OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps before?

basic knowledge would be of serious help. how much helium lifts how many ounces etc etc. or how much vertical thrust you need to lift 1 lb off the ground. shit like that.

basically i need to figure out a way to get 120 grams (.25 lbs) off the ground and flying around. It seems like you can buy some pretty awesome flying blimp toys for around 50$. like this one for example.

blimp float too high in regular elevation. i need to figure out how much lift i would get from an extra 2 cubic feet. enough to lift 120 grams?

if thats not enough i guess i could add other balloons? maybe wrap a couple long clown style balloons around the outside?

the whole point of this is that we have a sweet camera that transmits high quality live footage over a 3g or wifi connection to our tv show. it would be fucking awesome if we could have aerial cameras for tradeshows, and concerts and other large events.

help me make this happen!

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

I have seen blimps with remote controls for flying like you say, with a camera mounted on it. I forget where I saw it though. Yes I would also love one for many occasions!

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

Cleats Onionpockets /

Screw 120 grams, swap the rear wheel out for a propeller setup and float your moped around! that would be a hell of a project!

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

yeah i have seen a HUGE blimp at phx suns games that had a camera. the camera had to weigh at least 50-100 lbs though, this was 5-10 years ago.

the camera we have is actually the nokia n95 cell phone. it has a 5megapixel camera, carl zeiss optics and dvd quality 30fps video.

it can broadcast that video via the 3g connection or wifi directly to our tv channel. this is an example of the live broadcast over 3g quality. its even higher when done over wifi at 640x480

<object width="320" height="280"><param name="movie" value="http://qik.com/player.swf?streamname=806e899c1ebd4c76b1d4029c4fa27fcb&vid=94154&playback=false&polling=false&user=0345da78c0fa9a16827cdea6f92336668825346d&userlock=true&islive=&username=anonymous"; ></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent" ></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" ><embed src="http://qik.com/player.swf?streamname=806e899c1ebd4c76b1d4029c4fa27fcb&vid=94154&playback=false&polling=false&user=0345da78c0fa9a16827cdea6f92336668825346d&userlock=true&islive=&username=anonymous"; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="320" height="280" allowScriptAccess="always"></embed></object>

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

lol this is what my stoner ass came up with last night. didnt exactly work out too well.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

Harold, buy this. http://youngstown.craigslist.org/for/651742490.html

Then bring it to a Rally for eye in the sky goodness.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

hehhe, I think the ones I saw were not very big, and only sent a b&w pic to a uhf channel.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

fuck solar power, i need helium!

i need to find a site that sells mylar baloons and lists what the volume of the balloon is. through interneting i have found the basic (very basic) formula is 1 litre of helium lifts 1 gram of weight. this is completely dependent on density and tempature though.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

The blimp I saw was mylar, and had 2 steering fans that also moved it.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

The short answer is: approx 163 grams of Helium will lift 1kg.

The actual answer is much longer, and can be found here break>

Looking forward to seeing overhead shots of a rally.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

Matt Scout The Scouting Dcon /

I was reading up on some of the models, depending on the one you get they might have a removable/adjustable ballast. Figure out how much that weighs and assuming it's heavier than 120 grams, remove 120 grams and fasten the phone to the blimp. If you have a R/C Hobby shop nearby they might be willing to help you out.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

Harold: I found this on the net by doing a google search on "helium lifting power" Hope it helps:

Helium Lift Power

name Paul

status other

age 30s

Question - I would like to know the lifting power of Helium

eg: How much helium to lift 1kg

Any information would we great.


Revised May 2008


That depends on the density of air and the density of the helium. For

simplicity's sake, let's say the air and the helium are at the same

temperature and pressure. In that case, four grams of helium will occupy

about the same volume as 28.5 gm/mole of air. To lift an object, you need for

the mass of the object + the mass of the helium to be less than the mass of

the air it displaces. Since any object you want to lift will probably have

a much greater density than air or helium, let's neglect its volume for

simplicity's sake (in other words, we'll neglect the mass of the air

displaced by the object, because it will probably be only a small part of

the mass of the air displaced by the helium and the object together). Then

we can say that you need the mass of the object + helium to be less than

the mass of the air displaced by the helium.

M + Mh < Ma,

where M is the mass of the object, Mh is the mass of the helium, and Ma is

the mass of the air displaced. Our shortcut of neglecting the volume of

the object just says that

Ma = (28.5/4)Mh,

that is, a given mass of of helium will displace (28.5/4) times its mass of air.

Knowing that 4 grams of helium occupies that same volume as 28.5 grams of

air, we can see that four grams of helium will lift almost 25 grams:

M + Mh < Ma

M + Mh < (28.5/4)Mh

M < (28.5/4)Mh - Mh

M < Mh [(28.5/4) - 1]

M < Mh (7.125 - 1)

M < Mh (6.125)

M < 4g (6.125)

M < 24.5 g.

An easier way to look at this is to note that since four grams of helium displaces 28.5 grams of air, the "payload" for the helium is 28.5 g - 4 g = 24.5 g.

On a per gram basis, this means that one gram of helium will lift a payload (including the mass of the balloon) of (24.5 g payload)/(4 g helium) = 6.125 g payload /g helium. You can also see this in the above derivation if you just figure the mass of helium to be 1 g instead of 4 g.

So, to lift 1000 grams (1 kg), you need about 163 grams (~0.16 kg) of helium:

M < Mh (6.125)

M/(6.125) < Mh

Mh > (1000g)/ (6.125)

Mh > 163.3 g.

How much volume of helium is this? It depends on the temperature and

pressure. Neglecting the volume of the object to be lifted becomes a more

serious error as it becomes a larger fraction of the total volume. Under

normal conditions (ambient temperature and pressure), this is a small error.


Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

Harold, what you really need is some larger balloons.

Edmund Scientific sells "Weather Balloons," though in reality, meteorologists use even larger balloons than these that have extra room to expand as the gas insides expands due to the low pressure of the upper atmosphere.

So, the 20-30 dollar, giant balloons in the below link should only take your camera up to a few tens of thousands of feet:


Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

How do you weigh helium? Seriously. I'm sure there is a way.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor


This sounds "fishy" to me. Are you sure you are not trying to find out how many ballons attached to your lawn chair you will need to fly up to 30.000 feet lol !

But, I usually have large helium ballons flying over my shop when i have a ride. I got 3, 6 foot diameter ballons for $60.00.

A large tank of helium cost me $180.00. That is just enough to fill 3, 6 foot ballons. I think i read that one 6 foot balloon will lift 6 lbs. But i may be wrong on that? And that doesn`t mean 1, 1 foot balloon will lift one pound. But i did put a small video camera on one 6 foot balloon and it lifted it with no problem. I also put the same camera in my RC airplane and flew it around and got some good video of the riders lined up before the start of the ride.

I did check out blimps at the same time, but they are too expensieve. They go from $500.00 to $30,000.00 !!


Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

I do mean B A L L O O N S !! dammit

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

i ahve one of those, for ballast i just use simple playdough its easy to get the perfect amount and jsut stick it right on top of the gondola.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

If you try to fly one of those RC blimps outdoors in anything but the most absolute dead calm days, you'll lose it. Wind picks up dramatically as you gain altitude. That 4000 ft stuff is talking about high elevation air pressure differences, not flying that high above ground level. Take it from me, I am an engineering grad student who works with UAVs and I've flown tethered weather balloons and kites for aerial photography, its a pain in the ass to carry any decent weight and you're not going to get good footage without putting a pan tilt unit on the blimp and controlling that with RC too. You have to carry the weight of the radio transmitter, camera, servos, and a battery. And control the blimp in wind. Its not easy, though there are commercially available blimps for this purpose for thousands of dollars.

I personally have more experience with RC helicopters, which would work well for this except you need a very skilled pilot and a heli that'll cost at least a couple grand.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

ike, first of all, AWESOME! what camera did you use and man you better post that video! i would love to see that. upload it as an attachment if you have to!

mopeder, what kind do you have and about how much playdough did u have to add?

silverfox, awesome thanks man! now i can do the real calculations when it comes time to build the final one.

i just bought a couple 3 foot balloons and a 1 time use helium tank that fills 50 regular sized baloons for 35$. just gonna attach the internals from a cheap 15$ radio shack rc plane and see where that gets me.

Re: OT: anyone worked with helium and blimps befor

I used to have one of those rc blimps, it was awesome. The thrust from that little gondola is pretty surprising. Which is why I came up with this, a little expensive but you can lift 7 pounds with their smallest model. Here. break>

Since it dosent come with a gondola, get the little cheapy. Here. break>

I guess you'd be able to lift 5-6 lbs with that after the gondola.

If you get a smaller camera. I don't see why the smaller consumer blimp wouldn't hold it up. they even sell one with a color spy camera, oooohhhhh.



first flight went beter than i could imagine. time to buy a real 400$ blimp and do it right.

i made this with 2 20$ toys, some balloons and a 30$ helium tank rental. now you know me, i love some duct tape but it was too heavy.

anyway exporting video right now. will post in 15 mins or so. its awesome! thanks for all the help everyone!


hahaha i have one


i got one that is like the american flag one

Here is the vid!

Re: Here is the vid!


Re: Here is the vid!

That was kickass!!! Where do you work that they fund you to build shit like that?!?

You're probably already on this, but a milar balloon will let you be able to inflate/deflate the baloon without leaking helium (it's lighter than air b/c its a tiny atom, and so will slowly wick through the rubber balloon)

Also, a smaller balloon, while not as visually rad, would be way more manuverable. The key isn't volume, its density. Smaller milar or other such material, with higher concentration/pressure of heilium means better flying ability. Pull the propellers off the plane, switch them onto some underpowered little motors, and make it heavy enough to need counterweights(the batteries?). Then you've got a virtual crane cam!

And I want that freakin phone by the way. Where did it come from?

Re: Here is the vid!

gotta order it from nokia right now and pay full price. rumor is at&t will be picking up the nokia n96 this fall.

the n96 is an even prettier version of my phone with a 16g internal hd.

800$ lol.

Re: Here is the vid!

listen to Noah.


Re: Here is the vid!

harold, you are the awesomest nerd ever.

Re: Here is the vid!

"well it's looks stupid now and it is kind of stupid, but in the _future..._ "

gold, pure gold.

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