No More Zep Rides in USA; Airship Ventures Closes Down

by Dan Grossman on November 15, 2012

Airship Ventures has ceased operations and grounded the airship Eureka — a Zeppelin NT – effective immediately.

The Zeppelin NT “Eureka” branded with the Farmers Insurance logo

The company operated Eureka since 2008, giving passenger rides in the San Francisco Bay area and carrying advertising for companies including Farmers Insurance, Disney, and genetics-testing company 23andme.  The company has struggled financially and was apparently unable to find a new corporate sponsor.

To Airship Ventures co-founders Brian and Alexandra Hall we offer both condolences and congratulations; we are sad to see Eureka grounded, but we congratulate you on four safe and inspiring years in the air.  Thank you for bringing a zeppelin back to American skies for the first time in 75 years.  We wish you and your team the very best.

 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

John Chaney January 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Last posting was 2012, are there any airships left in the U.S. that is not private or experimental?

I am very interested in the subject, but can find very little updated information.

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Navigaiter February 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Yes, affordable airship operation, either hobbyist or commercial requires the usage of H2, hydrogen, lift gas, not expensive helium. It was done safely and will be done safely again.
Airship operation has to be done without the use of expensive ground crews or it’ll never be practical to operate them.
This means that any PRACTICAL airship will need dynamic steering for low-speed maneuverability so that it can moor itself into a ship-latching ground structure. Otherwise operating cost will cripple any airship cruise service.

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SCHMAUCH February 8, 2013 at 7:32 am

One of the reason airship ventures manger gave to explain their bankrupcy is interesting: shortage of helium which became thus too expensive. Helium isn’t renewable and earth helium reserves will run out in the coming years, or will be reserved for other purpose (liquid helium, labs, etc.). If there is a future for airships, hydrogen will have to be used again. But with new technologies to ensure safety (hydrogen ballonet inside a nitrogen filled hull, new resistant fabric, protection against ligtning, etc.) . If this is not possible then the conclusion is obvious.

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Auction HQ January 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Airship Ventures Assets up for Auction http://auctionhq.com/event/airship-ventures/

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Stuart December 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Dammit! An awesome opportunity to expand LTA commerical passenger travel lost. I firmly believe that in the cattle-car mentality airline industry that herds us about, polks, prods and douses us with x-rays, body scans and rudeness, that the airship will offer sane, civil and decency on a levle not seen in airflight in over thirty years or more. Overnight runs from Lakehurst, NJ or Calverton, NY to Miami or Orlando, Fall foliage tours of New England and Ontario for the weekend, exploring the New England coast, the Pacific northwest coast, or where there is a field to land in. All we need is some visionaries, some investors and some luck. It can happen again. Thanks to Airship Ventures for setting the table and offering us a little peak into a much larger world of an eco-friendly, sane alternate form of transportation.

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M L Hopp November 17, 2012 at 6:02 am

This is disheartening news, as it was my hope to someday ride aboard the Eureka. Alas, I will now have to someday venture to Germany to fly on a zeppelin. I’d hold out a slim hope that Goodyear may offer some manner of rides on the zeppelins they will be putting into service, but considering the policy they’ve had with their blimps…

Well, perhaps the future will bring a new start to Airship Ventures. It was an exciting and promising four years.

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