Tuesday, July 01, 2008

First sighting of the year!

I saw it over South Boston and the South End this morning. I tried to follow it to get a closer shot, but I lost it. Here's what I did manage to get:

Possibly the crappiest video ever, but I swear, that white amorphous blob over there is the Hood Blimp.

The Blimp Returns

The Hood Blimp Is Back

The Hood Blimp Is Back
Beloved New England icon returns to New England for 2008 Season

New England’s most recognizable and beloved floating icon is back in the sky for the 2008 season.

The Hood Blimp will be flying across New England from June 20 through August 20 this year, visiting beaches, events, festivals, Red Sox games and more throughout the region.

About the Hood Blimp

The American A-60 Plus Lightship is a revolutionary airship designed specifically for aerial observation purposes. The stability, airborne duration and maneuverability of the Lightship offer an excellence observation platform.

Manufactured with the latest materials and techniques, the most striking feature of the Lightship is that the entire hull can be internally illuminated providing a dramatic nighttime sight.

Type: American A-60+ Lightship
Volume: 68,000 cubic feet of Helium
Empty Weight: 2,770 pounds



Length: 128 feet

Height: 44 feet

Width: 36 feet


Length: 13 feet (cabin 9 feet)

Height: 5 feet
Width: 9.5 feet (cabin 6.3 feet)

Passengers: 3, plus pilot (maximum capacity 5)
Envelope: Composed of an outer structural skin with separate inner disposable gas-tight bladder (similar to a tire and inner tube).

Illumination: Features a special internal illumination system comprising of two 1,000-watt light bulbs that cause the airship envelope to glow during nighttime operations.


Power: Twin 80-horsepower Limbach engines
Fuel Capacity: 74 gallons
Fuel Consumption: 4 gallons per hour (cruise)


Cruising Speed: 32 miles per hour

Maximum Speed: 53 miles per hour
Maximum Rate of Climb: 1,600 feet per minute
Maximum Rate of Descent: 1,400 feet per minute
Range: 425 miles
Airborn Duration: 15 hours (on station)
Turning Circle: 750 feet diameter
Lifting Gas: 68,000 cubic feet of helium

Operating Personnel:

Minimum Flight Crew: 1
Total Crew: 12 (including crew chief, port noseline, starboard noseline and gondola crew)

Television Broadcast Capacity:

Mounting to accommodate gyro-stabilized camera for television and video photography.
For all press-related inquiries, contact:

Lynne Bohan
(617) 887-8321


Sarah Barow
(617) 887-8455