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Old Sep 30, 2014, 03:51 AM
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United States, HI, Honolulu
Joined Mar 2008
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Newbie to blimps. Where to start?

I've been flying multirotor UAVs for quite sometime now. I also work in the concert/entertainment industry and have been able to use my UAVs outdoors with no problems.

As of recently more of the events in my area have been moving indoors. While I'm confident as a UAV pilot, I've made it a personal rule never to fly in close proximity to masses of people. Obviously an indoor event (think warehouse venues) will pose problems for a multirotor UAV.

I'm thinking a small blimp (3-6ft), carrying a gopro + flight electronics should do the trick.

Are there any sub $600 blimp solutions out there?

-Thanks
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Old Oct 01, 2014, 10:23 AM
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I think the size of the RC blimp market is so tiny and the manual labor in producing blimps is so high that you are unlikely to find any turn-key solutions cheaper than that. The quad market is huge by comparison and they are simple to construct, so they are a lot cheaper.
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Old Oct 02, 2014, 09:24 AM
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So far my research seems to indicate what you've said.

Personally I just don't want the liability of having four rotors spinning at 15,000RPM hitting someone. At least with a blimp if something fails it will just float around.
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Old Oct 02, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Yeah, I don't blame you. It doesn't matter how good of a pilot you are, sometimes the hardware just fails. A blimp will slowly float down because they are flown heavy, but you have plenty of time to shut the motors off. A quad just drops like a rock. With a blimp you can also make extra money advertising on it, which you can't do with a multi-rotor.
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Old Oct 02, 2014, 04:23 PM
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North Richland Hills, Texas USA
Joined Aug 2000
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Honestly

Figure from about 2500 to 5000 dollars for a manufactured turn key rig and you get what you pay for. Vehicle is an indoor aerodyne approximately 13 foot long and requires about 180 to 200 cubic feet of helium to fill. What is referred to as a K -bottle or a 200 will fill most 13 footers and have a little gas to replenish for a while. I pay about 90.00 a bottle in the Ft Worth/Dallas area but normal cost in Texas is around 158 to 220 dollars a bottle and that varies greatly in your local area. Prices quoted are for delivery, I pick up mine when needed at price point noted and usually use over 60 bottles a year for the teams and other events. There are a number of manufacturers in the US and an excellent one in Canada that can work with you on the vehicle. You can tell them what you want and they will build it for you.

The 13 footer can easily handle up to an extra 16/20 ounces of extra weight without any issue. Go Pro is easily fitted to gondola in seconds.

Insurance (liability) will be your second most costly item behind the ship itself if you are going commerical.

ed

ed
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Old Dec 05, 2014, 03:49 PM
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Majortomski's Avatar
Oklahoma City OK USA Where fakts still exist even if they are ignored
Joined Aug 2000
2,792 Posts
I'll sell you a turn key 13 foot used blimp for $1500 blimp, plus shipping.

Tom OKC
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