Questions & Answers about Blimps
Are Blimps Safe to Fly?
Forget the Hindenburg! Helium filled Aeroblimps have logged thousands of hours in arenas and stadiums around the world with no injury related accidents. The helium required to inflate the blimps is a totally inert, non-flammable gas. The electric motors used to power the blimps are shielded with prop guards. The envelopes are manufactured using a strong rip-stop urethane coated nylon fabric that includes a pressure valve to virtually eliminate the possibility of a "hull blow out".
How much income can be generated by the operation of a
Radio Controlled Blimp?
The income produced by the blimp will depend on the venue size in which the blimp is flying and the type of contract negotiated with the sponsor. Typically the selling price for the sponsorship for the smaller indoor arenas (3000-8000 seats) will range from $500.00 to $1000.00 per game per sponsor depending on the local market and the frequency of games during the season. Mid-sized arenas (8000-14000 seats) should range from $800 to $1500 per game, and large arenas will range from $1200 to $3000 per game. For indoor stadiums with 45,000 plus seats, a single game event can bring in up to $6000 in revenue. Multi year contracts with a sponsor that guarantees income for several years are the most common types of contracts. However, some teams or arenas choose to sell sponsorship on a per game/event basis, yielding even greater returns than show before. In most cases, you should be able to payoff your blimp in half of the season, or less.
What are the operating cost of the blimp?
The cost to operate a blimp are nominal. Helium can be obtained from a local welding supplier and helium sells for around $100.00 per 250 cuft tank. After the initial helium fill of the blimp, the envelope will periodically need to be "refreshed" with more helium. Over time some air will displace a portion of the helium causing the blimp to fly "heavy". The air can be purged with out completely deflating the blimp using only a small amount of helium. The motors of an indoor blimp run off rechargable NMH battery packs that need only a 120-volt outlet to recharge. Pilot fees range from $40-$100 per game and compensation for pilots sometimes includes two season tickets and a meal, from time to time. Ask us about training your pilots to fly the blimp.
Can anyone fly a Blimp?
Blimpworks and our partners at Aerostar International and Airworks strongly recommends the hiring of an experienced radio control pilot, to fly your blimp. A pilot’s knowledge of the mechanics and electronics used on the blimp is invaluable. The sponsor of the advertising on the blimp is paying a lot of money to see his/her message aloft and the blimp flying on schedule. Often, a pilot can troubleshoot a problem with the blimp and prevent a "no fly" situation. Pilots who have flown radio controlled planes or helicopters have acquired, with many hours of practice, the technical skills necessary to effectively maneuver a blimp around the fickle air currents created by the ventilation systems of indoor arenas.
How long can a Blimp continue to fly without recharging the batteries?
An Aeroblimp is designed to stay aloft for 30-45 minutes at a time on a change of the NMH batteries. The NMH battery packs only take 15 minutes to fully recharge, and the discharged battery packs can be replaced by new packs in less than one minute through a removable access panel on the side of the gondola. The amount of paint on the blimp and the weight of the payload carried by the deployment device will effect the continuous flying time realized by the blimp. The more weight on the blimp, the harder the motors must work to keep the blimp aloft; hence a greater drain on the battery. Some additional weights are included to ballast the blimp properly. When ballasting the blimp, it should be a little bit heavy before the coupons on put on the drop device. This is done so the blimp falls down instead of up, in case of a power failure.
How does the altitude of an arena effect the Blimp?
The greater the elevation above sea level of the arena in which the blimp will fly, the less the "lift" a blimp will have. Our partners at Aerostar routinely analyze the altitude of the city in which a blimp is to be flown with respect to the lift necessary to fly effectively.
i.e. Denver vs Daytona Beach
What about graphics and banners for the Blimp?
Two digitally printed contour banners to depict your sponsor's message to fit the shape of the blimp’s hull. The blimp envelope can also be painted with a special ink that will not crack or peel when the blimp is deflated or folded for storage. Blimpworks provides all graphics desired on your banner or blimp, and will provide a quotation of the painting costs for your review. We will also be happy to help you design your graphics to compliment your blimp with the team logo and or sponsors advertising message.
Can my Blimp be repaired if damaged?
All Aeroblimps are shipped with a free repair kit for patching holes in the envelope. In the rare instance that the hull experiences extensive damage, it can be returned to the factory for repair. Every attempt will be made to promptly repair your blimp so that a schedule flight date will not be missed.