01 September, 2008


So here we are in Jacksonville, more then once the home of lost causes. First we align with Mexican Pirates and declare ourselves the independent Republic of Florida, against the will of both the new US Nation and the Spanish Landlords. Next big deal was our attack on the federal invasion fleet some 15,000 men strong by 6 citizens of the local Confederate Signal Corps. We found a "cure" for yellow fever by burning sulfur and shooting off cannons, with some success, mosquito's don't like concussions and sulfur stinks. Next big adventure was to sell out our streetcar system so we'd become the "only" big GM distribution center on earth. When the results became apparent, we formed JTA to save us. Meanwhile we bought into "Floating Off-Shore Nuclear Power Plants". Screw the tropical storms, we had the corner on the market. Leap forward and we are the master jet base of the whole US Navy - no? Too much success in that. So another great idea. We'll take our former Jet Base and turn it into a SPACE PORT just like every other abandoned military airport, in every other state, but shhhhh! We think we're the only ones here.

Meanwhile in California, the future is being pioneered by the Zeppelin Corporation with the new NT airship. A giant leap backwards? Don't bet on it. Even in the tragic Hindenburg crash of the 1930's most passengers walked away from it, try that with a Skybus or 757. Lift, LTA (lighter then air) aircraft can adopt to the new era in aviation making up for a half a century of slumber.

They don't need runways. They can use modern power. They all use the latest electronics and avionics. Their air speed is about equal to High Speed Rail on land. Best of all, they can cross the Atlantic with the same amount of fuel that a 747 burns in the taxiway from the gate to the take-off point. With fuel costs soaring, a devoted few large companies, working with international governments, including our own have quietly gone about the re-birth of the great zeppelin era. Perhaps for the first time in our history, Jacksonville has the opportunity to jump on another idea that isn't tied down too tight. Odds are, this time we win. LETS LTA JACKSONVILLE!

Meanwhile, take a look at Southern California's own government secret as it floats up and out of the box.


Blimp could revolutionize travel
Company hangars in San Bernardino
Ben Baeder, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 08/31/2008

BLOGGER NOTE: The newspaper story incorrectly identifies the air-ship as a "blimp". Blimps do not have frames or ribs. A rigid airship is called a Zeppelin and either can correctly be called dirigibles (French for steerable aircraft).

Tucked in a warehouse along the Rio Hondo River in Montebello, one of the world's few blimp companies is building a bulbous-looking, super- light flying cruise ship that company officials say could revolutionize air travel.

Called the Aeroscraft, the ship would be capable of flying 3,000 miles at 110 mph, hovering in place, and lifting 3 to 4 tons of cargo.

"Nothing like this has been done before," said Edward Pevzner, business development manager at Worldwide Aeros Corp., the company working on the Aeroscraft.
"We're still thinking of all the different ways we could use it," he said.
Larger versions of the craft in the future could transport 60 tons and hold hundreds of people, he said.

Founded by Igor Pasternak, a flight specialist from the former Soviet Union, Worldwide Aeros claims to produce some of the world's most advanced blimps, building electronically-controlled ships that need only one pilot for operation. Blimp companies are so rare that, at any given time, there are only about 20 in the world, company officials said.

With hangars in San Bernardino and its headquarters in Montebello, Worldwide Aeros has permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its "Sky Dragon" blimp and is working on getting a certificate for a new version of that blimp, according FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

But the rigid Aeroscraft is an entirely new concept in flight.

weight would be supported by helium kept in a compartment at the top of the craft. That cuts in half the amount of power needed to keep the Aeroscraft airborne compared to a conventional jet, Pevzner said. The rest of the lift would come from the force of air moving against the Aeroscraft, like an airplane.

The ship could cruise, hover, or move straight up and down, he said.
The Aeroscraft's ability to self-adjust its buoyancy is what makes it unique, Pevzner said. Typically, blimps cannot carry much cargo, because it is too difficult to adjust the amount of helium in the craft when the payload changes. But the Aeroscraft would be able to quickly adjust its buoyancy, sucking helium in and out of containers and using air as a ballast.

The idea for the ship - which is scheduled to be in operation in about two years - is causing a stir among technology buffs. Web sites about flight and technology are buzzing with comments from fans and skeptics.

"This is not a Blimp," wrote journalist Joshua Tompkins on the Web site popsci.com. "It's a sort of flying Queen Mary 2 that could change the way you think about air travel."

Research for the craft was funded by the government, which was looking for a way to transport cargo to areas without runways, according to statements from the company.

The company is now translating that research into civilian use.

The Aeroscraft could be used by oil companies in transporting equipment to remote regions, as a flying mansion for billionaires, or for corporate travel to places without major airports.

Aeros Worldwide caught the eye of Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, who noticed the company had moved to her district about 10 months ago from the San Fernando Valley.

The company relocated to Montebello to be closer to suppliers and FAA offices, and because the new building had a warehouse large enough to hold 150-foot-long deflated blimps. Most of the aircraft frames are handmade at the facility.

"I'm very excited about the technology they're bringing out," Napolitano said. "The application for moving air cargo impressed me. We're always looking for things that are innovative and environmentally friendly."

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The arguments rage to this date, "Should have never been built," "waste of taxpayer money," "Doesn't go anywhere," "Nobody rides it..." etc. Bottom line is we have it, and it is finally showing signs of life. Simple extensions to the Stadium, San Marco, and the area of Blue Cross in North Riverside would turn this little train around. Addition of Park and Ride garages and multimodal transit terminals at the end points would bring on the crowds. The video must have been shot on a Sunday Morning, as downtown is certainly as packed with life as any other major City on weekdays. Jacksonville is a city of Bikes, joggers, walkers, buses and cars, one almost wonders how the photographer managed to find this quiet moment.

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