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April 27, 2010

How Building a Blimp Blew Up Badly


by Alfonzo Smith

While traveling, I stopped at a Zany Brainy store and saw that they had a blimp for sale. It's called Airship Earth, and it's a great big balloon with a map of the Earth on it, and two propellers hanging from the bottom. You blow up the balloon with helium, put batteries in it, and voila, you have a radio control indoor blimp.

Last night my wife was playing tennis and it was just my daughter and me at home. I bought a small helium tank at a party store, and we put the blimp together. Let me tell you, it's quite a blimp. It's huge. The balloon has a 3-ft diameter. We blew it up with the tank, attached the gondola with the propellers, and put in batteries. Then we balanced the blimp for neutral buoyancy with this putty that came with it, so it hangs in the air by itself neither rising nor falling. It was easy and fun. Then I blew up another balloon and made Mickey Mouse helium voices for my daughter. My three year old loved it.

We flew the blimp all over the house, terrorized the dog and attacked the fish tank. The controls were so easy my three year old daughter could fly it. Let's face it, blimps are fun.

To read what happened next, The Adventures of a Blimp Gone Bad.

Click here to read about more Travel Adventures on Road & Travel Magazine. 


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