Zeppelin Porn: Zeppelin Visits Long Beach

It’s Memorial Day, and I’m not up for doing a full post today. We had a barbecue last night with a bunch of friends, and I’m exhausted. So instead, I thought I’d offer a slight twist on an old favorite. This time, instead of airplane porn, we have Zeppelin porn.

That’s right. Airship Ventures brought their Zeppelin down to Long Beach this past week for flightseeing tours and I was able to hitch a ride on one. What an incredibly cool experience. I’ll have more on it tomorrow, but for now, I’ll leave you with this shot of the Zeppelin (advertising Pixar’s new movie, Up) flying away at the end of our trip.

Zeppelin Blocking the Sun

15 Responses to Zeppelin Porn: Zeppelin Visits Long Beach

  1. SimonF says:

    Hey Cranky. Hate to be pedantic, but shouldn’t it only be called a Zeppelin if it was built in Germany during the early 20th Century, or is this a Hoover-type thing?

  2. CZBB says:

    No, Zepplin are still making or planning on making airships in Friedrichshafen
    http://www.zeppelinflug.de/seiten/E/default.htm

  3. CF says:

    Yes, thanks CZBB. This company is a direct descendant of those who made the Zeppelins back in the day. This version, however, is filled with helium instead of hydrogen so we won’t be seeing a repeat of the Hindenburg disaster.

  4. Brendan says:

    I just saw that up in San Francisco last week when I was in town. I had no idea that they went all the way to Long Beach! Any pictures from the air Cranky?

  5. oliver says:

    It is made in Germany. I see it almost every day when they are flying their regular routes over the Bay Area. Wish I could justify the expense to take a ride…

  6. CF says:

    Brendan – Yep. I’ll have pictures and video ready to go for tomorrow’s post.

  7. The ship is a Zeppelin NT. Although it is a semi-rigid airship, and not a rigid airship like a traditional “zeppelin” (such as the Hindenburg), it is made by a successor company to the same firm that was founded by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and which built the Hindenburg (and over 100 other zeppelin airships) so it is, in fact, a zeppelin!

  8. SimonF says:

    Okay, I stand multiply corrected!!

  9. Zach says:

    Oooohhh–zeppelin porn! I SO shouldn’t be viewing this at work ;-)

    Just kidding…

  10. @ Zach:

    Well I guess that depends on your reaction to zeppelins…

  11. John M. says:

    This really makes me understand the limitations of lighter-than-air travel. It can only be accomplished in pristinely fine weather. If a thunderstorm had rolled in, or even a moderate Santa Ana wind, you would all have died.

    Given their low speeds, I don’t see how any dirigible could be expected to maneuver around a front of even modest size. And they simply don’t have the ability to climb ABOVE the weather.

    Despite all the futuristic dreaming, I’m afraid commercially viable dirigible travel will remain in the same realm as commercially viable interplanetary travel.

  12. @ John M:

    I am not one of those dreamers who believe rigid airships could ever be a practical means of scheduled transportation… BUT…. at the same time, your comment suggests that zeppelins inherently lack any ability to operate in or around adverse weather, which is simply not the case.

    The best example is the LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin; over a nine year career, the Graf Zeppelin flew more than a million miles, all over the globe, on 590 flights, carrying over 34,000 passengers, and it did so in and around major weather systems. Naturally, careful and attentive navigation was required to avoid certain weather systems, or even take advantage of them, through pressure pattern navigation. (More information is obviously available on my website.)

    Again, I am not suggesting that zeppelins are a practical means of transport; I am simply that, when operated skillfully, they are not limited to blue sky days, either.

    Of course, operating a sightseeing ship in bad weather makes no economic sense in any case, nor would there be any justification for undertaking the additional risk to passengers of foul-weather operations, but that does not mean that other missions for a ship like the Zeppelin NT — military, surveillance, etc — might not be appropriate.

  13. Paul Gazis says:

    Airships have several advantages over heavier-than-air craft. They have potentially limitless endurance, they can hover for a very long time, and IFR operation is a piece of cake. Against this, one must weigh their large size, expense, and low speed. They can fly higher than one might suppose. The German ‘height climbers’ of WWI routinely operated at altitudes above 18,000′ during bombing raids — their counterparts would transponders and clearance into Class A airspace today.

    The biggest problem facing large airships may be ground handling. You don’t just fire up the engines and taxi out to the runway with an 800′ long aircraft, and the alternatives used in the 1920s and 30s — 200-man ground crews and/or elaborate rail systems — could be prohibitively expensive today. The Zeppelin NT fellows seem to get a lot of benefit out of their tail rotor, but it’s not clear how well this would scale up to something the size of largest American and German ships, which were three times longer and had 20-30 times the enclosed volume.

    So it remains to be determined if a use can be found for large rigid airships and if they will ever return. But we can always dream about what might have been, and I’ve explored one of the more glamorous but less likely possibilities on my website at http://airships.paulgazis.com

  14. Loron Knowlen says:

    I saw it yesterday Sunday when it flew over Universal Studios at about 5:40pm. I’m proud to see the Zeppelins back.

  15. John M. says:

    Not only can you not “just fire up the engines and taxi out to the runway with an 800? long aircraft”, you can’t even LEAVE THE HANGAR if it’s even a little bit breezy out. This totally nullifies any advantages.

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