Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Aeolus airship concept

In January of this year the web was once more flooded by a fantastically designed airship concept called aeolus. The design was part of the intermediate examination (Vordiplom) of Christopher Ottersbach for an Industrial Design Degree. What's interesting is that the concept was presented in April 2008 to the public at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany but somehow it got into the web and a bunch of Eco Blogs picked it up, here just two of them.Much is not known about the thoughts that went in to the project but one thing is clear the word "Design" plays a very big role in it. It has to be understood that the concept is mainly looking good and conveys a vision. It should not be seen as an engineering prototype. Commenters on the Colorado Airship-List pointed out that because of it's shape the airship would get minimal to no aerodynamic lift in contrary to the headline of one of the blogs above. Another lister pointed out:
[The] Large hull surface area means weight, drag and superheat troubles. This design would be [...] sensitive to lateral gusts and vertical wind gradients. [...] the turning characteristics would be challenging, if not a nightmare. Plus the aerostatic pressure would be relatively high compared to conventional airships.
So even though the project might look fantastic building something that would actually fly is a different story. To learn more about the project you can check the following two websites:One thing that the airship community should take away from this is that new airship concepts also need the right presentation and working together with industrial designers might help improving the image of airships and maybe even the looks. I will try to get a hold of Christopher Ottersbach to get more background information and hopefully more pictures. Also I would love to hear from him how he designed the Airships, which tools he used and how the airship industry can profit form his work.If you happen to know Christopher please send him here maybe he can post a comment or join a discussion on the Forums.

Airship Ventures gets new cash

On Feb 21st. ran an article called "Fresh cash windfall for zeppelin" about Airship Ventures the San Francisco company that recently purchased a Zeppelin NT and brought it to the US. The article describes the current situation of Airship Ventures and how the economic downturn affected them. According to the article they got another round of investments to keep the company aloft and operating. But even though times are difficult, the article mentions that Airship Ventures will soon crack the 1,500 passengers mark and has 800 more booked flights. That's a total of 2300 passengers with a lowest ticket price of 495$ the minimum revenue that Airship Ventures will have made is 2300 x 495$ = 1,138,500$ If you remember that the airship arrived in October that is only 5 months of flying in the winter, to me that is quite the accomplishment. Congratulations and best wishes to Airship Ventures, that the passenger numbers will increase as the weather gets warmer and that the birthing pains will soon be history.


Introducing the Airshipworld Events Calendar

© Airshipworld
It's been awfully quiet here at the Airshipworld Blog and you might have asked yourself if Airshipworld is dead, but rest assured we have just been working on something in our labs for the last couple of weeks. And today I am proud to announce the availability of the Airshipworld Events Calendar. It's a new piece in the big Airshipworld puzzle that we believe will bring great value to the community.
Right now, you can use the Events Calendar to simply find upcoming events in the airship community or you can actively contribute by adding your own events or editing existing events to provide more information. The service is completely free and will remain free forever.
For the near future we plan to provide an API which allows you to extract the calendar data so that you can use it on you website, personal calendar or in your publication.
The goal is to simplify our lives by having a collaborative events database that everyone can use and everyone can contribute to.
In order to make the Events Calendar into a great place to share and find information about events I need your help. Create a user and add your own airship related events. Send me your ideas, thoughts and feedback in an email or post it in the comments for everyone to read. And if you want to, you can also sign up for the Airshipworld bug tracker a place where you can formaly report a bug in the Events Calendar or can make a feature-request.
So have fun checking out the Events Calendar and let me know what you think, and don't be shy adding new events, it's open to everyone.
Oh, I almost forgot. The Events Calendar already uses the new design for Airshipworld, so check it out and let me know what you think, the Blog will change to the new design in a few weeks too.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

DGLR Workshop XI pre-announcement

The year has just started but already the first Airship Events are getting close. One of the early Events this year is the eleventh DGLR - Workshop "Luftfahrzeuge leichter als Luft" on March 27th and 28th 2009 in Friedrichshafen. If you want to give a talk, you can send your proposal for a session to the DGLR Fachausschuß S 2.3 - "Luftfahrzeuge leichter als Luft". The deadline is March 1st 2009 so you have to hurry a bit to get your talk in, you can contact either:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Apel
Hochschule Bremen
Neustadtswall 30
28199 Bremen
email: uapel (at)
Tel 0421 5905 2207
Fax 0421 5905 2279


Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen Fecher
Zeppelin-Luftschifftechnik GmbH Co KG
Allmannsweilerstrasse 132
88046 Friedrichshafen
email: j.fecher (at)
Tel 07541-5900-428
Fax 07541-5900-516

The talks are categorized as follows:
  • Research and Development
  • Projects and Technologies
  • Operations
  • Infrastructure
  • Regulations
  • Markets
  • Financing, Leasing, Insuring
  • Education and Training
  • History
  • Missions and Payload

Below I have attached the full german pre announcement. I will try to be there and hope to see a few familiar faces. Oh and of course there is also a RC Airship Regatta planned.
Vorankündigung DGLR - Workshop XI


Airship photo goodness

I regularly check the Flickr airship pool and there is always something new to see. It's a wonderful collection of current and historic pictures of airships, blimps and zeppelins from around the world. Currently the pool contains 517 pictures that's over 18 pages of airship photography and the collection is constantly growing. I my eyes it's one of the great collections of modern Airship pictures. And now I invite you to lean back and enjoy the slide show below, do you know other airship picture galleries, historic or current, updated or just an archive then share them with the other readers in the comments section.