June 6, 2008
By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
Hopefully the people of London do not spend much time dwelling on history as a German airship operator is set to next month start flying a Zeppelin over the city’s most famous landmarks. It may be consolation that the flights will originate in east London at Damyns Hall airfield, and not across the Channel. After two years of planning the program will offer five sightseeing flights per day through six weeks of summer beginning July 10. (Though the TimesOnline.co.uk reported the Civil Aviation Authority had not yet received an application for approval, the Zeppelin’s operators claim it’s received permission and certification.) Each flight will be conducted at 2,000 feet above the Thames and the longest flights should last about an hour and cast shadows over Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament. Shorter tours will run about 30 minutes. The one Zeppelin, model NT07, is 75 meters long, and buoyed by helium. It only offers window seats and can accommodate up to 12 passengers per flight, carried aloft in the aircraft’s 35-foot long cabin.
There is a toilet onboard as well as a flight attendant to serve less personal needs, although catering is unlikely. It will arrive in the UK July 6 with testing to run through start of operations on July 10. The program is being run by German airship operator DZR GmbH,. If the idea strikes your fancy, we’re told you can soon expect the Web site StarOverLondon.com to soon be live and capable of catering to your desires.