Personal blimps

Energy & Sustainability

Thushan Amarasiriwardena sent MAKE this video that accompanied a piece he did in yesterday’s Boston Globe. In it, a dynamic duo from Amherst, MA talk about their efforts to build and perfect the personal blimp. Is this the next MAKE corporate vehicle?

Personal blimp sails over fields of Amherst – Link

14 thoughts on “Personal blimps

  1. Dax420 says:

    You ever have a really good idea that you never act on then one day someone else come up with it and makes a fortune? Yeah, welcome to my life.

    Years ago when people were still under the belief that we were going to get our flying cars I did the math and realized that the only way to make it even close to as economical as a car was to go lighter than air. The energy required for heavier than air travel is simply too great to be cost effective (for personal use). Now I have still have a few ideas up my sleeve regarding these craft, if only I had a million in the bank to develop it like this guy did.


  2. jasno says:

    Very cool! Not quite as personal as I’d hoped, however. For years I’ve thought it would be awesome to have a truly personal blimp – think hang-gliding with a helium balloon strapped to your back. Silently gliding across the countryside..

  3. Stokes says:

    Hooray for my hometown!

    A couple of years ago, I ran into a guy who took a 3D animation class I used to TA. He was working on his laptop in a coffeeshop doing 3D mockups of a personal blimp. He must have been working for these guys. I’m glad they’re actually making it a reality!

  4. MonkeyWork says:

    very very cool.. and I love the colors. Jules Verne would be proud.

  5. mpeg2tom says:

    Helium is about $15 for 100 cubic feet. You can lift about 28 grams with 1 cu/ft of Helium. You’d need about 3,200 cu/ft of Helium to lift a 200 pound person (think a cube 15 feet on a side), which would cost $1600 to fill up.

    Helium leaks out of everything very quickly, I imagine you’d have to fill it up every couple of weeks.

  6. beaconts says:

    i’m always amazed at people who make the most idiotic posts while convinced they are imparting great wisdom on the rest of us dolts. if you watched the video you’d know that the blimp here doesn’t rise on helium, but uses HOT AIR generated by propane. it appears that the burners are on the inside of the envelope, rather than under it, as in a hot air balloon.

  7. lord bacon says:

    this thing is a piece of crap. number one, who would want to explore the skies in such an ugly ship..? and two, as far as it being a practical soultion to traffic congestion – Please!

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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