What’s that in the West Seattle sky? Apparently, a zeppelin

(Photo added 4:29 pm – Alfonso took it from Alki – thanks for sharing!)
ORIGINAL 1:57 PM REPORT: Amy just e-mailed to say she saw “a blimp over West Seattle.” If it’s what our first cut of research (we haven’t seen it ourselves yet) suggests, it’s actually a zeppelin.

3:01 PM UPDATE: Confirmed – it’s the Airship Ventures zeppelin. They documented their flight northward with photos on this website – no West Seattle photo (so far as we’re seeing), though.

11:07 PM NOTE: Christopher Boffoli went up to Paine Field (Snohomish County) to check out the airship (aka zeppelin):

Check out his report in the comment section – including (scroll down) a link to more photos.

20 Replies to "What's that in the West Seattle sky? <strike>Apparently,</strike> a zeppelin"

  • shawn August 23, 2010 (2:05 pm)

    Yes. It was heading NW, over the water between Vashon and the ferry dock.

  • Debbie August 23, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    You guys are great! I just got online to see what was going on since I heard a “helicopter”. I didn’t look out my window but wish I had now. How cool!

  • Adam August 23, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    Just passed over Fremont.

  • jwws August 23, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    It was the State Farm airship, passed right over our house on Genesee Hill.

    • WSB August 23, 2010 (2:50 pm)

      Sounds like the one we found the link to then (follow the link in the item and check the photo). Thanks!

  • Lori August 23, 2010 (2:50 pm)

    That is so cool. I’m so bummed I missed it. I work near Fremont, so I missed it over both home & work. WSB, if you guys can find anything else out about other flights it may be making – that would be great. The Salem article mentioned it was coming up here for a research project. Hopefully, that means we’ll see it out and about. I wonder where if it’s flying in and out of Boeing Field?

  • Lori August 23, 2010 (2:58 pm)

    Just checked the Airship Ventures website and found this:


    Looks like it will be here through Labor Day.

  • Fiwa Jcbbb August 23, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    It is indeed an actual Zeppelin, made by the same company that made the Hindenburg…though this one is semi-rigid and filled with heium:


  • Greg August 23, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    What’s the difference between a blimp and a zeppelin?

  • M August 23, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    A zeppelin has a ridgid frame, usually made of Aluminum. A blimp is made from a couple of airbags.

    So if a Zep lost it’s gas it would look the same but a blimp would be an empty bag on the ground

  • Fiwa Jcbbb August 23, 2010 (3:49 pm)

    This one’s aluminium and carbon fiber, and holds 12 passengers for rides: $375 for 45 minutes, $725 for 90 minutes, $950 for two hours. You could go to Bali for what a two hour Zeppelin flight costs.

  • Adam August 23, 2010 (4:01 pm)

    It’s a Farmers insurance zeppelin, not State Farm. Says it in big red letters on the side.

  • jwws August 23, 2010 (4:16 pm)

    Thanks Adam,

    Didn’t have the readers on! Farmers it was.

  • miws August 23, 2010 (4:19 pm)

    Darn! I missed it! :mad: Did see a helicopter fly fairly low over toward Vashon a couple of hours or so ago. Q13 News had a story on the zeppelin this morning.


    Now, not to speculate, or anything, but perhaps this is the long awaited WSB zeppelin? And maybe State Farm is selling it to WSB, or is the major sponsor of it? ;)



    • WSB August 23, 2010 (4:24 pm)

      Ha. No time to watch TV ’round here so when the first report came in, it was off to The Google. Which did NOT bring up any TV stories but did bring up the Oregon story linked in original line here.

  • christopherboffoli August 23, 2010 (6:27 pm)

    I’m just back from getting a closer look at this zeppelin at Paine Field.
    A bit of trivia from the press briefing:
    The German-built zeppelin we saw overhead today, called the Eureka, is the only commercial passenger airship in the US.
    At 246 feet in length it is 15 feet longer than a Boeing 747.
    It is built of a rigid metal and carbon fiber framework and is filled with inert helium.
    This airship’s cabin holds 12 passengers and features windows that open, an on-board restroom with a rear-facing window, and a “loveseat” at the aft portion of the cabin which features a panoramic, wrap-around view.
    Though this airship is technically capable of flying across the Atlantic, for logistical reasons it had to be shipped by sea from Germany to the US. Because the zeppelin’s structure was too large to fit in a container, and because it could not be dismantled, it had to be shipped to one of the few remaining US ports with the ability to roll it off on to the dock. Galveston, Texas was chosen as the point of entry as it fit the bill and also offered space for reassembly as well as proximity to an airfield from which it could launch to head to its home base in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    Cruising speed is around 35 knots. Top speed is in excess of 65 knots.
    The sound of the Eureka’s engines was recorded by the folks at Pixar Animation who used it for the zeppelin scenes in last year’s Academy Award winning animated feature “Up.”

  • islewrite August 23, 2010 (6:36 pm)

    Nice reportage, Christopher! You’re brave to face traffic to Everett for us. Seriously! Is the fare $375 per person or $375 for all twelve folks? I don’t like to fly, but this would almost be tempting.

  • miws August 23, 2010 (7:31 pm)

    Thanks for the info, Christopher!


    So, I guess at a top speed of 65 knots, it ain’t gonna be producing any sonic booms! :lol:



  • christopherboffoli August 23, 2010 (8:24 pm)

    Here’s a small Flickr set with about 10 images I shot today which provides a closer look at the airship:


  • mar3c August 24, 2010 (6:40 am)

    i heard yon advertising dirigible last evening around 6. did it set down at boeing field perhaps?

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