digg_url = 'http://digg.com/arts_culture/Airships_Fly_Again_After_71_Years_Pics';
On a recent sunny afternoon, SF Weekly contributing photographer Tim Wagner headed to Silicon Valley for a tour of Airship Venture's "Eureka," the first lighter-than-air passenger ship to fly in the U.S. after more than 71 years.
The 246-foot long zeppelin is larger than a Boeing 747 and carries 12 passengers at a cruising speed of 35 mph.
The cavernous Moffett Field
hanger where Eureka is stored dwarfs even the airship. The row of three World War II blimp hangars are still some of the largest unsupported structures in the country.
Hanger Three's massive doors remain open except during heavy wind and annual maintenance. The airship hangar's interior is so large that fog sometimes forms near the ceiling.
Airship pilot Jim Dexter and crew chief Matt Smith discuss the day's route for the ship's Geek Tour.
Ground crew member Matt Nicolary climbs the mast of the 30-ton custom truck to tether Eureka. The truck helps anchor the ship as it floats just above the ground.