Last week I posted that the Despicable Me Despicablimp might be coming to a city near you. What is the Despicablimp? It’s a Despicable Me 2 themed blimp. My family and I were invited to a special media event to meet the Despicable Me 2’s Minions and I was invited to ride on the Despicablimp. Unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating with us so I wasn’t able to actually go up in the blimp but I still had the unique opportunity to not only see the Despicablimp fly over head but I was able to get inside to see it first hand.
It was so amazing being able to see the Despicablimp up close. We first watched it fly overhead several times trying to determine if it was going to be too windy for us to go up or not. We were then led out onto a field to take pictures with the Minions. My girls were so excited to meet the Minions. After a frenzy of picture taking with the Minions, we watched the Despicablimp land nearby. It was amazing watching as the ground crew had to pull the lines much like a cruise ship gets pulled in by small boats. There was one man at the top of a tall “pole” who’s job it was to tie up the blimp to the pole. I had no idea what it took to land a blimp but it was amazing to see.
We also learned that the blimp needs to be balanced with weight so if the blimp looses weight from burning off fuel then the crew needs to add more weight when it goes back up. The adults were then allowed to board the blimp 3 at a time to take some pictures and check it out. It was interesting to learn how much the weight really needed to be balanced. Three of us got on the blimp and when we were getting offer there had to be another adult waiting to get on so there was always the weight of 4 adults inside the blimp (counting the captain). Even with the blimp’s weight balances, it was still such a cool feeling as the blimp (while tied down) still swayed as if it were a boat floating on water only we were floating on air!Here are some other interesting facts about the Despicablimp:
- 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.
My family and I were already excited to see Despicable Me 2 when it comes out on July 3rd but now were are even more excited after this once in a lifetime opportunity. Check here to see if the Despicablimp will be coming to a city near you!
Here’s a cute video I took of the Minions. Make sure to watch until the end. It’s cute!
Don’t forget to “Like” Despicable Me 2 on Facebook, Follow @DespicableMe, @Despicablimp, @DM_Minions, and #DespicableMe2 on Twitter, Pin onPinterest and Follow on Instagram
Disclosure: My family and I were invited to attend the event in order to facilitate this post. No other form of compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own.