While not quite on the scale of the original Zeppelin, a new Zeppelin will soon grace the skies of Tsuchiura. Only about 1/3 size of the original, the 75-meter Zeppelin NT (New Technology) will reenact the original landing almost exactly 75 years to the day after the original (presumably, the 75 is just coincidence). The new Zeppelin Company began producing airships again in 1997, and one of them has now been purchased by a company in Japan to use in connection with the "Expo 2005 Aichi Japan" world's fair near Nagoya (which runs from March 25 to September 25, 2005).
With "Germany in Japan" painted on its side, Zeppelin NT took off from Germany in June, after a 3-month training session for its new crew. After stopovers in several European cities, the plans call for it to head out across Russia for its flight to Japan, arriving sometime in mid-August. It is scheduled to visit Sapporo and Sendai before its stopover in Tsuchiura. At press time, the exact schedule was still not certain, but the 21st or 22nd of August are the likely dates for the Tsuchiura event.
Negotiations are under way with the Self-Defense Force ("Jieitai") Base next to Kasumigaura (Lake) to host a public exhibition of the craft. While not quite as spectacular as the original landing some 75 years ago, it should nevertheless be well worth the effort to go see it. Keep on the lookout for new information, and check out the Alien Times website for updates.
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