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Old May 04, 2016, 02:05 PM
9245 is offline
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Anything like this exist?

I've recently began thinking of a camera blimp, but I am not really seeing anything that does what I want.

What I am looking for:
OUTDOOR flying with a ceiling of about 400 feet
As small as possible, and preferably a matt white or slightly gray (cloud) color with no big logos or advertising.
Either a tether with ground power or a decently long lasting battery
Maneuvering and range is nice but I am placing a premium on flight time and cameras.
4K camera, preferably on a gimble that I can aim at the ground with a decent zoom
Night vision or night shot would be a major bonus but not really required.

Essentially I want something I can fly around and have fun with and take pretty pictures but I also want it to be able to function as a flying survalience camera if the need arises.

Budget is a big motivator, I do not have a big budget available at all, think along the lines of a decent quadcopter budget, but less would be even better. I don't need too many features, a floating camera on a rope would pretty much do the trick, I've even toyed with the idea of strapping an old Phantom to a weather balloon and tying a rope to it.

Anything like that exist?
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Old May 05, 2016, 06:01 AM
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Melbourne, Australia
Australia, VIC, Mount Dandenong
Joined Jun 2013
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There's a bunch of folks who sell these, but they're not cheap... I think you're looking at $5,000 - $10,000?

http://rc-zeppelin.com/menu.html
http://www.blimpguys.com/electricAirships.htm

They're also pretty big; to operate out doors you need a fair amount of speed, and that means size in blimp-land...
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Old May 05, 2016, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegacat View Post
There's a bunch of folks who sell these, but they're not cheap... I think you're looking at $5,000 - $10,000?

http://rc-zeppelin.com/menu.html
http://www.blimpguys.com/electricAirships.htm

They're also pretty big; to operate out doors you need a fair amount of speed, and that means size in blimp-land...
I like those Aerostats but no prices are listed on either site, never a good sign. If they are $5,000-$10,000 though that is a complete non starter, especially since the ones in the second link only have a 25 minute flying time, for that price I will just use a $1,400 Phantom and get better performance. Honestly that weather balloon idea is looking better and better...

What is it that makes these so ungodly expensive? It's basically just a balloon with propellers Isn't it? Is it the camera? I don't need Hollywood grade, GoPro grade would even be sufficient and I really only need enough power to turn it around, unless of course the camera is on a swivel in which case I don't even require engines really... Being able to fly around is just a bonus, as long as it's not blown all over the place by the wind and can more or less hold position I'de be happy.
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Old May 05, 2016, 06:59 PM
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Stay with your quads. The only benefit of the blimp would be the time of flight. The quad will give you a more stable camera platform and is a hundred percent cheaper to operate. I fly both commercially inside and out as far as blimps are concerned and multi-rotors outside for many years. Also FAA requirements are tough right now as well. You still have to follow the 333 exemption for a blimp as you would a quad for commercial work. No easy path. An outside airship would be in the 20 to 30 foot range to carry a SLC camera, gimbal and RC hardware. Helium cost would be between three hundred to five hundred dollars just to fill the envelope and you will loose that when deflated after the event. Quad sounding much better? Do not forget the insurance either and that will hurt big time.

Ed Couch
Over-The-Top Airships
edzepplin.com
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Old May 15, 2016, 02:41 PM
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I am developing an airship that falls within the price range you specified (~$1k). We can make an outdoor airship drone with the following capabilities:

70 minute minimum flight time using the economy battery
or
45 minute minimum flight time using the sport battery, depending on weather and mission requirements you can cycle through either.

The payload is a stock gimbal, but at this point we can make something work for your specific needs as we have flexibility..

The hull is a silver gray, but we can customize your color to your needs for no additional cost.

Ceiling below 400', but with blimps that level rides on a number of factors.

Just shoot me a pm on this forum or an email at lucas@arcticskyalaska.com for more details and a more intensive breakdown of what we can offer.
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