Town Square

Zeppelin grounded: Airship Ventures ends operations

Original post made on Nov 16, 2012

After floating its Zeppelin over the Bay Area for four years, Airship Ventures announced Thursday that it has grounded the airship and is issuing refunds to passengers. A lack of corporate sponsorship and high helium prices are to blame, company officials said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 16, 2012, 1:40 PM


Posted by Mr. Nice, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

So glad I went for a ride about 2 years ago, we flew over the mountain near Stanford to Half Moon Bay and down the coast and back to Moffett. I will never forget that trip. I wish Google would ante up the 6 mil and keep her afloat.

Posted by musical, a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm

My pricy flights in the zeppelin are now literally priceless experiences.

Posted by Monta Loman, a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I could never have afforded the ride, but it was cheering to see the zeppelin floating over the area -- especially from my office high atop the Hoover Tower at Stanford. I'll miss it.

Posted by Susan, a resident of Castro City
on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

What a shame! I heard that helium is in short supply and that we should be worried about not having enough to blow up balloons but the Zepplin is one heck of a big balloon! I hope they find a sponsor soon.

Posted by Kathy Hall, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

The rides were pricey but it would have been a spectacular experience. Maybe someone will step up and save the day, there is a lot of money in this valley.

Posted by diane, a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Where is Larry Ellison??

Posted by sad, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

:-( truly sad to hear this. I was saving up for a ride. I will miss seeing it flying over my house! I thought those ads on it would help it stay in business. It was the best billboard ever!

Posted by Good Riddance, a resident of Gemello
on Nov 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

The zeppelin was novel and somewhat nice at first, but I become a lot less pleased when they turned it into a giant floating corporate billboard for Farmers Insurance and other companies. I see more than enough billboards on the ground--I don't need them polluting the sky too. If they had succeeded in buying three of these things, it would have been even worse. Hot air balloons provide a nicer ride for less money, and are more attractive for those of us on the ground too.

Posted by Egli, a resident of Castro City
on Nov 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Doesnt anybody edi't this' s'tuff. "it's" for "its" in the first lyne. Journalistic standards ai'nt wot thems used to be. Sets a bad example for the kiddies.

Posted by Doug Pearson, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I also was lucky enough to ride the Eureka and very glad I did. I only wish I could have done it again.

Posted by David M, a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I'm pretty sure "dissembled" doesn't mean what you apparently think it does. You probably wanted "disassembled."

Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

The company's quotations cite the 1937 Hindenburg fire and crash, which certainly ended international public interest in airship travel. However, constant mention of that one disaster obscures the main historical peril to airships. It had nothing to do with hydrogen vs. helium.

They're aerostats -- providing unpowered lift -- in other words, sophisticated balloons. As very low-density high-profile craft, airships are vulnerable to winds, and are reliably controllable only in limited weather conditions. In the 1920s and 30s, several nations built vast airships, most of which crashed, typically in winds or storms, often with great loss of life. Including all three of the large US-Navy airships (one of which of course was based at Moffett), despite using non-combustible helium for lift.

Posted by musical, a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2012 at 3:19 am

Admiral Moffett himself died when the USS Akron went down in a storm off New Jersey in 1933. Eureka was fair weather craft. We do have more fair weather here than many places.

Anyone disappointed in missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity might consider a similarly priced flight on the B-17 or B-24 next time they come through raising funds for their upkeep. Noisier than the zeppelin but you can still hang your head out the waistgunner windows. Those relics won't last forever.

Posted by Greg, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Too bad, I enjoyed seeing this thing floating over MV. I never had plans to spend that much on the trip, but still a cool local fixture for a while.

Posted by sad, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

There is a chance to save the Eureka. They need to sign with a new corporate sponsor by November 28. You can read about it on their website or Facebook page.

Posted by Mr. Worldallwrong, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:11 am


Posted by Banbi, a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Google should sponsor them! Call it The ZEP GOOGLE.

Posted by Auction HQ, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jan 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

Airship Ventures Assets up for Auction Web Link