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1st zeppelin flight in U.S. in 70 years

October 27, 2008 6:14:04 AM PDT
Californians can now take an aerial tour of San Francisco in a zeppelin.Zeppelins have not flown in the United States for 70 years, but this weekend, one could be seen over San Francisco. The zeppelins were also flown over Napa wine country.

The giant floating airship looks like a blimp but has a rigid internal frame and its cabin can hold up to 12 passengers.

Airship Ventures says it plans to offer aerial tours of the San Francisco Bay area in the newly built zeppelin. Brian Hall started the company last year with his wife. He says "it's a way to see the world in a way that you haven't experienced it before."

Tours of San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma and the Big Sur coastline start next Friday.

Invented in Germany in the late 19th century, zeppelins were used for commercial passenger transport and military operations until the start of World War II.

The zeppelins are filled with nonflammable helium, and the cost for a ride is $495 per person.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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