No blimp for you.

This is tragic.

Airship Ventures ends operations

Airship Ventures, the Mountain View company that took passengers on joy rides in what it billed as the world's largest passenger airship, the Zeppelin Eureka, is closing, the firm said Thursday.

Company officials said they would cease operations out of Moffett Field immediately and plan to provide refunds to customers who have already booked flights.

Founded in 2007, Airship Ventures focused on taking passengers "flightseeing" in the Eureka, a Zeppelin NT (new technology) built in Friedrichshafen, Germany. There are only two like it in the world - here and in Germany.

Airship Ventures has been leasing the Eureka from the Zeppelin company, which is expected to disassemble the airship and send it back to Germany.

"It's an inelegant end for the Eureka," said Hall, who has launched a social-media campaign to try to save the company.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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11 Responses:

  1. incster says:

    Oh, the humanity.

  2. Ben says:

    Co-founder and prior CEO Alex Hall left last year and is now the head of the Google Lunar X Prize. Apparently moon prizes are a more stable business than zeppelins.

  3. Jeff says:

    If only they had managed to hold out for later revisions of Zeppelin XP, or even Zeppelin 7, either actually being bearable environments.

  4. Anne McTavish says:

    Remember you were looking for the next big plan to reinvent yourself, after being a programmer and a nightclub owner? (I would link to the actual post, with a link text of "Previously", but I cant' find it, so just pretend I'm clever and witty, mmm-kay?) Anyhow, I think this would fit the bill. DNA Zeppelins sounds like your perfect destiny.

  5. James says:

    I keep saying that Tacocopter is a sustainable business model, but the VCs don't listen.

  6. Tom says:

    Hello? Airplanes? It's blimps, you win! Bye!

    • Ben says:

      Considering that their competition is sightseeing helicopters rather than transport airplanes, I wonder if they considered operating somewhere more known for air tourism, like the Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon.

  7. Dave Pease says:

    too bad they can't just fly it back to Germany instead of disassembling and shipping it.

    • e. says:

      I flew on Eureka from Moffett Field to Long Beach in April. It was fantastic to fly so low and quietly. There are operable windows.

      When they first brought the ship to the US, an insurance company was their sponsor, and they did do a cross-country flight. The ship requires ground crew services (they have a mobile mast for it) for stops, so it's not cheap to do such a long tour. Their itinerary on that trip was designed to be promotional and they took about six months to get to California, making stops to do sightseeing flights along the way.

      There is a sister ship still operating out of Friedrichshafen, should you find yourself in Europe with time and money. Do a relocation flight rather than an up-and-back tour if you can.

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