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Zeppelin makes Oklahoma City stop

The Farmers Airship, also known as the Eureka, made a stop in Oklahoma City on Monday. The 246-foot, 14,000 pound airship has been touring the country for the past six months, and is set to return to its California home about three weeks from now.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Published: September 20, 2011
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The world's largest zeppelin made a stop in Oklahoma City on Monday.

The Farmers Airship, also known as the Eureka, travels at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 feet, and is capable of speeds up to 75 mph, but typically travels at 35 to 40 mph.

Unlike hydrogen-filled airships of the past, this zeppelin is filled with helium, a nonflammable, lighter-than-air gas. What separates a blimp from a zeppelin is the rigid frame inside the ship, which means that it holds most of its shape even when emptied of gas and the engines are mounted on the side and the rear of the ship, rather than the cabin.

“We like to say, ‘We don't fly. We float,'” said David Finney, guest services supervisor for Airship Ventures, the California company that owns the airship.

“The airship itself is a 246-foot long, 14,000-pound windsock,” Finney said.

“She works on the same principles of buoyancy as boats. Instead of floating on water, she floats on air,” he said.

This is the most extensive zeppelin tour in U.S. history and the first zeppelin tour across the country in more than 80 years, Finney said. The Farmers Airship has traveled from California to the east coast over the past six months, and is slowly making its journey homeward. The tour is expected to conclude in about three weeks.

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