Commercial Airships All today use helium to achieve buoyancy. For safety reasons, hydrogen is not be used. Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik in Germany manufactures a semi-rigid type airship called the Zeppelin NT. A Zeppelin NT is stationed in the San Francisco area and takes out paying passengers regularly at a rate of $375 per hour per person. >90,000 passengers have taken a flight on a Zeppelin NT worldwide. In May 2011 Goodyear announced it will be replacing its fleet of blimps with three semi-rigid airships built by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik. Other companies around the world also offer rides on airships to customers. For example, WDL Luftschiff in Germany at a rate of $365 per hour per person.
The Gen0 Enterprise The Gen0 Enterprise is an airship in the form of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. Is a semi-rigid type airship, not a blimp. Will look like the USS Enterprise from the movies, not an inflated balloon. At 700’ in length, it will be the largest airship or aircraft in the world today. Similar in size to the USS Enterprise from the original Star Trek TV series. All-electric engines will deliver 5000hp. Solar powered, so is a “zero emissions” ship. Bonus: No fuel cost.
The Business In the business of selling tickets to adventurous passengers who would like to take a ride on an airship that takes the form of the USS Enterprise, the iconic spaceship from Star Trek The Gen0 Enterprise airship has a 100 passenger capacity. 8 flights per day for the regular schedule. For example: 8AM, 10AM, 12PM, 2PM, 4PM, 6PM, 8PM, and 10PM 800 passengers per day at peak capacity.
Connect to Culture To maximize the appeal of the Enterprise, the ship will be designed to dazzle. In flight it will look nearly the same as the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek movies. A goal for the Gen0 Enterprise airship is that it quickly becomes a cultural fixture in the US and also becomes widely recognized internationally.
What a Ride! During flights, the Enterprise will fly at an altitude of approximately 1000 feet which is common for airships. Flying at 1000 feet gives a spectacular view of the ground below to passengers. Large windows, and perhaps open windows too, will be included in the Enterprise to enhance the viewing experience for passengers. The low-flying Enterprise will also create excitement for those on the ground who spot it in the sky. This will create more interest in the ship as well as leading to more future passengers.
Where? The Enterprise will be based somewhere with mild weather and infrequent rainy days, as well as being somewhere that the ship is easily accessible to enthusiastic potential passengers. An example of a potential location is Las Vegas. Other candidates: Washington DC, New York City, Houston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles
Who? Star Trek fans, science & technology enthusiasts, and aviation buffs will be interested in taking a ride on the Enterprise. However, the Enterprise is so recognizable in popular culture that the average person will want to be a passenger. People from the US as well as foreign visitors will find the Enterprise airship enticing and want to take a ride in it.
Other Income Sell ad space on the Gen0 Enterprise. Has the potential to significantly increase annual revenue. Examples of ads on airships today:
Start-up Costs & Schedule Goal is to raise $70 million total $60 million for ship development $5 million for ground facilities and equipment $5 million business costs until ship is operational & profitable Competitive bidding will be used to help reduce ship costs. The goal is to have the Gen0 Enterprise take its maiden voyage carrying passengers in 2018.
Regular Flights The operational goal after accounting for weather, maintenance work, and promotional activities is for the Enterprise to be available for operation on regularly scheduled flights 75% of the time during a year. An example of this would be if the ship is making scheduled flights on an average of 6 days per week over 46 weeks per year. (6 x 46) / 365 days = 75%
Misc. Besides making revenue from regularly scheduled flights and being paid for placing advertising on the Gen0 Enterprise, other promotional activities can earn revenue. Corporate leasing Major sporting events, Super Bowl Long distance flights, touring, north pole trip, other
Financial Assumptions for deriving revenue generated in a year: $199 per ticket 8 flights per day 80 passengers per flight (100 person capacity x.80) 6 days per week in operation 46 weeks per year in operation $10 million additional annual income for advertising Annual revenue: $199 x 8 x 80 x 6 x 46 + $10M = $45 million Estimated annual operating costs: $8 million Gross income: $45 million - $8 million = $37 million 53% annual return on $70 million investment P/E = 28 for diversified entertainment Some comparisons: Six Flags P/E = 70, Walt Disney Company P/E = 17 Company value = 28 x $37 M = $1036 million Venture Capital Exit value = $1036M / $70M = 15X
Enterprise Media Attention 3.2 million page views since May 2012 for BuildTheEnterprise.org. People are fascinated by the idea of the USS Enterprise. Articles about the ideas at BuildTheEnterprise.org have appeared at MSNBC, Fox News, Yahoo News, Daily MailOnline, the Huffington Post, The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Times, Pop Sci, Universe Today, Space.com, Wired Magazine, and more. Front page of Yahoo News for 24 hours in July 2012. Held number one headline slot for around 12 hours. Screen grab below.
Interested? The Gen0 Enterprise airship has the potential for a high return on investment. Goal is to raise $70 million total $60 million for ship development $5 million for ground facilities and equipment $5 million business costs until ship is operational & profitable Seeking investors Minimum of $500,000 investment
Request for Quote for the USS Enterprise Airship
Business Request Would like an investigation of the Gen0 Enterprise airship that results in a quote. Up to $200,000 available to pay for work to support the quote if that is required. Will be a competitive quote process.
Quote Contents In the quote, these items are requested: 1.Gen0 Enterprise airship feasibility study 2.Concept design to meet requirements 3.Basic analysis and simulation results 4.Estimated % operational days per year 5.Maintenance cost per year 6.Annual insurance cost estimate 7.Total support crew for operational ship 8.Schedule quote 9.Cost quote Also answer this question: Would you bid on building the ship or do a “no bid”?
Quote Clarifications The ship size (length and volume) can be adjusted and optimized as needed to carry 100 passengers plus the crew. To reduce cost, don’t want ship any bigger than it needs to be. The 100mph goal is a stretch goal, not a rigid requirement. Please consider this stretch goal but also quote on a ship using conventional airship max speed.
More Requirements Thin-film solar cells must blend into the ship’s top surface regarding the look for both texture and color. Some specialized solar cell processing is expected. Flat fins can be considered connected to the aux engine hulls to increase solar cell area. Consider adding dedicated electric engines for keeping the aux engine hulls in place due to wind. (Don’t want the goose necks to snap.) This is a key part of the feasibility study. A flexible joint is assumed at gooseneck connection points.
Five Key Questions 1. Can the ship, with its flat saucer hull and three tubular engine hulls, be aerodynamically stable? 2. Can the three tubular engine hulls be made so that they do no snap off at their goosenecks? 3. Are electric engines feasible? 4. Is a hangar needed? 5. Is solar power feasible? 6. Can solar cells be made with a texture and color that blends into the ship?