Thursday, January 8, 2009

SkyHook International making progress but strugeling with the financial crisis

The JHL-40 designed by the Canadian Company SkyHook International and built by Boeing is making the news these days. The Calgary Sun has an article titled "Hybrid blimp plans face financial hurdle" the article gives a quick introduction on Skyhook and then talks about the current progress:
Within the next few months, SkyHook and Boeing expect to release further details of the aircraft, dubbed the JHL-40, Jess said, adding that by mid-summer 2009, all systems that go into building the aircraft -- there are about 2,500 of them -- will be selected.
and the financial situation which has become more difficult but not impossible
Shaky financial markets and lenders that have grown more reluctant to finance projects, however, have also made it more difficult for SkyHook to raise the financing needed for the first JHL-40 to be built by late 2012 or early 2013.

"It's progressing. It's just not as easy as it was a year ago," Jess said about the search for financial backers, noting he has received several commitments for funding.
You can read the full article at the Calgary Sun website.
While researching todays post I also found another very interesting article about the Boeing JHL-40 SkyHook in the Shipping Digests Air Cargo Category called "BOEING’S BLIMP" also featuring an Interview with Barry Prentice known from the Airships to the Arctic Symposium that he organizes with his research institute ISO Polar. The article is really worth a read as it goes into great detail what the JHL-40 is how and where it will be built and why it is of great use for the northers regions of Canada.
Also check out our older posts about the SkyHook concept.

I want to thank Darrell Campbell from TURTLE AIRSHIPS for the tip on the Calgary Sun article.

Win a ride on the Airship Ventures Zeppelin

You are reading right, Mark/Space the company that develops the "Missing Sync" synchronization software for mobile devices is currently at the Macworld Expo that is going on till Friday January 9th and they are doing a drawing of a ride on the Airship Ventures Zeppelin every day. So you got two more chances to win a ride. Of course you would have to be at the Macworld Expo and stop by their booth in the South Hall, booth # 2044. The mock up of the Zeppelin in the picture is really just a mock up but it's pretty if you ask me. So good luck to everyone who happens to be at the Macworld Expo these days and congratulations to the winners.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Varialift Patent Granted and Proof of Concept Demonstration

Mr Alan Handley from Varialift Airships just published a press release stating that the Patent for his Varialift concept has been granted, we would like to congratulate him on this achievement. We are also looking forward to the demonstration of the proof of concept that is planned from April 2009 onwards. You can contact Mr Handley via alan at varialift dot com to register to get a formal notice of this event 30 days before it happens.
For Reference below the full text of the Press Release and after that the European granted patent as well as the US Patent application. Also check out the Links at the Bottom of this post for our previous posts about Varialift
Varialift Airships

Mr A Handley is pleased to announce that protection of the Intellectual Property in the Varialift concept has been assured by the grant of the European Patent No 1591356.

Proof of concept.

The development and build of the proof of concept continues and it is hoped that a demonstration will be given in the coming year 2009 from April onwards.

All parties who may be interested in seeing the demonstration may register by email to alan at varialift dot com, Formal notices will be sent out giving the date and time and venue 30 days prior to any demonstration.

The European patent EP1591356 (B1)
EP1591356 (B1) - System for controlling the lift of an aircraft

United States Patent Application US20050236519 (A1) (alternative link at the US Patent Office)
US20050236519 (A1) - System for controlling the lift of an aircraft

Related Posts:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sky Diving from the Goodyear Blimp

©1965 William Chandler
Today we turn the wheel of time backwards with a guest post by William Chandler a retired US Army Colonel about his skydiving experience from the Goodyear Blimp Columbia N2A.
In September 1965 I was on the faculty at West Point, and OIC of the Cadet Parachute Team. The Blimp Columbia was at the NY Worlds Fair and Goodyear was kind enough to send the blimp up to Wallkill, NY, to the USMA Drop Zone. They could carry only two jumpers at a time, and ascend to only 3,000 feet, in order to fly without venting helium. Here are a few pictures.
©1965 William Chandler
The USMA Superintendent was not anxious to approve the jumps, but finally did, but only with the proviso that an officer jumped first, in case there was any difficulty. I'm the one climbing into the cabin. The blimp made a total of 12 lifts, for a total of 24 jumpers, before they had to go back to New York City.

All images ©1965 William Chandler

You can click on any of the images to see a larger version of it. If you have a story, pictures, videos, a question or anything that you would like to share please send it to us at airshipworld at gmail dot com

Monday, January 5, 2009

Catching up on 2008 - Zeppelin Press Release on the NT#4 being shipped to the US

© Airbus Deutschland/ H. Bansemer
Since i have been very busy every since mid September a lot of news Items have slipped through the radar, some of them a old news now but I would like to post them just so that people who are looking for it later in time will be able to find them. One of those now old news items is the Press Release by Zeppelin about the Zeppelin NT #4 being loaded onto the dock ship at the Airbus station at the Port of Hamburg. Along with the press release was the picture you can see in this post that I thought was really nice showing the airship being loaded.
Now here the Pressrelease from September 27th 2008 in English and German
Airship Ventures Zeppelin to Cross Atlantic to the U.S.

PRESS RELEASE Airship Ventures Zeppelin to Cross Atlantic to the U.S. World’s largest airship to be transported on ocean carrier to its new home Hamburg, September, 27th 2008 – The largest airship in the world, the 246foot-long Airship Ventures Zeppelin will soon be traveling onboard a craft even larger than herself. One of only three Zeppelins in the world, the airship departed from the secondlargest port in Europe for a voyage to her new home in the United States. The airship was loaded at the Airbus station at the Port of Hamburg, Germany, onto a 530 foot-long multipurpose/semisubmersible ro/ro ship, managed by Combi Lift/Denmark, and fixed by Condock Befrachtungs-Gesellschaft/Hamburg, part of the Harren&Partner Group, the MV “Combi Dock I.” After securing the Zeppelin to the ships deck the engines and empennages were removed for the voyage cross the Atlantic. As the Zeppelin is formed with a semi-rigid structure inside its hull, it cannot be ‘deflated’ for transportation like a blimp. After departing the Finkenwerder terminal in Hamburg, the ship will travel 5,200 miles to the Port of Beaumont, Texas. After reassembly and airworthiness testing, the airship will fly overland to her new home base at Moffett Field/NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. A marvel of modern airship design, the Zeppelin NT (“New Technology”) is manufactured in Germany by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH. Powerful engines, state-of-the-art avionics, and fly-by-wire flight controls enable the airship to perform maneuvers similar to those performed by helicopters, including vertical takeoffs and landings. At 246 feet in length, Zeppelin NT is 15 feet longer than a Boeing 747, and dwarfs the largest blimp currently flying in the U.S. by more than 50 feet. Moffett Field -based Airship Ventures owns and will operate this Zeppelin offering the only airship passenger flight service in the United States. The Airship Ventures Zeppelin will be permanently based in the Bay Area, offering itineraries showcasing the San Francisco and Silicon Valley landscapes, Sonoma/Napa wine regions, and the Monterey/Big Sur coastline. For more information about the Airship Ventures Zeppelin, or for ticket availability visit, or call 650-969-8100. ABOUT ZEPPELIN LUFTSCHIFFTECHNIK GMBH & CO. KG Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in historic Friedrichshafen, Germany, develops, manufactures and markets the Zeppelin NT, a modern lighter than air multi-purpose airship. Zeppelin NT airships are currently operating in Japan and Germany. In partnership with Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik, a Zeppelin NT 07 has flown commercial air tours, advertising and scientific missions throughout Europe since 2001. ABOUT AIRSHIP VENTURES, INC. Founded in 2007, Airship Ventures Inc. is a privately owned corporation formed with the objective of bringing Zeppelin-NT airships to the USA for "flight-seeing" tours, media and science mission operations. Initially based with one ship in the Bay Area, the company plans to eventually have a number of airships operating throughout the USA. Manufactured in Germany, the Zeppelin-NT07 is the world’s largest airship. At 246 feet in length, it is longer than a 747, more than 50 feet longer than the largest blimp, and is configured to carry 12 passengers and two crew. Using inert helium gas for lift, and vectored engines mounted to an internal framework for thrust, the Zeppelin-NT has been flying with an unparalleled safety record since 1997, in Germany and Japan. For more information, visit: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Zeppelin media contact: Kathrin Runge +49 7541 5900-547 Airship Ventures media contact: Beth Pursley 650-969-8100 x122

Here the German press release:
Zeppelin NT überquert den Atlantik

PRESSEINFORMATION Zeppelin NT überquert den Atlantik Friedrichshafen/ Hamburg, 27 September 2008 – Das mit 75 Metern Länge weltweit größte Luftschiff ist auf dem Weg in seine neue Heimat. Der Zeppelin NT wird mit einem Dockschiff in die USA transportiert. In Beaumont, Texas wird der Zeppelin von seinem neuen Besitzer Airship Ventures in Empfang genommen. Einer von nur drei Zeppelin NT weltweit wird von Europas zweitgrößtem Hafen aus auf die Reise in die Vereinigten Staaten geschickt. Das Luftschiff war auf dem Airbus Gelände in Hamburg/ Finkenwerder stationiert und wurde auf ein 162 Meter langes Mehrzweck-/ ro/ro Dockschiff, die MV „Combi Dock I“ verladen. Dieses Spezialschiff wird betrieben von der Combi Lift/ Dänemark. Der Chartervertrag wurde mit der Condock Befrachtungs-Gesellschaft/Hamburg, Teil der Harren & Partner Gruppe geschlossen. Der Zeppelin NT ist ein Luftschiff mit einer innenliegenden starren Tragstruktur und wird daher in seiner vollen Größe verschifft. Für den Transport über den Atlantik wurden lediglich die zwei seitlichen Treibwerke sowie die Leitwerke demontiert, bevor der Zeppelin NT auf dem Schiff seefest gemacht wurde. Die „Combi Dock I“ ist vom Terminal Hamburg/ Finkenwerder ausgelaufen. Das Dockschiff wird auf seinem Weg in den Ankunftshafen Beaumont in Texas ca. 8.400 Kilometer zurücklegen. Nach Montage und Flugtest wird das Luftschiff zu seinem neuen Heimatstandort Moffett Field/ NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Kalifornien fliegen. Dieses einzigartige Luftschiff, der Zeppelin Neuer Technologie wurde in Friedrichshafen von der ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co KG entwickelt und gebaut. Kraftvolle Triebwerke, modernste Avionik und eine Fly-by-wire Flugsteuerung verleihen dem Zeppelin NT seine herausragenden Flugeigenschaften und Manövrierfähigkeit. Mit 75 Meter ist der Zeppelin NT ca. 2 Meter länger als eine 747 und überbietet den in den USA größten fliegenden Blimp um gut 15 Meter. Airship Ventures mit Sitz in Moffet Field, Kalifornien wird von dort aus die einzigen Zeppelin Passagierflüge in den Vereinigten Staaten anbieten. Das Luftschiff wird dauerhaft in San Francisco stationiert sein und Flugrouten über San Francisco, Silicon Valley, der Sonoma/ Napa Weinregion und der Küste von Monterey/ Big Sur anbieten. Mehr Informationen zum Zeppelin NT in den USA oder den Möglichkeiten einer Flugbuchung erhalten Sie unter oder telefonisch unter 001 650-969-8100. ZLT ZEPPELIN LUFTSCHIFFTECHNIK GMBH & CO KG ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co KG, hat ihren Sitz in Friedrichshafen, entwickelt, baut und vermarktet den Zeppelin NT, ein modernes Luftschiff für eine Vielzahl von Einsatzmöglichkeiten. Zeppelin NT Luftschiffe werden derweil in Deutschland und Japan betrieben. Die Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei, eine 100% Tochtergesellschaft der ZLT, betreibt den Zeppelin NT seit 2001 für kommerzielle Rundflüge, Werbung sowie wissenschaftliche und industrielle Einsätze in Europa. Zur sofortigen Veröffentlichung freigegeben. Zeppelin media contact: Kathrin Runge +49 7541 5900-547 Airship Ventures media contact: Beth Pursley 650-969-8100 x122

Announcement: My Spam filter has gotten a bit strong.

Dear Readers,
I am very sorry but I just noticed that my spam filter has gotten a bit to strong and actually had filtered out a few messages that were not spam, 3 in the last 30 days. Unfortunately everything older than 30 days that was caught in the spam filter is gone. So it might be that your email has been swallowed by the spam filter in the past, if you haven't heard from me. Everyone who I have talked with or the subscribers of any of the Airship Mailinglists should be good, but if it was the first time you wrote me and I am not getting back to you by February please resend your email. I still have a massive backlog of emails to work through so if you haven't heard from me, please be patient your email might be in the inbox still unread. I am sorry for any inconvenience that this might cause, I am currently working on streamlining my Email system so that I can reply quicker and more organized to requests.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stundent needs help with technical Airship information

Dear readers today I am republishing an email that was posted to the Forum. If you could help Patrick maybe by giving him some pointers to books, or with direct advice that would be great.
HELP!! i'm designing an Airship

Hello people,

I am a design student at Coventry University and I am designing an Airship.

I would like to talk to Airship enthusiasts about what you think is important if airships were to come back into large scale production.

I want to create an airship capable of carrying heavy loads and would be interested in what you think I need to make this a realistic achievement. I am not an expert, but I would like to be well informed, so I have come to YOU. I have no target market in mind. I want to create something that can be used for lots of different uses; such as a luxury hotel, a mobile hospital and freight carrying. If I created an Airship that could be moulded into all these applications, it could be a relevent future vehicle, which has much better GREEN credentials that other modes of transport, such as the plane and boat.

Its the technical stuff, like structures, engines, volumes needed etc.. that i'm having trouble with so if you could help, it would be great.

looking forward to hearing from you

If you want to contact Patrick leave a comment to this post, send me an email to airshipworld at gmail dot com with "helping patrick" in the subject line or contact Patrick directly through Facebook.

Airship Videos of the Week #1 of 2009

Happy new year to everyone. I am back from my small hiatus November and December the end of the year was quite busy for me in my daily life but I am back and I have lots of great posts in the queue. Starting of the year I am starting a new weekly post of the Videos of the Week, mostly found from YouTube. They are available as a Playlist on YouTube as well as on Delicious. You can watch them in the embedded player below.
Highlights include a video of the Airship Ventures Zeppelin featuring Chris Humphrey who came up with the name Eureka for the new Zeppelin. A video of the Zeppelin NT for the 100th anniversary of the first Zeppelin flight. An interesting presentation on the idea of a container hauling blimp, an interetsing discussion topic for the mailinglist. Avideo of the Christening of the Goodyear Blimp "Spirit of America". A video of the Japanese Zeppelin doing ground procedures and then taking of. So lean back and enjoy.

If you happen to find a really great video that you want to share, send us an email to airshipworld at gmail dot com with votw in the subject line or tag it on Delicious as for:gruni airshipworld votw.