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updated: 7/1/2011 6:16 PM

Farmers Airship arrives in DuPage

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  • The Farmers Airship, one of only two Zeppelins currently flying globally, makes a stop at the DuPage County Airport in West Chicago. It is the largest passenger airship in the world, 15 feet longer than a Boeing 747 and 50 feet longer than the largest blimp.

       The Farmers Airship, one of only two Zeppelins currently flying globally, makes a stop at the DuPage County Airport in West Chicago. It is the largest passenger airship in the world, 15 feet longer than a Boeing 747 and 50 feet longer than the largest blimp.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • A crew member performs a check on the Farmers Airship, one of only two Zeppelins currently flying globally, as it makes a stop at the DuPage County Airport in West Chicago.

       A crew member performs a check on the Farmers Airship, one of only two Zeppelins currently flying globally, as it makes a stop at the DuPage County Airport in West Chicago.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

Attention last-minute lotharios. The key to your spontaneous wedding proposal may have just arrived at the DuPage County Airport in West Chicago.

DuPage is the ninth passenger stop on the six-month cross-country tour of the largest passenger airship in the word, the Farmers Airship. Tours of 45 minutes, one hour and two hours will be offered through Monday for between $375 and $950 per person.

The Zeppelin is not to be confused with a blimp as the airship's hull is made of a state -of-the-art laminate material from the same company that creates the NASA space suits, and is filled with nonflammable helium.

Farmers Flight Operations Specialist David Finney also touted the unique stability of the airship that is based on a rigid inner structure made of aluminum and carbon fiber. All the main components such as the cabin, engines and empennage are mounted directly to this framework. The semirigid construction enables exceptional flight performance and allows for a quiet and stable passenger experience.

"It's a lot like being on a boat in the sky," Finney said. "We like to say 'We don't fly. We float."

So smooth is the ride, they say, that the Zeppelin, the only one of its kind in the country, has proved to be a popular destination for weddings, proposals, bachelor parties and business meetings.

"We have a 100 percent success rate (for proposals)," Finney said. "And we haven't done any divorces up there."

So if you need a bit more time to save for the ring, the airship will be back in town in early August for the tour's second Chicago stop.

To book a flight, call (650) 969-8100 or log onto reservations@airshipventuresl.com.

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