Zeppelin NT Airship; Future of Space Tourism

If you have a travelling experience with Zeppelin Eureka of the past, then you must have enjoyed some unforgettable memories, a degree of luxury and elegance unmatched by any other form of aviation.  However, no one can divert their attention from the heart-breaking story of the Hindenburg disaster the moment they look into Zeppelin Eureka or travel in it. Hindenburg’s disaster is all about the infamous crash of the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg on May 6, 1937, during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station.

Getting back to Eureka, it is one of only three functioning Zeppelins (airships) in the entire world, flying commercially around the globe. The nicely designed Eureka is run by a private company called as an Airship Ventures Inc. It is 246 feet long, thin and can fink on efficiently, just like a sleek sky shark. It is world’s largest airship and even extended in space and time than a Boeing 747. The ultimate purpose of the $15 million Zeppelin NT (for New Technology), is the promotion of an air tourism that to some extend lost its popularity after the Hindenburg incident.

If you are luckily a resident of the beautiful Bay Area, then you must have seen Eureka flying in the skies near San Francisco. You may also have observed them casually drifting over the busy city a thousand feet up, like it has all the time in the world.

zeppelin from ground

Zeppelin View From Ground

During 2009, Airship Ventures remained a hardworking startup in order to re-introduce the concept of this business, vanishing the painful memories of the infamous Hindenburg disaster after more than 70 years. However, if we go back to 2008, it looked none other than an odd moment to eject a helium-based tourism organization— that in that economy could bear at least $950 for a two hour sunset boat trip in the twelve-berth cabin, or even the $199 for half an hour.

On the other hand, that amazing cheese-nibbling and champagne-sipping sunset travel over the Golden Gate, the North American strait connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, try its level best to and successfully attracted passengers from different parts of the world. Airship Ventures succeeded, mainly with backing of some known companies like Pixar and Farmer’s Insurance.

view from zeppelin

View of Bay Area from Zeppelin

Airship Ventures, initially located in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Moffet Field, is now operating the Eureka out of the Oakland Airport. It takes normal flights licensed and otherwise, down the coast to Los Angeles, the Orange Country California and San Diego. It has turned up on the Colbert Report, which an American mocking late night television program that airs Monday to Thursday on Comedy Central. Additionally, the company is planning to purchase another Zeppelin in order to increase the overall output of their Zeppelin fleet.

The main admiring comment of all is that the Goodyear Aerospace, the aerospace and defense subsidiary of Goodyear, is retiring its known airship and setting up for ordering a fleet of three Zeppelins. The world’s Zeppelin fleet will be six with this great effort by Goodyear. The Goodyear Zeppelins is also planning to commence its amazing service around America in near future, most probably starting in January 2014.

Isn’t it an interesting business model by the Airship Ventures? Of course it is, as it will contribute towards the air tourism. However, Airship Ventures has clearly mentioned and admitted that the Zeppelin travel is not going to compete or replace the airline industry in getting people from one part to another as fast as possible. It is all about air tourism in which the passenger float above beautiful cities, chatting with the pilots and flying close enough to take extraordinary memorable snaps.  And who would want to miss this golden opportunity? Would you pay to fly in a Zeppelin?

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