Note: The following images are from earlier, outdated tests. We include them here as a kind of historical record of our work. However, these pictures do not relfect the blimp as it appears today.

Early Tether Tests

Here is a short movie (7 megs) of one of the first powered turns made by the ship on tether. This clip shows part of a 360 turn made in calm conditions. Although one can clearly see the prop turning, due to the frame rate of the camera, the movie does not show the prop speed well. In fact, the engine is running just above idle speed or about 1300 rpm.

First Test Inflations of Full Sized Aircraft
(October, 2005)

October 8, 2005 -- Here's a shot of the envelope inflated without the ribs in place. You can see the aluminum ribs laying horizontally on the ground in front of the ship. To get an idea of the scale, that's Dan in the blue shirt standing underneath the envelope.

October 21, 2005 -- Here's the envelope inflated with the ribs in place. Note the pointier nose and tail than in the previous picture. The bottom of the envelope is distorted somewhat because this picture was taken before we had the load suspension system (lines the run from the cabin to the top of the balloon) installed. So the only way for the cabin to hold down the envelope was to pull on the bottom. Thus, the distortion.

October 21, 2005 -- The envelope, with ribs, from the front.

October 21, 2005 -- Here's a close up of our ultra-spartan cabin.

October 28, 2005 -- Here's a shot of your intrepid adventurers piled into the cabin and making a first tethered flight. The winds died very late that day, so this picture was taken in near darkness. So while the photo quality isn't very good, the event it captures was quite momentus. It took nearly 4 years of work to get off the ground this first time.

50 Foot Model
(December, 2004)

Click HERE for lots of images of our 50 foot model during inflation.

24 Foot Model
(October 6, 2002)

The model airship envelope pictured above encloses approximately 3400 cubic feet (100 cubic meters or about the size of a 2 car garage) and weighs only 21 lbs (10 kilogram.) The full sized (two person) ship will be 4 times the size of this model.

18 Foot Model
(June 27, 2003)

This 1/5th scale model uses an improved "teardrop" shape rather than the "natural" football shape shown at the top of the page. The difference in shape is accomplished merely by changing the shape of the envelope fabric -- no internal structure is added. The blunter nose (right) provides much better support for aerodynamic loads. Also, the longer tail (left) allows easier convergence of the airstreams as they pass by the body of the ship.

Here is an early version of an artist's conception of the Personal Blimp.

We keep this image because it's interesting how close it is to the real thing. Some of the details have changed in the years since this "artist's conception" was first created. For instance, there is only one cabin on the bottom of the ship and the propellers are now on the tail. But, overall, it is a remarkable likeness.

Illustration by Zoestoes Digital Studio

Copyright 2002-2010 Skyacht Aircraft, Inc.