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Personal Blimp

A personal helium dirigible or blimp, is one of those fun inventions that we all dream about at times. Flying has a lot of attraction, of course, but could a personal-size blimp be a practical mode of transportation? I think "maybe" is the answer for now.

How My Blimp Would Work

A streamlined blimp could have a control center suspended below it. This is where the user would sit, and operate the controls. A small motor should be sufficient for steering and slow forward propulsion, by powering a propeller and something to to direct the airflow.

The primary design goal would be reducing the weight of all parts as much as possible, in order to keep the unit smaller and more maneuverable. An outside "cage" or other control area would be made of aluminum, perhaps. There would have to be a spare tank of helium for emergency lift.

Another possibility is to have the operator provide the propulsion and steering power. This might be accomplished with "pedal power." Most likely, the slightest breeze would be too much for a human powered blimp to fight against, so there would have to be a back-up motor.

Other Considerations

Safety would be a big concern. An on board tank with helium could provide emergency lift. If the whole concept of people wandering around the skies in their blimps turns out to be too dangerous, there are other options. One of these would be to have this built as a novelty, and tethered, so users could fly around within a thousand feet or so.

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Personal Blimp