Friday, December 7, 2007

Ron Paul Blimp To Launch Dec. 10 from Elizabeth City, N.C.

Elizabeth Evans
Cahoon & Cross Marketing Consultants
Phone: (757) 625-7068 direct line
Wayne Harris, AEDC
(888) 338-1678 or (252) 338-0169

Ron Paul Blimp To Launch Dec. 10 from Elizabeth City, N.C.
-- Even bigger than the Goodyear blimp, it is the first to carry an advertisement for a presidential candidate --

(Elizabeth City, N.C., Dec. 7, 2007) -- From its main operating and technical facility in Elizabeth City, N.C., Airship Management Services (AMS) has launched dozens of lighter-than-air ships for clients from around the world. On Monday, Dec. 10, the company will make history when it launches one of the largest blimps in the world and the first to carry an advertisement for a presidential candidate.

The inaugural Ron Paul blimp is scheduled to take flight at 8 a.m. from Elizabeth City in a promotional tour that will fly over Washington, D.C., and New York City, with stops in Boston and New Hampshire later this month.

Featuring slogans that read, “Who is Ron Paul?” and “Ron Paul Revolution,” the 200-foot-long blimp (larger than the famous Goodyear blimp) promotes the Texas congressman’s Republican presidential bid.

Liberty Political Advertising, which supports Paul but is not affiliated with the campaign office, is leasing the blimp from AMS, a worldwide leader in the operation of airships. Monday’s launch may be delayed a day or two, dependent on the advertising group’s raising $200,000 by midnight Friday, according to its Web site (

Based in Connecticut, AMS provides flight crews, technical expertise and ground support to airships from its maintenance facility and FAA repair station in Elizabeth City.

“Since the Wright brothers were here in 1903, Elizabeth City has been the jumping off place for many aviation firsts,” said Wayne Harris, economic developer of the Albemarle Economic Development Commission (AEDC). “What better place to launch such an innovative advertising campaign for a presidential candidate?”

Aviation Industry in Elizabeth City

The AEDC believes the publicity stunt will draw serious attention to Elizabeth City’s booming aviation industry.

Some of AMS’s other projects include work for the U. S. Navy / U. S. Coast Guard, New York Police Department, British Ministry of Defense, Hellenic Police (for the Athens Olympics in 2004), the government of Trinidad and Tobago, Fujifilm, Ameriquest, and most recently for The Palm Project in Dubai.

TCOM, L.P., headquartered in Columbus, Md., manufactures aerostats and airship “blimp” envelopes in Elizabeth City. The company shares space in its massive hangar with AMS. TCOM also manufactures tethered aerostats used for surveillance by military and law-enforcement organizations.

Another company, DRS Technologies provides long-term, aircraft engineering, maintenance and management support. DRS recently announced plans to build a second 80,000 square-foot hangar to service Coast Guard C-130 aircraft, bringing its employee count to 300. Elizabeth City is home to the country’s largest Coast Guard base.

Construction begins in January on the 63-acre, $10.4-million Elizabeth City Aviation Research and Development Commerce Park, with room for four more DRS-sized hangars and facilities for Elizabeth City State University and the College of The Albemarle. Project partners include the City of Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Regional Airport Authority and the AEDC.

Located between Norfolk, Va., and North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Elizabeth City features a picturesque waterfront, an extensive downtown shopping and business district, six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, Pasquotank Arts Council Gallery, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium and Port Discover Science Center. The city is featured in the book, The 100 Best Small Towns in America.

Headquartered in Elizabeth City, the AEDC markets business opportunities in the City of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank and Camden counties to prospective employers throughout the United States. For information, call the AEDC ( at 1-888-338-1678 or (252) 338-0169.

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