This is so cool! Despicable Me 2 Fans May Track the Giant Minion Blimp’s Path Across the United States Via the Despicablimp Command Center Website. The Despicablimp and Minion are so adorable! Make sure to see if they will be in your area.
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – March 22, 2013 – Universal Pictures announced today that it is launching the enormous Despicable Me 2 “Despicablimp” in support of Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s upcoming 3D-CG comedy adventure, which will be released on July 3, 2013.
The Despicablimp is one of the largest airships in the world at 165-feet long, 55-feet high and 46-feet wide, and is one of only 15 flying today. The blimp will travel approximately 20,000 miles, crisscrossing the country three times over the course of its six-month journey and will have multiple stops across the continental U.S. Making its first appearance over the Nickelodeon 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 23, the gigantic Minion can be seen over hundreds of events across the U.S., including: Telemundo’s Billboard Latin Music Awards, Miami, FL – April 25, 2013
The Kentucky Derby, Louisville, KY – May 4, 2013
The Despicable Me 2 World Premiere, Hollywood, CA – June 22, 2013
The Despicablimp may be tracked in real-time via GPS at the Despicablimp Command Center (www.despicablimp.com). Fans can tweet sightings of the blimp or post photos to Instagram or Flickr using #despicablimp to see it featured on the site, and participate in weekly prize giveaways. Visitors to the site can also enter for a chance to win a trip for four to the Hollywood world premiere of Despicable Me 2 and get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to ride in the blimp!
About Despicable Me 2
Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster Despicable Me entertained audiences around the globe in 2010, grossing more than $540 million and becoming the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in U.S. history. In summer 2013, get ready for more Minion madness in Despicable Me 2.
Chris Meledandri and his acclaimed filmmaking team create an all-new comedy adventure featuring the return of (former?) super-villain Gru (Steve Carell), his adorable girls, the unpredictably hilarious Minions…and a host of new and outrageously funny characters. www.despicable.me
Despicablimp Fun Facts and Figures
The proper terms to use when describing the Despicablimp are: blimp, airship, lightship and even dirigible (they all mean the same thing), but the Despicablimp is not a zeppelin, which refers to the old rigid airships.
The Despicablimp is one of only 15 airships flying in the world today.
An A-150 blimp, this airship is one of the largest in the world at 165 feet long, 55 feet high and 46 feet wide! The giant envelope holds over 150,000 cubic feet of non-flammable helium. How big is that? You could fit approximately 75 million golf balls in the Despicablimp!
The maximum speed is about 45 miles per hour, although a headwind or tailwind will make a big difference in the ground speed.
The blimp normally flies at 1,000 feet above the earth so that it’s easy to see the giant Minion, but it can fly as high as 10,000 feet above the ground to get over a mountain range.
Blimps have the best safety record of any type of aircraft.
The Despicablimp can carry up to 8 passengers plus the pilot.
The Despicablimp uses less fuel in 2 weeks than a 747 Jumbo Jet uses to taxi to the end of the runway for takeoff!
The Despicablimp illuminates from within with two 1,000-watt light bulbs. It is beautifully illuminated in the night sky, and it is not uncommon for a blimp to be mistaken for a UFO.
The Despicablimp is completely self-contained. Trailers house an engineering shop, a business office, a supply trailer, and a secured housing system for the camera system.
The Despicablimp and its crew will travel approximately 20,000 miles over the next few months – from California to Florida, through the mid-west and down the east coast. The ship will fly across the entire width of the United States three times during its 6 month tour.
It’s a lot different than a balloon! A balloon cannot be steered, and basically crash lands after each short flight of being pushed by the wind. If you are lucky enough to get to fly in the Despicablimp, you will be seated in a comfortable leather seat, and then land on 3-point landing gear after your flight.
The Despicablimp is actually more like an airplane – it has aircraft engines on each side, and an aircraft instrument panel that the pilot uses to fly. The pilot is in communication and receives clearances from Air Traffic Controllers, like an airplane.
The pilot communicates with the ground crew with hand signals, using the radio for backup. Blimps were built before the radio, and hand signals have been handed down from generation to generation of blimp crews.
The Despicablimp can fly most places that are not under FAA restrictions, but it requires a 1,000’ x 1,000’ footprint of flat open space to land.
The Cineflex HD camera used for aerial coverage weighs over 300 pounds.
Where does that eye-in-the-sky camera come from? The fully digital, ultra high performance camera is gyroscopically stabilized and mounted to the front of the airship when it’s providing the important aerial shot for network television. It’s linked to a control panel that is operated by a cameraman, who sits inside the gondola with our pilot. During each event, the pilot and cameraman work together with the director and producer to provide the necessary shot – following race cars, baseballs and so on or finding a “beauty shot”. The camera lens can magnify what’s on the ground 72 times with great definition.
The signal from the camera is transmitted via microwave downlink, which is captured on site by a microwave technician with a receiving antenna array and is called the “linkman”. The receive antenna array is hard wired into the network’s production facilities, which then use the blimp camera just as they use all the other cameras at the sporting event.