Again an exciting year has passed for the airships of the Windreiter project and we like to thank all of you for your help, your interest and taking part in the lighter-than-air fascination. In 2016 a lot has happened behind the stages, but our airships also appeared in front of stages all over the world. While we´ve finished the last deliveries of our successful crowdfunding campaign, early in the year, the silent_runner became within just one year the reference airship for tinkerers all over the world. We´ve no idea how many makers have read our open source documentation and have built their own lighter than air project, but we´ve shipped material for quite a number of ships all around the world, to schools, universities, companies and other lighter than air enthusiasts. Within 2016 the total estimate of silent_runner airships crossing the skies has passed the hundred, and is far beyond all expectations we ever had. The map below gives an impression of where proven silent_runner activities are ongoing.
This was just possible because a lot of helping hands were enhancing our production chain and we invented some ingenious machines and devices to rapidly speed up high quality envelope building.
Among the cool things that happened this year with our help, was an exciting rigid airship art project which loitered at a festival in Belgium and the modified silent_runner of the Oblix team taking part at the Bremen 2016 airship regatta.
In 2016 it was decided to keep the Windreiter project a non-profit, lighter-than-air supporting entity, which means all we get, goes directly towards developing new things or supporting other developers of airships. However it accidentally happened that we also decided to fund the home-brew-beer efforts of André (super tasty stuff!).
If we look towards the coming year, we are not absolutely sure what will happen, but we can look ahead for a new version of the silent_runner (will be very different from what you expect :), we might give an insight in our envelope manufacturing secrets, our airships will come back into churches and who knows if we´ll meet at some Maker Fair, airship race or LTA symposium. By the way, the Windreiter Project, starting from the very first airship maiden flight, will turn 10 this year!
Looking forward to an exciting and funny 2017,
The Windreiter Team