American Blimp Corporation

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American Blimp Corporation
Type Private
Founded 1987
Headquarters Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
45°32′21″N 122°57′16″W / 45.53913°N 122.95444°W / 45.53913; -122.95444Coordinates: 45°32′21″N 122°57′16″W / 45.53913°N 122.95444°W / 45.53913; -122.95444
Products non rigid airships
Subsidiaries The Lightship Group
Website www.americanblimp.com
N615LG Blimp for MetLife.
Corporate headquarters in Hillsboro, Oregon

American Blimp Company (ABC) is a privately owned Hillsboro, Oregon-based company that is the largest manufacturer of blimps in the United States. It manufactures the hardware and rigging for the Lightship and Spector brands of airships. In 2012, American Blimp Corporation and The Lightship Group were acquired by Van Wagner Communications LLC, and are now referred to as the Van Wagner Airship Group.[1]

Models[edit]

ABC was founded in 1987 by James Thiele.[2] The company's lightships are the A-60 and A-60+, as well as the A-150 and A-170.[2] The website says, "There are more A-60+ airships flying in commercial service than those of all other manufacturers combined."[2]

In 1995 it launched the Spector series, with a gondola capable of nine passengers plus the pilot.[2]

The blimps feature internal lights and translucent envelopes for the advertising and sales promotion markets. The airship's envelopes are manufactured by ILC Dover's Lighter than air division based in Frederica, Delaware.[citation needed]

Oregon facilities[edit]

Its Hillsboro location has a 2,300-square-metre (25,000 sq ft) facility and leased space in an airship hangar at Tillamook, Oregon.[2] There are 45 employees in Oregon.[2]

The Lightship Group[edit]

Wholly owned subsidiary The Lightship Group (TLG) sells lightships and is based in Orlando, Florida and has more than 200 employees.[2] TLG was formed in 1995 as a partnership of Virgin Lightship[disambiguation needed] and ABC's Lightship America. In 2002 ABC acquired control of the group.[3] In 2012, TLG was acquired by Van Wagner Communications LLC, and now operates under The Van Wagner Airship Group.[1]

TLG has operated the Goodyear Blimp outside of the United States, in Europe and countries such as Australia, Brazil, and China; this includes airships such as the "Spirit of Europe 1" and 2 as well as the "Spirit of the South Pacific".[4] It was one of TLG's Goodyear airships that crashed in Reichelsheim, Germany on 14 June 2011, resulting in the death of Michael Nerandzic, an experienced pilot whose last-minute actions saved the lives of his three passengers.[5]

According to its website, Van Wagner Airship Group is the "world's largest airship operator, providing integrated, full service Airship advertising and promotion programs for companies such as Goodyear, Met Life, General Motors, DirecTV and Sanyo."[4][5]

Aircraft[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.bizjournals.com/newyork/news/2012/09/07/van-wagner-acquires-blimp-advertiser.html
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "About American Blimp". Americanblimp.com. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  3. ^ "About Us >> Company History". Lightships. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Lightships :: Client Highlights >> GoodYear". The Lightship Group. Archived from the original on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  5. ^ a b "Blimp pilot dies saving passengers from fiery crash". CNN. June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 

External links[edit]

  • Official website --> Now operating under Van Wagner Airship Group.
  • [1] of ABC's Lightship Group subsidiary
  • [2] official site of the MetLife Blimp, DirecTV blimp, HP Hood blimp, etc.