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Archive for Sunday, October 26, 2008

Company offering zeppelin air tours

October 26, 2008

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— Zeppelins, the giant floating airships used to carry passengers and drop bombs until the 1930s, haven't been seen in American skies for more than 70 years.

Now a California company is bringing the iconic aircraft back to the United States, with plans to offer aerial tours of the San Francisco Bay area in a newly built zeppelin. It's one of just three in the world - the others are in Germany and Japan.

Airship Ventures Inc.'s zeppelin arrived in the Bay Area on Saturday, passing over the Golden Gate Bridge en route to its new home at Moffett Field, a former naval air station in Mountain View, about 40 miles south of San Francisco.

Starting Friday, Airship Ventures will begin offering rides that provide a bird's-eye view of Napa and Sonoma wine country, the Big Sur coastline, San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area. The cabin holds 12 passengers and two crew members, and tickets start at $495 per person for an one-hour ride.

"It's a way to see the world in a way that you haven't experienced it before," said Brian Hall, a software entrepreneur who started the company.

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