CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2011 |
One of them owns a twin-engine airplane and a helicopter. The other? A fleet of spaceships. Richard Branson, the billionaire adventurer, and Newport Beach real estate investor Chris Welsh unveiled a one-person submarine Tuesday that they said will be used to explore the deepest reaches of the world's oceans. The pair said they will begin later this year with the Mariana Trench, a 36,000-foot-deep valley that has not been visited by mankind since 1960, when a bulky, two-man submarine operated by the U.S. Navy made the voyage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2011 |
For the first time, Richard Branson is setting his sights low. The billionaire businessman, adventurer and space explorer announced Tuesday his plan to dive solo to some of the Earth's deepest points. Branson and a fellow adventurer, Orange County businessman Chris Welsh, unveiled their 18-foot deep-sea submarine and its ambitious itinerary at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, where Welsh is a member. Within the next few months, Welsh plans to pilot the first solo submersible to the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, 36,200 feet under the sea. After that, either Welsh or Branson will pilot the sub to four trenches in the world's other oceans.
May 2, 2010 |
There was quite a range of talent at L.A.'s Promise Gala, held Tuesday at the Century Plaza. Tom Lennon and Ben Garant of " Reno 911!" did the opening number, Natasha Bedingfield sang and Tom Cruise presented an award from the MLA Partner Schools to Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy. The honorees' combined credits include "ET," "Jurassic Park," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and the "Bourne" trilogy. MLA works with schools in South Los Angeles to help provide an atmosphere in which students want to learn and gives them a college-ready education.
April 24, 2010 |
Sir Richard Branson has taken time off from helming his global Virgin brand to help promote the fourth year of BritWeek, which highlights all manner of British connections with California. An impressive array of events in the Southland (and for the first time in San Francisco as well) can be found at http://www.britweek.org. And although the celebratory "week" began Saturday, not to fear — it actually runs through mid-May. Meanwhile, here's Sir Richard's L.A. Days & knights We like to stay at the Sunset Marquis.
March 24, 2010 |
"Fly Girls," premiering Wednesday on the CW, is a reality series that follows five female flight attendants for Virgin America. Let me apologize in advance for the metaphor now arriving at Gate 8: It never gets off the ground. Notwithstanding a few apparently real tears and a bleeped expletive spoken in possibly real anger, the show is made of clearly concocted crises nearly from takeoff to landing, with little to offer beyond a long, though not penetrating, look at its attractive leads.
January 10, 2010 |
Could there be a better advertisement for a brash, young company than to have a network TV series built around it, starring five of its gorgeous female employees and their impossibly glamorous lives? Probably not. The trick for "Fly Girls," then, will be to steer clear of infomercial territory, even though Virgin America serves as the backdrop of the reality show and its de facto sixth cast member. The hip, Richard Branson-backed airline looms large in the upcoming CW series, but the real focus is the massive amounts of melodrama surrounding the single, 20-something flight attendants who live together in a Los Angeles "crash pad" while partying, dating and jet-setting across the country.
December 8, 2009 |
On a wind-tossed desert night, the dream of space pioneers Richard Branson and Burt Rutan to bring space flight to everyone -- at least everyone who can afford it -- drew closer to reality when the pair unveiled the world's first commercial passenger spacecraft. To the strings of an ethereal soundtrack, as dreamlike purple lights played across the runway, the VSS Enterprise rolled into view at the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 95 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Despite the bracing wind-chill factor, hundreds of people who had flown in from around the world to view the craft burst into cheers and applause.
February 28, 2009 |
A new airline started by flamboyant British billionaire Richard Branson inaugurated service between Los Angeles and Australia on Friday, the latest volley in a transpacific fare war that has already cut the price of a round-trip ticket by half.
July 29, 2008 |
A souped-up aircraft that would help boost well-heeled thrill seekers into the outer atmosphere was unveiled Monday, lifting the prospects for travelers to one day fly in a commercial spaceliner. After keeping the project shrouded in secrecy for more than three years, project developers dropped the curtain on the White Knight Two, an odd-looking aircraft with two airplane bodies joined at the wings and resembling a flying catamaran.
February 23, 2008 |
Virgin Galactic, billionaire Richard Branson's space travel venture, plans to order five more spaceships and aims to turn a profit within five years of its commercial launch in 2010, a company official said this week. Prospective space travelers have so far placed deposits totaling more than $31 million for tickets that cost $200,000 each and would give them five minutes in space, said Alex Tai, the company's group director.