Airship Ventures Says 'Goodbye'

After fundraising campaign fails, the Mountain View-based company packs up.

It's the end of another era.

Airship Ventures, the company which leased and operated the passenger airship Zeppelin Eureka, could not raise the $5 to $6 million it needed to continue operations. This means that the familiar image of the Eureka flying around the Bay Area, emblazoned with a company logo and carrying sightseers will become a distant memory.

 "We have reduced staff to the level needed to wind down and disassemble the ship," CEO Brian Hall told Mountain View Patch by email. "That process should be finished before the holidays."

The Mountain View-based company had a staff of 35.

The 246-feet airship flew 20,000 passengers since it's maiden flight in 2008 for both leisure and professional services like the provision of aerial television coverage for sporting events. It had been stored inside Hangar Two at Moffett Field, not too far from Hangar One, the home of the dirigible airship USS Macon until 1935.

What do you think about the Eureka not flying again? What memories do you have the Eureka? Tell us in comments.


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commuter December 12, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Prices were $500 and up for a flight. Never interested me at that price. Don't know anyone else who ever flew with them either.
Claudia Cruz December 12, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I think that for most people, the price was steep. But it would have been a legitimate business expense and a great way to entertain clients. Also, they probably knew that $500 a flight wouldn't pay the bills. It's the sponsorships that brought the big bucks. I did want to try it, but c'est la vie!
James Yarger December 13, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Well let me tell you both you missed an opportunity of a lifetime. Flying on an airship is like nothing you've ever experienced. The Eurika is a glimpse into a sustainable earth friendly form of air travel. Someday perhaps in a distant future, people will look back and question why we didn't capitalize on lighter than air transportation in favor of our carbon monoxide pumping beef eating lifestyles. Failing to see the usefulness airships over our current forms of distance transportation may be our biggest fail as humans. C'est la vie.
Claudia Cruz December 13, 2012 at 08:14 PM
That's a fascinating way to look at it James. I hope perhaps some Silicon Valley entrepreneur reads this and starts to work on "lighter than air" travel. We do focus a lot more on reducing car emissions, but less on airplane. Do wish I had had the opportunity to ride the Eureka.


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