November 2002 CargoLifter and ATG To Join Forces
According to a CargoLifter
CargoLifter and Advanced Technologies Group signed a letter of intent
on 25 September 2002. Subject to a pending evaluation of the legal,
financial and technical feasibility of a cooperation, the two companies
agreed to work together upon conclusion of CL's bankruptcy proceedings,
as early as January 2003. The two companies agreed to build the ATG AT-10
airship at CL's facility in Brand and to develop
a prototype cargo airship based on ATG's SkyCat 20. According to a
on CL's website, most of the remaining members of the core design team
were terminated effective November 31, 2002.
It remains to be seen whether CargoLifter and ATG, who have each been
experiencing financial difficulties individually, will find success in their
November 2002 European Hot Airship Championship in Slovenia
According to the
the 3rd European Hot Air Airship Championship will be held September 11-18,
2003 in Ptju, Slovenia. The
Ptju Balloon Club
will be organizing the weeklong event.
November 2002 CargoLifter runs out of Money, Terminates Employees
According the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper,
the German Finance Ministry
CargoLifter's request for 40 million euro in emergency financing
on 10 August 2002. A subsequent article explained that CargoLifter would
because the bankruptcy trustee was unable to secure private financing after
the Finance Ministry refused to guarantee 40 million euro of debt.
Finally, CargoLifter would
retaining only a skeleton staff [all articles in German].
May 2002 News Update and Continued Publishing Hiatus
Thank you to all who have sent in news, pictures
and other information during the last 18 months! I just finished my
second year of law school, but there is one more year to go. I hope
to get caught up with maintenance over the summer, but the
will continue for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, you can read
about more important recent events below.
August 2002 CargoLifter in
After increasing difficulty in raising capital to coninue operations, CargoLifter
filed for bankruptcy in June 2002. Official
began on August 1. According to a CargoLifter spokesperson, the company hopes
to continue operations by cutting staff from 470 to about 220 employees [see German
CargoLifter's bankruptcy is sad news for the entire airship community and
puts development of the CL160 heavy lift airship in question.
May 2002 Advanced Technologies
Prototype Video, First Flight of AT-10 Airship
In late 2000,
Advanced Technologies Group
(ATG) made available several
showing initial flight trials of its SkyCat scale prototype
required]. More recently, the
AT-10's first flight
took place in March 2002. The four seat non-rigid looks like a further improvement on
the late Airship Industries' Skyship series, incorporating design lessons
learned from the Westinghouse Airships Sentinel 1000.
May 2002 CargoLifter
U.S. Facility, Hangar, CL75 AirCrane, Capital Increase
In October 2000,
announced that it had chosen New Bern, North Carolina,
as the site for a possible
future U.S. facility.
In August 2001,
CL celebrated the official completion of the
gargantuan hangar at its facility in Brand, 50 miles South of Berlin.
In October 2001, CargoLifter started testing the
CL 75 AirCrane.
The tethered balloon is its
first commercial product on the way to the CL160 heavy load airship.
CL has also continued to raise money, most recently with a
convertible bond issue
There are also some less positive news about CargoLifter. Since
CargoLifter's IPO and listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, its stock
has fallen more than 75 percent. Reasons for this battering include the
current recession and investor concern that after four years of development
and 300 million euro in capital, all CL has produced is a large
hangar and a spherical balloon. Several stories in the
Financial Times Deutschland
[in German] give a good summary and provide links to several more articles
about the controversy and legal battles, which started in early 2001.
A realistic assessment in
(April 29, 2002) provides a strong contrast to a positive article in
[requires Acrobat Reader].
May 2002 Second Zeppelin NT,
Passenger Flights over Lake Constance
While CargoLifter and Airship Technologies Group focus on development,
has moved on to a successful operational phase.
Zeppelin completed its second NT-07, D-LZZR "Bodensee", in May 2001.
Zeppelin also set up an operating subsidiary,
Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei,
which received German air transport certification in August 2001.
Zeppelin is now offering
daily passenger flights
over Lake Constance. Zeppelin also offered a special opportunity to
skydive from the Zeppelin
on three consecutive weekends in March 2002.
May 2002 4th International
Airship Conference in Cambridge, England
is organizing the
4th International Airship
Conference and Exhibition
from July 28-31, 2002. After Bedford and Friedrichshafen, this edition of
the bi-annual conference will take place in Cambridge, England.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. But I hope that airship
professionals and enthusiasts will enjoy a productive conference, despite
the current lull in the world economy.
May 2002 White Dwarf
Pedal-Powered Blimp Revived
According to an article in The Oregonian from December 2000,
Hot Air Balloon World Champion Bill Arras has bought the
pedal-powered blimp from Richard Gallagher. Arras and a partner are apparently
hoping to develop an updated and more performing human-powered blimp.