About Airship Ventures
Airship Ventures flies Eureka, a Zeppelin NT airship, around the SF Bay Area for daily sightseeing flights, advertising operations, corporate and event occasions and scientific missions.
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Latest Airship Ventures News
Jan 22, 2013
The Zeppelin Eureka carried 20,000 passengers over four years for Airship Ventures. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle The Zeppelin Eureka carried 20,000 passengers over four years for... Image 2 of 2 The Zeppelin Eureka's Bay Area "flightseeing" tours included San Francisco and Wine Country. Photo: Frederic Larson, The Chronicle The Zeppelin Eureka's Bay Area "flightseeing" tours included San... Airship Ventures ends operations gallery_thumbs_close|article-gallery-4041288|article-gallery-4041288|0 gallery_overlay_close|article-gallery-4041288|article-gallery-4041288|0 Airship Ventures, the Mountain View company that took passengers on joy rides in what it billed as the world's largest passenger airship, the Zeppelin Eureka, is closing, the firm said Thursday. Company officials said they would cease operations out of Moffett Field immediately and plan to provide refunds to customers who have already booked flights. Founded in 2007, Airship Ventures focused on taking passengers "flightseeing" in the Eureka, a Zeppelin NT (new technology) built in Friedrichshafen, Germany. There are only two like it in the world - here and in Germany. "There's still a one- to two-week window for a white-knight corporate sponsor" to step forward, said CEO Brian Hall , adding that for $5 million to $6 million, a company could tack its logo on the side of the Zeppelin for one year. "It is with a very heavy heart that we've come to this point. " But the lack of a long-term sponsor and a world helium shortage - the gas is used to lift the airship off the ground - put the kibosh on the company, Hall said. Airship Ventures has been leasing the Eureka from the Zeppelin company, which is expected to disassemble the airship and send it back to Germany. "It's an inelegant end for the Eureka," said Hall, who has launched a social-media campaign to try to save the company. At 246 feet long, the Eureka is 15 feet longer than a standard Boeing 747 and 50 feet longer than the largest commercial blimps. The per-passenger cost of a flight ranged from $375 to $950. Not including the pilot and flight attendant, the Zeppelin's cabin could hold 12 passengers. Features included panoramic windows, which could be opened during flight, and a 180-degree rear observation window and seat that wraps around the aft of the cabin. Typically, the craft cruised at 35 to 40 miles per hour and provided passengers with such air views as Wine Country, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Seattle. Besides the tourism business, the Eureka was used on government missions - NASA used it for a meteorite-seeking assignment over Sacramento and Sonoma - and by science and environmental research groups. Despite taking up more than 20,000 passengers, the company was hampered by the recession. "We were just never able to get regular sponsorship," Hall said. "And since we started, helium prices have increased tenfold. " Stacy Finz is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: email@example.com Twitter: @sfinz Latest Top Business Videos
Airship Ventures Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Airship Ventures founded?
Airship Ventures was founded in 2007.
Where is Airship Ventures's headquarters?
Airship Ventures's headquarters is located at NASA Research Park, Moffett Field.
What is Airship Ventures's latest funding round?
Airship Ventures's latest funding round is Dead.
How much did Airship Ventures raise?
Airship Ventures raised a total of $11M.
Who are the investors of Airship Ventures?
Investors of Airship Ventures include EDventure Holdings, Amphitheatre LLC, Utah Desert Investments, Alexandra Hall, Brian Hall and 3 more.
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