Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A few more blimpy fun facts to tide you over until Pilot Terry floats on in

Yesterday, in preparation for our interview with the pilot this afternoon, I asked for questions from the Hood Blimp fans. The fans did not disappoint, and I received a number of great questions in blog comments and via e-mail, as well as some rather odd questions that are probably best left as rhetorical questions. Terry and I have selected some questions that he will answer personally, but I thought I would also cover some of the basic information people have requested about the Hood Blimp and blimps in general:

  • The Hood Blimp is 36 feet wide, 44 feet high and 128 feet long.
  • The Blimp is filled with 68,000 cubic ft. of helium and “topped off” daily.
  • The Blimp’s maximum speed is about 35 - 40 miles per hour.
  • It normally flies at 1,300 feet above earth but can fly as high as 10,000 feet above the ground if needed.
  • The Blimp can hold up to three passengers plus the pilot during non-camera events and fly for up to 6 hours in most cases. On camera events, the pilot, camera operator and camera equipment fly on the blimp.
  • The Hood Blimp uses less fuel in two weeks than a 747 jumbo jet uses just to taxi to the end of the runway.
  • Airship pilots train by first learning to fly other aircraft, such as airplanes or helicopters, then accruing their airship hours on the job with the airship operator, since there are no independent flight schools that specifically train airship pilots.
  • Blimps are non-rigid airships, meaning they differ from zeppelins in that they have no internal skeleton and keep their shape entirely from the helium pressure.

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