MARKETING COMPANY BACKING AND AIRSHIP COMPANY SUPPORT
A new advertising concept like an airship circumnavigation, will be much more successful in the financial sense. if a large marketing company with a good reputation is directly involved in supporting the concept. The airship companies themselves are very small and press releases from them supporting new ideas are not very effective in terms of finding sponsors or obtaining a main advertising contract. The airship companies will very quickly back any proposal once they realize that it is possible for them to make a profit with a new type of tour. The actual operational personnel of these companies are very enthusiastic about the idea of a record breaking circumnavigation and I have already compiled a list of top class professional crew who will be available for a circumnavigation or trans Atlantic tour.
THE AIRSHIP COMPANY CONTRACT
There are two Skyship operators that can supply a Skyship 600: Airship Management services www.airshipman.com Skycruise Switzerlsnd: www.skycruise.ch In contract terms, the marketing company would find the main advertising contract customer and possibly sponsors and then contract with one or both of the Skyship operators for the tour. For an Atlantic tour it might be decided to contract with AMS for supply of the Skyship and Skycruise for the crew and operation. The two companies have done joint ventures before.
SKYSHIP 600B CONVERSION to 600DLR (Diesel Long Range)
The HAV 304 that is under construction by Hybrid Air Vehicles (www.hybridairvehicles.com) for the US Army will be using the same 350 hp Centurion engines, with a modified gearbox and new duct, prop and outriggers as can be used for this conversion project. There are a number of different ways the new diesels can be installed, according to which gondola is used. (The LEMV is now flying) Other systems required: 1/ Long range fuel system, using a converted water ballast tank and one large bag tank. 2/ Radio altimeter with loud audio alarm in the cabin. 3/ New moving map GPS navigation system. 4/ Rudder trim system (Simple bungee cord from floor). 5/ Tail skid to protect rudder. 6/ Sat. Phone linked to main audio system. 7/ Argos tracking system and marine radio.
OVERFLIGHT AND LANDING CLEARANCES
SEE: http://www.overflight.co.uk/ Welcome to Overflight If you are planning overseas flights, Overflight will arrange: flight clearances landing permits traffic rights flight planning Permissions, diplomatic clearance and traffic rights can be obtained for any fixed wing aircraft (including microlights) and helicopters. Whether you are a private pilot or operating corporate, relief, cargo/passenger charter or ferry operations, Overflight will make it easy for you.
CARGO AIRCRAFT FOR MAST AND EQUIPMENT
C 130 fireworks display.
All of the different around the world routes require that the ground crew, airship mast, refueling equipment, engineering tools and spares be transported from one stop to another and the most reliable way is by air cargo. The most economic aircraft to charter is a late model long range Antinov 12 and one good way this can be done is through Lufthansa Cargo. Most of the ground crew would travel ahead by normal airline transport and Russian regulations limit the number of passengers to 6 in cargo category aircraft. If a company like Fed Ex or Lufthansa Cargo was a sponsor then a cargo support aircraft might not be required.
SPONSORS FOR GONDOLA BRANDING
Sponsors are not absolutely necessary for an airship tour if a big enough main advertising customer is found, but can be very useful for two reasons, firstly to reduce the cost of the conversion work and secondly to reduce the cost of the actual operation. In many cases they can also help with logistics. A typical list of items or services required for initial preparation might be: 1/ Conversion to diesel engines (EADS if EU based or Northrop Grumman in the US) 2/ Gondola restoration and long range fuel tanks.(Pimp my blimp?) 3/ Extra electronics like radio altimeter and sat phone system. (INMARSAT) 4/ Safety equipment and weather routing service for the circumnavigation. 5/ Flight and route planning costs, such as site surveys with the overflight clearance company charges. A typical list of sponsors required for the actual flight might be: 1/ Ground crew support aircraft. (Lufthansa Cargo?) 2/ Helium and fuel. (BP,Linde or Air Products?) 3/ Airline tickets and hotel costs.(BA,Trump castle or Casino?)
ADVERTISING CONTRACT FOR THE MAIN ENVELOPE
It will take about a year to carry out the diesel engine conversion, fully restore, equip and certify the Skyship for a circumnavigation. This year will give the marketing company involved plenty of time to find a customer for the envelope advertising, which will not be difficult once most of the preparation work is complete. Finding sponsors for the conversion work is the first priority, although sponsors for items like the engine conversion work might not be required if a major company was willing to contract for the entire operation and all of the branding rights.
Picture: AMS Fuji Film Skyship 600B lifting off from Las Vegas Northeast airport.