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Old Dec 07, 2014, 03:37 PM
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North Richland Hills, Texas USA
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Portland Ford Airship Incident

Anybody know what happened? Punctured, power failure, bad case dumb thumbs or what? I am not making comment one way or another but I have had similar things happen in 18 years of flying the balloons and it ain't funny. Hate to say it but been there, done that and have tee shirt to prove it. Shapes overall are pigs to fly and you are always one mistake from going into the crowds. You have to kind of point and shoot while praying at the same time. Like trying to herd cats. We retired a ship (see below) last season that was limo shaped. Flew as good as one could get a shape to work but a real pain in the ass and leaked. Just got to costly to operate. Over a hundred flights in two seasons.

Portland Blazers - Blimp Down Time Lapse #ripcity (0 min 14 sec)
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Old Dec 13, 2014, 05:51 PM
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It's Not a Mans World Any Longer

Christine Beaird started working with my crews earlier this season and graduated to a pinch hitters position this afternoon at the Dallas Mavericks flying both pregame and halftime break. She did an excellent job and will go on to flying a number of events next season for a series of smaller venues in the area. Just needs the flight hours. She will pick up from my younger brother and work the event solo for the University of Texas. Randy will move up to command pilot for the Dallas Stars and Mavericks events.

Presently I have three husband and wife teams working venues here in Ft Worth/Dallas and greater Austin area. All have fun and the extra income never hurt.

I have taken on a position with Taylor Deal Avaition in their Aero Kinectic Divison as Chief Pilot for their UAV projects. Got a call out of the blue asking for my help. Logged over 81 minutes flight time on a series of test on a new air vehicle. Retired eight years ago and it just keeps getting better. Wages to good to pass up at least for a couple of weeks. Another of my pilots was also picked up to assist us and do a little OJT on the systems. He about fell over when I asked him to come down for an interview. He was put to work within an hour of arrival and worked well into the evening his first day. Good kid, great pilot. He has been with me now for four years as one of my prime shooters for the Stars and Mavericks. He now has a chance in an aviation related field for many years. I did over 45 years in military avaition and he now has his chance.
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Old Dec 30, 2014, 04:02 PM
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New Goodyear envelope was received Friday last. Vehicle is 32 foot and created by Mobile Airships of Canada. Fits existing gondola we use at the AT & T Stadium (Cowboy Stadium) in Arlington Texas. Set it up this morning and flew for about an hour and 40 minutes without incident. A really nice flying machine. Vehicle uses rudder for its aerodynamics plus a thruster on the tail. Did not add servos for the elevators as it was felt that they were not needed. Elevators are fixed and it works great. A really nice flying vehicle. Envelope is scheduled at this time only for the Cotton Bowl this Thursday. Would love to have Goodyear sponser a few more dates in the Stadium. We will be dropping coupon and utilizing camera for on call service with the director at the stadium.
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Last edited by Ed Couch; Dec 31, 2014 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Add Photos
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Old Jan 01, 2015, 12:11 PM
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North Richland Hills, Texas USA
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Goodyear Airship Buildup Quicktime

Build of the Goodyear airship Tuesday morning. About an hour to build and you get to see it in one minute and eight seconds. Scheduled out today at Cotton Bowl in Arlington Texas.

Setup Of The Remote Controlled Good Year Blimp (1 min 9 sec)


ed
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Old Jan 01, 2015, 05:39 PM
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Game Over

The new Goodyear Airship made its first outing without issue this afternoon at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington Texas. No noted anomalies, vehicle flew per script, released several hundred coupons to the fans. Turned out it was all over twitter and several other public medias. Very pleased with final outcome, hope Goodyear was as well. Attached a number of photos taken from Twitter. Now I get to submit the invoice tomorrow.

ed
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Old Jan 02, 2015, 12:22 AM
dusty bible = dirty life
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Oklahoma City OK USA Where fakts still exist even if they are ignored
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Looks GREAT Ed! Congrats!
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Old Jan 11, 2015, 11:32 PM
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That's a really nice looking Blimp Ed. Any video of it flying?
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Old Jan 12, 2015, 03:01 PM
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I do not at this time. I will check with some of the crew and see if they have. I flew it during the set up for over an hour personally and it was a very gentle flying vehicle. It will be removed from the Stadium within the next ten days as I have some work to do for Goodyear at another venue. They are talking about several other venues around the nation but I'm not holding my breath.

I will be spending about two weeks starting next month flying at a number of sites for Southwest Airlines with a new 18 foot ship. Going to follow their CEO around while he does his dog and pony shows. We will be starting in Memphis at the Grand Old Opry. Going on to Los Vegas, then to Baltimore and returning to Dallas around first of March. Looks like a trip will be about three days each. Southwest paying all expensives plus labor.

Also doing a rodeo this Friday/Saturday in the old Stockyards arena in Ft Worth for the Bull Riding event being held there. Ain't done one of them things in many years. When I was young and stupid I used to ride bulls. Took a couple years before I realized you could get hurt on one of them damn things. Coachs all hated it as well. Set down one night on a bull and the top of his hump came about even with my chin. Figured out this was getting a little out of hand. Oh well, we were young and foolish back then.
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Old Jan 15, 2015, 03:43 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
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Oklahoma City OK USA Where fakts still exist even if they are ignored
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Any one check on the SWA venues to make sure they'll allow your helium in the room? I recall someone here in the past got cancelled because the fire detection system could not distinguish between smoke, heat and helium.
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Old Jan 17, 2015, 02:06 PM
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Tom

No joy here, haven't heard of a problem around my neck of the woods. Only problem we run into is the fire alarms seeing the ships and going off occassionally. If we are test flying prior to the game we have to let security know and turn the alarms off especially those set up at mid level. A lot of time we will keep the vehicle down at our flight station for testing or training and it will set those off.

Did the rodeo gig last evening, made three flights totaling about 40 minutes. Released 200 coupons for the evening. Tight venue with 18 foot vehicle. I must admit some of the best bulls I have ever seen. Only a few riders made the eight second ride. We secured the vehicle and bailed before the show was over. We are doing it again tonight and possibly three more days next month. Brother and sister-in-law worked the show with me. Good time and paid well.
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Old Jan 18, 2015, 02:00 AM
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Does anyone know the process for printing graphics on the sides of a blimp like that? I've always wondered how they do it. Is it done before the gores are assembled or do they somehow print on the completed envelope? Does the blimp manufacturer usually do the graphics themselves or do they have to send it off to a print shop for that?
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Old Jan 18, 2015, 06:03 PM
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Pyro

Some graphics are projected onto the inflated envelope and painted onto the side of the bag. Digital graphics are done by a computer directly onto the gore panels themselves. Contack Dan Spears of Mobile Airships at blimpguys.com or dan@blimpguys.com. He is the gentlemen that i work with on all my ships and he should be able to help you with the issue. That is about all the knowledge I have on the issue. The Good Year ship shown in earlier post is painted, the Mighty Fine Burger is digitally created. That much I do know.

ed
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Old Jan 18, 2015, 06:55 PM
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Thanks Ed. I don't have a project I'm trying to get made, I was just curious how it was done. The projection idea is a clever method.
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Old Feb 13, 2015, 10:53 PM
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New Southwest Airlines Airship / Vegas Venue

Attached are a series of shots taken at the second stop on a four city one month schedule to support Southwest Airlines annual "Dog and Ponie Show". The vehicle is 18 foot long requires approximately 400 cubic feet of helium to lift itself and a six and a half pound payload (i.e., gondola, batteries, drops and tail fin). The first flight was earlier this month in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry venue. I was lucky enough to do the first trip out but due to my health it about killed this old man. I have one of my senior pilots take the gig in Vegas and he will go on to Baltimore next week for the third three day trip. Following that we come back to Dallas Nokia venue for the final event which I will at least appear at if not to fly but to help. The envelope was built by Mobile Airships in three weeks and all my components fit without issue. Got a little leak which we have been working to resolve, just to many possible leak points and it may go back to manufacturer for review once this tour is completed. Photos taken from camera in low light conditions so they are not that great but you get the idea. Professional photos were taken but they have not been received at this time.

ed
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