Above Silicon Valley in an airship

Mountain View Travel Blog

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I don't like balloons, nor blimps, although an airship is technically something different, it is a dirigible, with a rigid airframe. That does not makes it more attractive to me, furthermore, It is not cheap, another reason for me to not want to do it.

But my husband, being a pilot, thinks it's a great thing, and wanted a ride for his birthday. So, reluctantly I booked a tour for us. We arrived an hour before the scheduled flight, which gave us plenty of time to check in (only 12 passengers, so not that it would take a long time), we had a briefing to learn the safety procedure, and were scanned for contraband, it is a flight after all, but the atmosphere was much more fun during the scan.

We were taken in a van to the airfield from the office (in Moffett Field, Mountain View), and we stood around waiting for the airship to return from its previous flight.
Waiting room at Airship Ventures
It seemed to take a long time to come around, and then got close faster, then overhead, and the lowered to the ground. It was a little windy, and one ground crew held a rope tied to the nose of the airship, and the pilot hovered above ground just a few feet, while swinging with the wind.

We were briefed that two people would get off, and two people would get on. So that's how it unloaded and loaded passengers. The first step onto the ladder was a little tricky, because the ladder is actually floating above ground, not on the ground. But it's not too hard, so we all got on with no problems, even the elderly gentleman. After we all got onboard, and seated, the airship took off right away. Pretty soon we were flying away from the airfield. The airship had seats for 12 people, all window (and aisle!).
Big hangars in Moffett field, the one on the left is where the airship lives
The windows are really big and affording great view outside. There are also two openable windows, and after we leveled off at 1000 feet, we were allowed and encouraged to walk around, look out the window, stick our head or hand or camera out of the windows! And at the rear of the airship was a huge window seat, where one can sit and look almost straight down! It was very quiet inside, even with the windows open at times. The airship went north from Mountain View to north of Stanford University and then turned back. Even though it was only a 30 minute flight, it felt not rushed, although I am sure some people would feel it was too short! It was a lot of fun. I did get a little dizzy from walking around and maybe from the wind. But overall, it was a great experience and fun thing to do!
mightor20 says:
would love to experience this...
Posted on: Jul 21, 2010
portia says:
I know who would think that's a great idea!
Posted on: Jun 28, 2010
travelman727 says:
I'd sign on for that TB meetup :-D
Posted on: Jun 28, 2010
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Waiting room at Airship Ventures
Waiting room at Airship Ventures
Big hangars in Moffett field, the …
Big hangars in Moffett field, the…
View of the hangar with the 2 mast…
View of the hangar with the 2 mas…
The other hangar at Muffett field
The other hangar at Muffett field
Airship coming in for landing
Airship coming in for landing
one of 3 propellers
one of 3 propellers
boarding the airship
boarding the airship
one of their guys holding the nose…
one of their guys holding the nos…
the part holding people
the part holding people
getting onboard, note that the lad…
getting onboard, note that the la…
on board, everyone has a window se…
on board, everyone has a window s…
looking toward the pilot
looking toward the pilot
pilot
pilot
taking off, straight up, no runway…
taking off, straight up, no runwa…
looking back out of the rear window
looking back out of the rear window
you can look straight down from th…
you can look straight down from t…
view out of the rear window
view out of the rear window
view out of the window, there are …
view out of the window, there are…
our pilot, the only female pilot o…
our pilot, the only female pilot …
propeller in flight
propeller in flight
looking out at a football field
looking out at a football field
shadow of the zeppelin below
shadow of the zeppelin below
looking back again
looking back again
and down
and down
and this is the loo with the view
and this is the loo with the view
the in-flight bathroom
the in-flight bathroom
Standford football field
Standford football field
I stuck my hand holding the camera…
I stuck my hand holding the camer…
interior of the zeppelin, spacious
interior of the zeppelin, spacious
the big rear window
the big rear window
the big rear window
the big rear window
kevin enjoying his flight
kevin enjoying his flight
you can walk around in flight, emp…
you can walk around in flight, em…
the longest building in the US, th…
the longest building in the US, t…
the longest building in the US, th…
the longest building in the US, t…
the longest building in the US, th…
the longest building in the US, t…
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
Standford University campus
me and Kevin, note people at the r…
me and Kevin, note people at the …
Our pilot
Our pilot
the instrument panel
the instrument panel
big wind tunnel is housed in the b…
big wind tunnel is housed in the …
big wind tunnel is housed in the b…
big wind tunnel is housed in the …
back to Moffett field
back to Moffett field
landing
landing
landed
landed
a small model outside the office o…
a small model outside the office …
Mountain View Sights & Attractions review
A ride in an airship in California
Some people have always wanted to ride in the zeppelin (a dirigible, rigid airship, not a blimp), even though I was not one of them, my husband was, a… read entire review
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