered Blimp and Peggy Bouchet who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean by herself. For more info about the project read our previous post about the project. Since June there has not been much on the web besides a few videos released by Stéphane Rousson, who first created the pedal powered blimp Zeppy. The experience gained from this project is used for the Windream One. So take a look at the latest videos from YouTube.

This first video is directly from Stephanes YouTube account, it shows some of the flights done for the Windream One project
World Premiere on Single pilot Airship over the water

The second video shows similar footage to the first video but has some more shots of the flight where the other video cuts to other scenes.
Dirigeable à pédales

This video is the first flight of Miss Louise, which is probably the nick name of the second pedal powered Blimp the original Zeppy Blimp had a golden envelope.
First flight Miss Louise

There are also three more videos on YouTube of the original Zeppy Blimp:
World premiere on single pilot pedal airship...Frejus 14 march 06
Le vol du Zeppy 1/2
le vol du Zeppy 2/2

Windream One, the first airship to cross the atlantic in this century

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Zeppelin NT prototype can not be repaired

Continuing our coverage of the Zeppelin NT Prototype accident earlier this week. We want to share the first picture released by Zeppelin tonight along with a press release.

Here is the text of the pressrelease:
Experts arrived in Botswana

Airship irreparable

Friedrichshafen, September 22nd 2007 – The moored airship was considerably damaged by a sudden whirl wind on Thursday. Experts asses damage to be beyond repair. After disassembly first parts will be transported to Gaborone.

The damage makes it impossible to repair the airship. At the time of the occurrence the prototype was moored at the mast. The airship was not operated. The aft section hit ground first. The incident is classified as damage on ground by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Botswana.

The CAA Botswana has released the airship documentation without objection. The authorities have released the airship for transport to the hangar in Gaborone. After detail assessment the ZLT will decide on a possible use of part of the airship.
Well this means there is going to be one Zeppelin less around, but the question is how much longer was the prototype destined to fly and will the parts that are still intact be used for the fifth Zeppelin NT or for a resurrected prototype? Please also take a look at our previous Zeppelin articles and subscribe to the Blog for further updates. You can do this by subscribing to our RSS feed or via Email.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Zeppelin NT articles

In addition to our coverage about the damage of the Zeppelin NT prototype we would like to point out some more resources like all our other Zeppelin articles that you can read to catch up with what has been going on with the Zeppelin lately. Also our Russian friends from Aerocrat have released and Article about the Zeppelin NT prototype incident of course as always in Russian, so check the auto translated Versions by Worldlingo and Google.
In addition to the current coverage about Zeppelin we found a few more sources. Aviation Photos has a collection of very nice Zeppelin pictures. Lycoming the manufacturer of the Zeppelins engines has a featured article called: The Zeppelin NT 07 - A Legend Redefined talking about the many advantages the Zeppelin NT has and the versatility it gets from it's engines. And last but not least we have a Paper written by the Team of the Zeppelin NT Mission in Africa, David Hatch, Stefan Kuna and Jürgen Fecher. The paper is titled: Evaluation of an Airship Platform for Airborne Gravity Gradiometry and talks about the technology and advantages the Zeppelin NT had as an Airborne Platform.
Please also subscribe to our RSS feed to get always the latest updates, if you want to receive updates right into your Email inbox you can subscribe via Email.

Blimpin' Ain't Easy

Yes becoming a Blimp pilot is not easy, on the one hand because there aren't so many blimps out there and on the other hand because flying an airship is not as easy as driving a car. But Keith has made it, he got into the MetLife Blimp Programm. He will be flying the MetLife Snoopy 2 soon and he takes us along on this journey. Keith writes a Blog called "Blimpin' Ain't Easy" where he writes about his experiences and keeps a log of where he is with the blimp and also has a calendar telling the readers where he is going to be in the next few days. His posts are always entertaining to read and provide an amazing insight in to the life of an advertising blimp crew that travels all over the US. Currently he has a post about his watch training featuring a picture of the Horizon Blimp. Coincidentally there were two new pictures posted in the Flickr Airship Pool on of the Horizon Blimp and the other one of the MetLife Snoopy. If you are as fascinated as I am with airships you have to subscribe to his blog and read it regularly. We will of course also keep an eye on the blog and give a shout out to Keith every once in a while updating you on what has been going on. I found his blog since he was so kind to link to us. (Keith if you read this, thank you very much for the link, email me)
If you want to learn more about MetLife and the Blimp Programm check out our previous posts about the Metlife Blimps:
If you always want to stay up to date with what is going on in the Airship Industry, subscribe to our Blog either to our RSS feed or via Email. And you will never miss an update. If you need help subscribing have questions or comments send an email to or post it in the comments section of each entry.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Zeppelin NT prototype damaged - while moored [5th update]

Just 2 days after the 10th birthday of the Zeppelin NT Prototypes first flight we have to report about an accident that happened today in Botswana, Africa to that very same ship. Please read the Press Release (alternate link) just issued by Zeppelin for further Information:
Unexpected weather anomaly leads to damage of moored Zeppelin NT prototype in Botswana

One crew member injured

Friedrichshafen, September 20th 2007 – An airship is currently deployed on a two year contract to De Beers Exploration in Botswana. Following an accident that occurred while the airship was moored to the ground (not in flight) one South African crew member was injured. He has been examined and treated in hospital and his injuries are not reported to be life threatening. He is staying in hospital overnight for observation.

The accident occurred at approximately 2.10pm, local Botswana time. It is believed that the accident occurred as a result of an unusual whirl wind phenomenon causing
the airship, which was moored on the mooring mast, to suffer considerable damage. Zeppelin will give its full cooperation to the civil aviation authorities and a company technical expert will be dispatched to attend to the accident.

Our thoughts are with the injured crew member and his family. As soon as we know more about what happened and how serious things are we will update this post.

[Update 1]
We found a picture that was taken by Stefan Kuna, who is part of the Team in Botswana, and published by the BCC showing the Zeppelin NT on it's mobile mooring mast. (This picture was taken a while back and does not reflect the weather conditions, at the time of the incident)

Bellgeospace who are providing the technology for De Beers diamond exploration also has a nice page about their involvement with the Mission in Africa. There is also an article from Australia's Paydirt magazine , you can either read the original Page 1, Page 2, Page 3 or read all three pages together compiled by us: A new age of diamond exploration

Modern as a page with pictures and a small article talking about the Zeppelin when it was shipped to Africa in August 2005.

Both the Bellgeospace and the Modern site link to a Mineweb article that is not available anymore on the web. But we found it in the archive: De Beers gets the blimp in

Reuters reports in their coverage of the current event the following: De Beers diamond air ship crashes in Botswana - report. Of course this report was issued before the press release. We know now that the Zeppelin did not crash while in flight, it got damaged while moored to the mast by strong winds.

[Update 2] Zeppelin has now put the press release on their website to you can download it here.

[Update 3] Reports come in from Reuters and Miningmx quoting De Beers that:
The South African ground crew member on board was injured and received medical attention for bruises and cuts and will remain in hospital over night for observation.
This is really good news, that the crewman is doing ok. As soon as we know more we will update this post again.

[Update 4] De Beers has now issued a pressrelease which is available via Engineering News please read on for the full text or download it here:
Airship damaged on the ground by a severe wind – De Beers diamond exploration programme in Botswana will continue.

A Zeppelin NT airship, operated by the Zeppelin Company on contract to De Beers Exploration in Botswana, had an accident on Thursday while tethered to its ground mooring. The accident happened at the exploration base set up in the vicinity of the Jwaneng Mine. The Zeppelin was not flying at the time of the accident. The South African ground crew member on board was injured and received medical attention for bruises and cuts and will remain in hospital over night for observation. His family have been informed about his condition and he has been visited by company management who will continue to provide full assistance.

The De Beers head of exploration, Charles Skinner commented; “Our first priority was the injured crew member who has been successfully evacuated and has already received medical attention in a hospital. We are deeply relieved that he is expected to make a speedy and full recovery.”

The airship was not operating at the time, but was docked with the crew member on board as is the standard practise for this airship. The airship became detached from the masttruck after an unusual and sudden wind occurrence and has been damaged. The extent of the damage is being assessed. The Botswana Civil Aviation authorities were immediately informed of the incident and will visit the site tomorrow. The Zeppelin airship is a highly specialized craft and the operator, Zeppelin, is sending a specialist from Germany to assist with the investigation at the site.

The impact on the De Beers exploration programme in Botswana is that the Zeppelin component of the aerial and land based work programme is suspended. The company commented that while this will, in the short-term, impact on it, De Beers has other
technologies which will enable the company to continue with the much larger and longer term exploration programme. De Beers and the Zeppelin Company will consider the alternatives available following a detailed review of the incident. De Beers regrets the loss incurred by our partners, the Zeppelin Company.

The management of De Beers Exploration in Botswana are at the exploration camp site and the airship, which is on the ground, poses no danger to the local community or to the environment. The company remains committed to its staff and contractors involved in this project and confirmed that the airship is fully insured. End

[Update 5] We just recieved this Pressrelease from Zeppelin, download it here:
South African crew member suffered minor injury Airship expert on the way to Botswana

Friedrichshafen, September 21st 2007 – The South African crew member only suffered minor injuries during yesterday’s airship incident. Last night the man was under medical observation in a local hospital.

The first technical expertise indicates that a whirl wind captured the airship which
than due to the wind phenomenon hit ground sideways. The airship was moored
during the occurrence. A first evaluation shows considerable damage of the structure. The scene of the incident has been secured. It is unlikely that the prototype will be reparable.

At the time of the occurrence the airship was not operated. One crew member was on board the moored airship, which is required standard procedure. The injured South African crew member was immediately medically treated and kept in a hospital for medical observation over night. „We are relieved that only property damage occurred and that the crew member only suffered minor injuries“, says Thomas Brandt, CEO of ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co. KG.

A ZLT executive as well as an airship expert are on their way to Botswana to get a general overview over the damage. All authorities concerned with the incident were being informed.
It's good to hear that the crew member suffered only minor injuries, but very sad that the prototype might be so severely damaged that it won't be repairable.

To learn more about the Zeppelin dive in to our site check out all our Posts about Zeppelin, with pictures videos and lot's of background information. Also if you want keep up to date about what is going on in the Airship Industry, subscribe to our Blog either to our RSS feed or via Email. Also check out our posts about the MetLife Blimps or the Aeroscraft

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Skycat puzzle continues

I think the Word SkyCat is not really derived from Sky Catamaran but more really from the Animal cause it seems that this Project has nine lives, or even more. So it was just back in May 2007 when we reported that Roger Munk's SkyCat is back with a multinational Company called the SkyCat Group Limited. But just 4 days after that we had to report that Lockheed Martin was suing Roger Munk because of Patent infringement. Only a few weeks after this on July 1st 2007 the Skycat Group went into Administration. 18 Days later that same month we reported about a new Hybrid Airship research Project at the University of Cambridge in the UK. And everything pointed to a company called Tensys who have helped to build the SkyKitten and the Lockheed Martin P-791 that looked a lot like the SkyCat.
After this it got quiet for a while, but now the SkyCat is back once again, or so it seems. We got word of a short press release by a Company called HYBRID AIR VEHICLES, we did a search for them on the Web but besides this Information from UK Data we couldn't find much. The Company Details that UK Data provides are not very broad, you would have to buy certain document to get more information. We don't know of any free way to access these documents, maybe someone from the UK knows how we could get access to those. So searching for the Company Number in the UK Companyhouse turned up this page of Company Details one thing that was most interesting was the Date of Incorporation which is according to the Companyhouse June 6th 2007 just around two weeks after the court filing of Lockheed against Roger Munk. So let's take a look at the press release, we are not going to name our source, since we didn't obtain this press release officially or got it from a source online. So we do not know how valid this information is:


Hangar 2
Cardington Field
MK42 0TG


SkyCat Group, previously owned by Italian and UK Investor Groups, has been in Administration for restructuring purposes since 25 June 2007.  The business of SkyCat, including all of the IP and assets, with technical team intact and free of any encumbrance from SkyCat Group, was acquired on 3 August 2007 by UK investors into a new company called Hybrid Air Vehicles.

Work continues at Cardington unabated, and the new company is planning to take forward the same range of Lighter than Air products as those of its predecessor, focusing on Condor in the first instance, closely followed by the SkyCat series.

21 August 2007

"Hybrid Air Vehicles is the trading name of HAP Acquisitions Limited, company number 06270723, registered office One Fleet Place, London, EC4M 7WS".

So the work continues? We will see and we hope it will. The SkyCat is a great concept that deserves success. Interestingly to get even more cross references let's take a look at this Article from Findtheneedle. The Article talks about Tensys, yes the people behind the Skykitten and guess what the Title of the Article is? "Hybrid Air Vehicle (HAV)" exactly. Notice this slight connection? So we have Roger Munk, with ATG, the SkycatGroup and now Hybrid Air Vehicles, also we have Lockheed Martin/Skunkworks with their P-791 Craft and Tensys. How about we introduce yet another player into the SkyCat puzzle. Entrance the Hybrid Aircraft Corporation. The talk about their Product the SkyCat ?!? Wait a Minute, isn't that the one the Roger Munk is Building? But they also talk about nothing other than the Skunk Works P-791 that they must have been involved with too. And to top everything of for the night they have a page about patents connected to the SkyCat and when they where filed. Some date back all the way to 1928? So if everything related to the SkyCat is prior art, why would or could Lockheed sue Roger Munk? The deeper we get into this story the more confusing it get's and to date I have not found anyone who could tell me the whole story. Who knows it? Do you have a piece to the puzzle called SkyCat? Then tell us, we want to know. Do you know Roger Munk, tell him to contact us, we would really like to talk to him. Until we don't have first hand knowledge all we can do is research and speculate, but maybe some of you, our readers, know more. It would be great if you could share your knowledge with us, either in the comments section or via email. You feedback is welcome.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Airships to the Arctic - extended early bird registration

Have you booked your tickets to the Airship to the Arctic Symposium already? No? Well now you have a second chance to get the early bird rate and save 100$ US. The early bird registration has been extended to September 30th 2007 so hurry and get your ticket to the Airships to the Arctic Symposium.

Worldwide Aeros - The Aeroscraft round-up

When Worldwide Aeros announced their Aeroscraft ML866 they created quite the buzz on the web, a lot of people wrote about it, as if it would exist already or would be on display at the NBAA this September. But also a lot of people especially from the airship and lighter-than-air communities where sceptical, some even thought it might be a hoax. Fact is the Aeroscraft has been around ever since the DARPA Walrus program and got refined over and over again. Aeros just managed to hit a target audience with their announcement, which is very good marketing. As the world will be looking at what Aeros will present September 25-27 at the NBAA we want to revisit some of the posts, and see what there is to gather at the moment about Aeros and the Aeroscraft.
First let's take a look at the recent announcements by Aeros from their press section. Edward Pevzner provied me the links. First the announcement that kicked the buzz of:
The Aeroscraft ML866 is to be introduced at the NBAA Convention.
Following to this there has been quite a buzz online, we will come to many of the pages later, but Aeros also features two very interesting bits. The 1st is an article from Flight International with the Title "Worldwide Aeros to build partially buoyant civil airship" (alternate download). Also they present a feature from the Aero News Networks Internet Radio Station. An Interview with Aeros VP Fred Edworthy about the Aeroscraft ML866. You can download the feature here: Aero News Network Special Feature - Aeroscraft ML866 - Interview or listen to it via our embedded player, just click on play: Fred Edworthy mentions the COSH (Control of Static Heaviness) System in the Interview, which is going to be one of the central parts of the Aeroscraft. Aeros also did a pressrelease about there first successful tests "Aeros successfully completes test of the Control of Static Heaviness Block Two Technology." details on this technology are still sparse. The doubt exists that it is possible to compress helium fast enough with a light enough machine on an airship, but as the Flight International article points out, Aeros will demonstrate the working COSH system with their Aeros 40D Sky Dragon in mid-2008.
So now let's take a look at what has been going on all over the web:
Aeroscraft Flying Luxury Hotel 11.09.2007
The story at webspunideas, clearly referes to the first Aeroscraft concepts that where of the scale for the DARPA Walrus program and are now clearly outdated, but it shows that the Aeroscraft has been around for a while now.
Pimp My Blimp 23.08.2007
The Yuppie Journal got it right, the Aeroscraft won't fly before 2010, but we will follow it's development. And if the small ML866 is successful bigger versions are possible.
Aeroscraft ML866, le retour du Zeppelin ? 21.08.2007
The French Website reports on the Aeroscraft and asks if it will be the return of the Zeppelin. Since the article in in French you can read the autotranslated version. The article also mentions the memorable dates in the history of the Zeppelins
Aeroscraft ML866 Flying Yacht 16.08.2007
Just another WordPress weblog also talks about the Aeroscraft and the author would like to have a pool in the Airship, but I don't think he understands how much water weighs. The author also talks about the 120 knots to speed, which is 220km/h. But this would actually be the fastest airship speed ever achieved. Modern Airships has a nice Article about Steve Fossett speed record flight with the Zeppelin NT in 2004, where he reached 111km/h. We still hope that Steve Fossett will be found, after he disappeard in the Nevada Deserts on the Labour Day Weekend of 2007
It’s an “Aeroscraft” 15.08.2007
Daily Aviator links to an article from and states correctly that the Aeroscraft isn't really an Airship because only 70% of it's lift is generated by Helium.
Pimp My Blimp: New Luxury Airship Planned 14.08.2007
The Semper Fi Livejournal talks about the Aeroscrafts 5000ft² space, that's 464m². I'm not sure but that seems like a lot of space. Considering a normal European apartment is maybe around 100m² wouldn't it be more practical to downscale the Aeroscraft to this size to be competitive on a lower level?
Pimp my blimp 14.08.2007
In the Terror Suspect .com article about the Aeroscraft the author draws parallels to the Hindenburgs size and performance characteristics. The aeroscraft will outperform the Hindenburg in many ways, but the question remains to me wouldn't a smaller version be more feasible?
A New Concept In Flying, The Aeroscraft 10.08.2007
David Pitlyuk talks in his Blog about the new possibilities the aeroscraft has to offer and links to a YouTube Video that talks about the Aeroscraft
A 'BizBlimp'... such a far out concept? 09.08.2007
Dan Pimentel talks on his Blog Av8rdan's World of Flying about the concept of the Aeroscraft and thinks about alternative uses. But he also mentions an important point. With the space the Aeroscraft occupies how is it going to be in the crowded Airspace around major centers, will this be a problem?

Other Sites that also picked up on the Aeroscraft:

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why should I get a Blimp ?

Well everybody needs to get a Blimp cause blimps are pretty pimp. If you don't believe this, check out this Flash Video from Weebls Stuff. I also suggest to show this video to everyone who asks why they should get a blimp or who doesn't know what a blimp/airship is. And if you already know all of this, check out the video anyway, for a little chuckle. Oh and just so you know this thing is an endless loop so don't try to watch it all the way to the end ;-) Took me something about three or four runs to realize it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Airshipworld needs your Support and Sponsorship

As you might know we at Airshipworld are trying to organize a Conference at the Berlin Air Show (ILA) in 2008. The Conference will be called the First International Airship Investors Conference and our goal is to connect those who are in the airship industry with prospective customers. The conference is not going to focus on the tomorrow but on the today. We would like to invite everyone who is currently operating, manufacturing or selling airships or who is just generally involved with airships in their business. Of course there is room for new concepts to present their solutions and to show investors why their solution is superior to conventional HTA (heavier-than-air aircrafts). We want to showcase the solutions that lighter-than-air technology has to offer, may it be in tourism, cargo, advertising or surveillance. We have selected the ILA in Berlin, since it is a major HTA air show and many people go there seeking for solutions to their problems. And sometimes conventional aircraft can not provide the solutions in an optimal way. LTA will never get many people fast from A to B but HTA will never be able to leisurely glide through the air, allowing the passengers to enjoy the scenery with very low noise. Other topics that we have on the mind are fuel efficiency and environmental advantages of LTA craft over conventional aircrafts and what this means in times of high oil prices. The topics that can be covered are broad and we want to attract a broad audience. The aim of the Airshipworld Conference is to bring the Lighter than air industry back into the mainstream by attracting a broad audience. Right now we need your support to make it happen. Such a conference can not be build from rock and roll, we have to make a down payment for the rooms we reserved at the ILA. It's not much money we have to raise and we call out to everyone who reads this if you work for or know a company which is involved in the LTA Industry, building airships or offering services, tell the marketing department that we need Sponsors. Even if your company doesn't have anything to do with airships you can sponsor us. If you are an Individual go ahead and make a donation via PayPal:
Any cent, helps us to pay the bills. We are not asking for venture capital, or even tens of thousands of dollars. If we can raise about 2500€ by the end of October and another 2500€ until the end of the year we have more than enough money to make the conference happen. If you are interested in supporting Airshipworld either with a donation or by Sponsoring please contact us at The ads you see on the page are paying our hosting bills right now, if you would want your company to be displayed in these ads talk to us about sponsoring, we'd be happy to talk to you.

Historic Zeppelin pictures

Have you ever wanted to dive into the archives of historic Zeppelin pictures? As of today the picture archives of the Federal Archives of Germany are open to the public and can be searched online. The Federal Archive has around 11 million pictures, photographs and posters of the modern German history dating back to the 1860s. The collection consists of pictures from the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), the Nazi Reich(1933-1945), the GDR(1945/49 - 1990) and the Federal Republic of Germany(from 1945/49 onwards). Currently are "just" 60,000 pictures from all time spans available but more pictures will be added continuously. You can search the database by full-text retrieval, extensive search or research by subject, person or locality. So why don't you go a head and do a search for "Zeppelin", "Luftschiff" or "Hindenburg". I am sure there are some gems in there that no very few people have seen before. If you found something great, tell us the Signature of the Picture in the Comments section. For example if you enter "146-2005-0095" in the Search box it should get you to a nice drawing of Graf Zeppelin. So dig through the archives and tell us what you found in the comments.

Bundesarchiv/Federal Archive - Picture database

Monday, September 10, 2007

4th Airships to the Arctic Symposium - October 2007

It's time once again for the Airships to the Arctic Symposium organized by Barry Prentice and his non-profit airship research institute ISO Polar. Airships to the Arctic is a conference aimed at bringing airships especially cargo airships to Canada's north, to assure supply and transport to the northern communities and mining sites. The conference is held every two years in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This years conference is from October 29th to October 31st 2007. Registration starts now, and you can get an early bird discount if you register before September 15th. You can go to the Airship to the Arctic website and Register online. Since this is the 4th Symposium of that kind. You might be interested in the previous conference proceedings which are available from ISO Polar:
Airships to the Arctic I: Applications For Northern Transportation
October 22nd to 24th, 2002
Edited by: Dr. Barry E. Prentice and Shelley Turriff
Download (PDF Document, Size: 3.00 MB)
Airships to the Arctic II: Moving Beyond The Roads
October 21st to 23rd, 2003
Edited by: Dr. Barry E. Prentice, Jill Winograd, Al Phillips, Bobbi Harrison
Download (PDF Document, Size: 3.62 MB)
Airships to the Arctic III: Sustainable Northern Transportation
May 31st to June 2nd, 2005
Edited by: Dr. Barry E. Prentice, Sharon Cohen, Douglas B. Duncan
Download (PDF Document, Size: 4.45 MB)
Also Available in the Publications Section of ISO Polar are a couple of Studies:
And last but not least take a look at the List of Speakers as well as the Agenda on the Airships to the Arctic Website and read the official invitation that you download via
Unfortunately I can not attend this conference to report from it first hand, so I hope to be able to get some feedback from Barry Prentice and other attendees about what is going on. If you are attending and want to become our front row reporter for the conference please email us at airshipworld at gmail dot com.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The airship of 1670

Who would have thought that the first design for a literal air ship was from 1670. But it's true. A Jesuit by the name of Francesco Lana de Terzi published a book called "Prodomo ovvero saggio di alcune invenzioni nuove premesso all'arte maestra" in which he described a small ship with mast and a sail on it, that could fly by having four copper spheres containing a vacuum. According to wikipedia:
The spheres would be made of very thin copper foil, and each sphere would have a diameter of 7.5 meters (about 24.5 feet). Terzi had calculated that the weight of a sphere would be 180 kilograms (396 lbs). He also calculated that a sphere containing air would weigh 290 kilograms (638 lbs). The copper spheres would be pumped to vacuum conditions, and thus being lighter than the surrounding air, would provide enough lift for 6 passengers to ride along in the airship.
Yes a vacuum airship, answering the question of what is lighter than hydrogen, because only nothing is lighter than H. Lanas design has never been build, in fact it was proven to be physically impossible. But is it really impossible to have a vacuum airship? I just recently found a new Russian Website of a 3D Designer named Michael Levin on his page, he has many really impressive renderings but one stands out for me, the rendering of a vacuum airship since the page is in Russian read the autotranslated version but what counts are the impressive pictures like this one:

So the question remains can it really not be built? Nano-Materials and Material Science is leapfrogging in the last few years aren't there chances that there is already a material that has the right characteristics. Wait! Do we even know the right characteristics? I researched a few Websites for example:
Unfortunately none of these websites provides any scientific calculations, either proving unfeasible or proving that it is possible. And in my eyes until no one has proven that there can not exist a material light and strong enough to be able to achieve vacuum buoyancy. I would say it's still worth a try. But I don't want to start a long discussion if it is possible or not. What is needed is a collection of formulas, joint together in a program so that it can be simply calculated. It's a very interdisciplinary problem, involving physics and material science and engineering. None of the disciplines can solve the problem alone. But as I said the first step would be to collect the right formulas needed.

Please check out the Airshipworld Wiki Page on Vacuum Bouyancy with the first calculations. And contribute to the page if you know formulas, can correct errors or want to add thoughts.

More from the Metlife Blimp Snoopy 2 [updated]

In addition to yesterdays Videos of the Metlife Airship we bring you a few really nice shots that Jerry Capser took while the Blimp stayed over at the Fredericksburg airport for a few days. Enjoy!

Update:Jerry just notified me that all of his Met Life Blimp pictures are now online as part of his Hot Air Baloon Flickr Set, it contains some close up shots that you don't usually get to see. The most surprising picture to me was the one of the pilots seat, are these really just some pillows tucked in there ?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Met Life blimp Snoopy 2 in Fredericksburg, VA

Today we would like to present a nice Video of the Metlife Blimp Snoopy 2 starting from Fredericksburg VA and other videos of the Blimps. Snoopy 2 is one of the currently 3 Metlife Blimps. Snoopy 3 got introduced just this August, to honour 20 years of the Metlife Blimp Program. So if you do the math the first Metlife Blimp got introduced in 1987 and extended in 1994 to read more about it, read our post about the Metlife Blimp Program with more background information and links.
The video was filmed by Jerry Casper who is also interested a H0 scale (1/87th) blimp to use in a diorama. If you know where to get one of those, or how to build one, please put your feedback into the comments section or send us an email.

Met Life Blimp in Fredericksburg, VA

You might also want to watch these Videos:

Check out these Posts mentioning the Metlife Blimp:

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

News from the Blimp

Have you wondered what happened to the Spirit of Dubai or the Skyship? Well there is a website that chronicles the current Tour of the Skycruise Skyship 600 that was formally the Spirit of Dubai. If you want to fresh up your memory check out our older posts. The first post titled "Zeppelin insights and the Spirit of Dubai" give an overview of what the Spirit of Dubai was and contains some pictures where you can see the Artwork being taken of. The second Post "Skycruise SKS600 (aka The Spirit of Dubai) now" contains pictures of the Skyship 600 with the current branding. But now go and checkout the out the polish site about the tour. Oh and, in case your polish is not so polished, we have prepared some links to auto translated pages: We provide two versions since the one translation service is faster (Version 1) and the other one better (Version 2).
FrontpageVersion 1Version 2
Wygraj Bilet(Win a Ticket)Version 1Version 2
Terminarz (The Tour Schedule)no translation available
Rys historyczny (A short history of airships)Version 1Version 2

And last but not least the Image Gallery with pictures from the beginning of the trip in Friedrichshafen at the Zeppelin Hangar until today. There are some great shots of the Skyship in flight , so definitely check out the galleries and take your time to look through a few of those amazing pictures. And since pictures says more than a thousand words they don't need any translation. We would like to thank Trevor Hunt who posted the link to the Site on the Airship-list.

Links: Image Gallery
Zeppelin insights and the Spirit of Dubai
Skycruise SKS600 (aka The Spirit of Dubai) now

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Airshipventures on a fieldtrip at Zeppelin

Have you read the Airshipventures Blog Up Ship! lately ? Yes well then this wont be much news for you. But if you haven't read on to find out what has been going on with The Zeppelin NT Number 4 and the Airshipventures who want to bring it to San Francisco.
So join me as I guide you through their last couple of posts, make sure to check out all the links in the text to see lot's of great Zeppelin Pictures. Most of them are really hot of the press and haven't been posted anywhere else on the web. So on August 18th they left for their Field Trip to Friedrichshafen. They arrived and one of the first things they saw was the beautiful Zeppelin NT with the Mainau artwork on it. If you come to Germany you wont get around the beer and if you are at Zeppelin you can not get around the original Fliegerbier and the Zeppelin Bier. If you drink lot's of beer you might have to go to the NT (New Toilet) of the fourth Zeppelin NT - probably the only pictures of the zeppelins washroom. If you want to bring a Zeppelin to San Francisco you will get into the news, even with a nice mock up of the Zeppelin over the Golden Gate bridge. And to hold a Zeppelin in place it might take a huge man or a mast truck manufactured by MAN might do too. Have you ever seen how many people it takes to land a blimp, and then exchange passengers, for example on the Goodyear Blimp ? Well the Zeppelin is different how about exchanging 12 passengers, off and new ones on in 4 minutes 12 seconds? Yes airships are fascinating especially for kids in Friedrichshafen who can really see the Zeppelin. Actually Friedrichshafen is the Zeppelin City with airship Artifacts and Art everywhere. But back to the Zeppelin that has lost it's Mainau artwork in the meanwhile and is heading out for a morning flight with a huge ground crew of four people. Some might remember the pictures of the Zeppelin NT No.4 that we posted a while ago, well the now there is more to see, the grinders are already partly assembled and you can recognize the gondola as one. The view out of a Zeppelin window is absolutely fantastic and you can even open the windows, try that with a plane. There is a Zeppelin shop in Friedrichshafen and of course the Museum with a lot of highlights.
You can see there has been a lot going over at Airshipventures and in the weeks to come there will be more, make sure to check their blog regularly for updates. And also if you find the time go to Friedrichshafen and see for yourself how amazing the Zeppelin NT is.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Aerocrat brings news from MAKS 2007

Aerocrat a Russian Airship and LTA Blog that we have mentioned before (here and here) has a long article about the Russian Airshow MAKS 2007 the article called КУДА ДУЛИ ВЕТРЫ НА МАКС-2007 can be read in an autotranslated english version from Worldlingo here WHERE YELLOW PEARS ARE WINDS ON MAX -2007 and in a Google auto translated version WHERE TO DULI VETRY MAKS-2007 both are far from perfect translations of the original russian post. But you can kind of get an understanding of what has been going on and the pictures of the Airship and Aerostats are also interesting and worth a look. Near the End of the Post the article mentions the RosAeroSystems Au-30 Patrol Airship that was supposed to be used during the Total Pole Airship Project. We will soon be looking into what the status of this project is. Also the RosAeroSystems PUMA Tethered Aerostat was mentioned. Since RosAeroSystems is a well known company them presenting their products was nothing new. More interesting was the mentioning of a Company called DKBA who has supposedly developed three airships according to anther source (translated Version) these are :
  • a semi-rigid dirigible DP-20, intended for the transport of loads with a mass of up to 20 tons, the accomplishment of mission of observation and reconnaissance in the assigned regions.
  • a rigid dirigible DP-55, intended for the transport of loads with a mass of up to 55 tons with the ability for year-round operation in all climatic zones
  • a lenticular dirigible DP-70[t], intended for the transport of loads with the ability of year-round operation in all climatic zones (on the design basis of this dirigible they are studied the versions of dirigible with the load capacity 200-400t).
It's interesting to see what comes out of Russia, and we will further investigate this. If you know anything about this Company DBKA or the mentioned airships please contact us, since we do not know much about them or of any website of theirs yet.