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Airship News 2nd Half 1998 

Airship Directory Updated
Monday, 16 November 1998

I have just completed an extensive update to the Helium Airships section of the Airship Directory. In the same spirit, I have updated the Goodyear page in the Manufacturer Database to reflect transformations in the company's airship activities during the last fifteen years.

CIA Announces Hot Airship Championship Dates
Monday, 16 November 1998

On the hot air airship front, the FAI Ballooning Commission (CIA) has announced that the 3rd European Hot Air Airship World Championship will be held in Warstein, Germany in September 1999 under the directorship of former world champion Jens Petersen (GER). The Ballooning Commission also announced that the 7th World Hot Air Airship Championship will be held in the Schloesserstrasse (Schielleiten) in Styria, Austria from September 1-10, 2000 under the directorship of Neil Robertson (GBR). According to information on the Ballooning Commission website, some sort of airship championship is also planned to be held during the World Air Games in Sevilla, Spain in 2001. It is further noted that the 2001 European Championship and the 2002 World Chamionship are still open for bids from potential organizers. It is also noteworthy that the seat of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) will be moved from Paris, France to Lausanne, Switzerland by year's end. The headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is already located in Lausanne.

DraganFly Innovations RC Airships
Friday, 6 November 1998

There is not much airship related news right now, except for the fact that I have added a link to DraganFly Innovations Inc., a new manufacturer of small indoor RC blimps. Noteworthy is that they are using electronics produced by Yoshioka in Japan in some of their models.

On a related note, I wanted to let you know that I have decided to play benevolent dictator for RC Blimps just a little longer. After some reflection and fairly limited response to my search for a new owner, I have concluded that the pages' neutrality and consistency will be better assured by my holding on. A revised edition of RC Blimps is available as of today.

Solo Balloons Section Added
Thursday, 15 October 1998

Today marks the introduction of a new Solo Balloons section of the Airship Resources. I created the page because no non-commercial information about this type of aerostat was available on the web and because I am a big fan of these small and lightweight balloons that carry a single person. I hope you enjoy it.

Airship Directory Updated
Tuesday, 6 October 1998

First, I have had time to fix some image links that were not working in the Airship Directory, and I have also updated some outdated links in a recent effort to streamline and clean up the Airship Resources.

Excellent Balloon Construction Link
Tuesday, 6 October 1998

Secondly, I want to draw your attention to the Balloon Construction Pages of Paul Craven in Iowa. He has documented his homebuilding experience in a detailed pictorial that ranges from calculating gores, over practicing sewing on scraps, to assembling complete gores. There is even a construction diary where you can follow Paul and his wife Val step by step.

Hilfiger Blimp Crashes
Wednesday, 30 September 1998

For those who have not heard yet, the fluorescent yellow Hilfiger Atheltics blimp, a Skyship 500HL, crashed on September 7, 1998 in Linden, New Jersey. Jon Radowski visited the site of the wreck in person and took pictures of the accidental deflation which he has posted on his website. Make sure to visit the site, it shows some great details of the Skyship series of blimps. Once again, high winds due to a hurricane are to blame for the ship being ripped from its moorings and torn to shreds. Too bad this airship promotion wasn't allowed to last longer (for reasons of blimp enthusiasm and not because of personal preference for a particular brand of clothing :-). It seems however, that a Skyship 600 is currently being painted and readied to replace the destroyed N501LP.

Report on Hot Airship Worlds in Gatineau, Canada
Monday, 21 September 1998

As planned, the 6th World Hot Air Airship Championship took place from September 2-6 in Gatineau (Quebec, Canada). Due to rainy and windy weather, only four competition flights were completed leaving very little margin for error. This benefitted the young Jacques-Antoine Besnard (Switzerland) who became the new World Champion by placing near or at the top in each of the four events. Benoit Simeons (Belgium) placed second with Guy Moyano (Luxembourg) finishing third. The final ranking among the 16 pilots, detailed task-specific results, and some pictures are available directly from Gatineau's press site.

Prospective Concepts Added to Airship Directory
Monday, 21 September 1998

In the Airship Manufacturer Database, a page on Prospective Concepts and its Stingray pneumatic airplane has been added. Even though the current Stingray prototype obtains all of its lift dynamically, the larger second prototype will be a hybrid achieving 25% of its lift statically by carrying helium in its inflatable wing. Finally, a pneumatic catapult in its tail will give it STOL/VTOL capacities to rival the ones of modern airships.

During the last few weeks, I have also expanded the Airship Directory to include a picture of each airship. With your submissions, I hope to collect an image of every flying airship.

Report on Experimental Balloon and Airship Meet
Monday, 13 July 1998

Many airship fans (including myself) were unable to attend the 5th Experimental Balloon and Airship Meet which was hosted by Brian Boland and the Experimental Balloon and Airship Association at the Post Mills Airport in Vermont this May. The annual event brings together aeronauts who have built, fly or own any sort of Experimental, Ultralight or Homebuilt Lighter-Than-Air Craft for three days of non-competitive flying and sharing of ideas. Two participants have published their pictures of this year's event on their websites:

I hope that you enjoy the pictures and can relive some of the excitement that was created by the synergy of experimental balloonists. Also, please note that Brian Boland flew his first pressurized hot air airship. I am curious to see how he will do with it at the 6th World Hot Air Airship Championship in Canada this September.

Don't Forget Hot Air Airship Worlds in Gatineau
Saturday, 11 July 1998

I apologize for the recent lack of updates. An explanation is given below.

Now to a more interesting topic: The 6th World Hot Air Airship Championship will be held from 2-7 September, 1998, in Gatineau, Canada. I strongly recommend a trip to the Championship, for a couple of days at least. The competitions are spectacular and not to be missed. I attended the last two Worlds in Italy and Switzerland and am very sad that I will not be able to go this year. Eighteen (18) pilots from thirteen nations are expected to attend. (A list of participants is available online.) Other noteworthy details include the fact that there will be a Chinese participant, for the first time since the 1st World Championships in Luxembourg in 1988. Also, the Canadian organizers chartered a Russian Antonov 124 cargo airplane to bring in the airships of European pilots, who make up two thirds of the participants. Congratulations to the organizers for such a brilliant solution. For details on hot airships and competition please see the Hot Air Airships section of the Airship Resources.

Let me conclude with an explanation for the recent lack of updates. I graduated from college in May and have now successfully completed an intesive jobsearch. I am entering professional life in August and updates will probably be further apart due to many hours of overtime work. In addition, I will be working in Frankfurt, Germany, starting in September. This will keep me away from my documentation and records until I return to the US in February or March, 1999. Even though I will probably not be able to attend the 1998 Hot Airship Worlds, I will try to provide some sort of delayed coverage. On the other hand, I will be closer to the European hot airship manufacturers and pilots and hope to visit some of them should time allow.

Archived News Reports
1997: 2nd Half 1999: 1st Half, 2nd Half
1998: 1st Half, 2nd Half 2000: 1st Half, 2nd Half
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