Did you know? Van Wagner Airship Group LLC owns and operates 8 of the 13 active airships in the world today. Our blimp pilots and operations teams are experts in blimp aviation and technology. In fact, our pilots are certified by the FAA as blimp flight instructors! If you're an aviation fan (av geek) or blimp buff (helium head) you're in the right place! Check out these 18 facts we put together about blimps.
• Blimps are in the category of LTA vehicles, which stands for lighter than air.
• Blimps are filled with helium, an inert gas.
• There are more astronauts in the world than blimp pilots.
• Blimps date back to the mid-1800s.
• You can fit 75 million golf balls in a blimp.
• Blimps lift due to high pressure and helium pumped in the balloon.
• A blimp uses less fuel in two weeks than it takes a 747 airplane just to taxi to the runway.
• The only solid parts of a blimp are the gondola, where the passengers are, and the tail fins used for stability.
• Blimps require propeller motors for steering mobility purposes.
• Some blimps were used for patrolling purposes for the United States Navy in the World War I period.
• Blimps belong to a family of aircrafts called "airships," defined as an aircraft that doesn’t use wings to fly.
• A blimp is an airship that has no internal framework to keep its helium gas bag rigid.
• Pilots power and steer blimps with two propeller engines and a movable tail and rudder system.
• On average, blimps can travel 150-200 miles per day.
• There are 4 air valves on each blimp- two at the front and two at the back. The valves are opened and closed to either let air out or keep air in the ballonets.
• The usual cruising speed for a blimp is 35 miles per hour in a zero wind condition.
• Airships can carry enough fuel to fly for twenty-four hours, although they rarely do.
• Without any lifting gas, the empty ship (GZ-20) weighs about 12,840 pounds. Inflated with helium, the ship weighs only 100-200 pounds, depending on the amount of fuel, payload and ballast aboard.
Over time with Met Life’s Snoopy One and Snoopy Two
• Snoopy One first took flight in 1987.
• Snoopy One and Snoopy Two combine to travel approximately 120,000 miles a year throughout the United States.
• In a typical year, Snoopy One and Snoopy Two combine to cover approximately 70 events for networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN and The Golf Channel.
• Each of the Snoopys carries a 250-pound gyro-stabilized camera on the nose of its gondola; each camera features an 80x zoom lens that's about ten times as powerful as the average pair of binoculars.
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