Airship Ventures Inc. was a private company that offered sight-seeing rides (which the company called "flightseeing") in a 12-passenger Zeppelin NT out of a World War II United States Navy hangar at Moffett Federal Airfield near Mountain View, California.
As of December 2012[update], their airship, built by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH, is in a state of disassembly, but is still one of three zeppelins in the world. The ship was dedicated and christened Eureka at the 75th anniversary celebration for Moffett Field on November 21, 2008; its flight from Beaumont, Texas, where it was shipped, to the Bay Area was the first zeppelin flight in the United States in 71 years.
At 246 feet (75 m) long, it was the largest airship in the world until the U.S. Army's LEMV had its maiden flight in 2012.
The company was owned by the husband and wife team of Alexandra and Brian Hall of Los Gatos, California. Alexandra Hall previously ran the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California. Two of their pilots, Katherine "Kate" Board (who left the company to fly another Zeppelin NT in Germany) and Andrea Deyling, are the only female zeppelin pilots in the world.
Airship Ventures was based out of the Bachelor Officer Quarters in Building 20 in the NASA Research Park. The airship was stored in the WWII era Hangar Two - a former blimp hangar.
On November 14, 2012, the company announced that it was closing its doors and grounding flight operations due to a lack of long-term sponsorship. In mid-December the decision was announced to wind up the company and dissassemble the Eureka, which was shipped back to Germany.
- Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei (DZR), both the historic and current German Zeppelin passenger transport company
- Anthony Ha (2008-05-09). "Look, up in the sky: Zeppelin company Airship Ventures raises $8M". Venture Beat.
- "Zeppelin revival over skies of San Francisco". USA Today. 2007-06-22.
- Stacy Finz (2012-11-15). "Airship Ventures ends operations". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-2-25.
- Daniel DeBolt (2008-11-28). "Moffett Field's serendipitous 75th anniversary". Mountain View Voice. p. 6.
- George Raine (2008-10-19). "Bay Area firm to offer $500 zeppelin rides". San Francisco Chronicle.
- "Airship Ventures Zeppelin Successfully Crosses Atlantic:Zeppelin to Embark on Historic Cross-Country Flight". Marketwatch (press release).
- Cody Kraatz (2008-11-26). "Zeppelin provides a backdrop for Moffett's 75th anniversary". Sunnyvale Sun. p. 25.
- Airship Ventures: People-Pilots, retrieved 2008-11-30, archived at the Internet Archive 2011-6-19.
- "Airship Ventures Announces First American Female to Earn Zeppelin Pilot Qualification". Airship Ventures. 2012-5-30. Retrieved 2013-2-25. (pdf)
- "Airship Ventures Ceases Operations". Airship Ventures. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-11-15. (pdf)
- Claudia Cruz (2012-12-12). "Airship Ventures Says 'Goodbye'". Mountain View Patch. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
- Daniel DeBolt (2013-02-22). "Former Airship Ventures employee loved her work". Mountain View Voice. p. 7.