Bikes Fun & Games
Bike blimp remake?

Bike Blimp

This pedal-powered inflatable recently used to cross the English Channel has definitely piqued somebody’s interest, and understandably so. Trumann writes –

If there is a way to remake this human-powered aircraft, it must happen. This article is about taking a trip via bicycle-blimp, but the concept is too awesome not to fantasize about building one myself. I have no idea where to start, being a Maker-n00b, but if anybody else has ideas, they should be shared!

Pedal-Powered Blimp Attempts to Cross English Channel

Hmmm, well I’ll start with an obvious one – learn as much as you can about the bike blimp and other similar projects(see below). Take notes, make sketches, and experiment. Anyone else have some ideas/experiences that could help him out?


Propeller driven bicycle (recumbent trike) – Human powered

Med Prop Bike
Propeller driven bicycle

Tethered Sideview2
Coming soon… the personal blimp

  • Bicycle projects @ MAKE
  • Bicycle archives @ MAKE
  • 10 thoughts on “Bike blimp remake?

    1. That propeller bike strikes me as not the best thought-through idea. Unless it doubles as a squirrel-mincer.

    2. I love the idea of personal lighter than air transportation. In fact I went as far as a few back of the napkin semi-rigid personal blimp designs (blended wing body, slightly negatively buoyant, plane/blimp hybrid if anyone is interested) but I stopped entirely when I realized that it would cost about $5000 to fill the envelope with helium. Not exactly practical for Joe Handyman.

    3. What about a hydrogen-based setup? Any idea how much it would be to get that much hydrogen from a diy electroysis setup?

    4. It will cost well over $5k to produce that amount of hydrogen via electrolysis. Also, hydrogen isn’t really suited to this type of thing. Aside from the flammability of the gas, it’s a tiny molecule that tends to diffuse through most materials rather quickly. It embrittles metals, leaks through gas envelopes, and is expensive to produce. The Germans knew this but had little alternative with the trade embargo on helium at the time. We all saw what happened to the Hindenburg. Use helium for the win.

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