Bring back the airships!

Energy & Sustainability Fun & Games
Bring back the airships!

For this weekend’s Steam Powered: The California Steampunk Convention, the band Abney Park and Airship Ventures have teamed up to offer dirigible rides to conference-goers (for $785 a ticket). Airship Ventures just brought one of their Zeppelin NTs over from Germany and it will be moored at Moffett Field. MAKE contributor Todd Lappin was lucky enough to get a ride on the ship and posted a flight report on Telstar Logistics:

Operated by a startup called Airship Ventures, the Zeppelin NT will be based out of Moffett Field, Calfornia — a fitting home, as Moffett was built by the US Navy during the 1920s to serve as a base for military dirigibles.

The new Zeppelins are filled with the inert helium instead of highly flammable hydrogen, they’re only about one-quarter the size of the old giants, and they’re equipped with modern technology and avionics. Power is delivered by three Lycoming engines that put out around 200 horsepower each, and the airship frame is constructed from a combination of of aluminum and carbon fiber.

Flight Report: Aloft in a Zeppelin Airship
Up Ship! (Airship Ventures’ blog, with a travelogue of their transatlantic and cross-country trip)

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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