* MicroFlight Inc, in business since 1997
* Over 200 Blimps delivered world wide
* Over 1000 events over the past years.
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Dozens of satisfied clients and end-users Including...
* Katy Perry,
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*Electronic Components are tested,
and proven reliable.
* Aluminum and Carbon Fiber parts
Machined in the USA
* Superior Helium retention with our
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Quality Components and Construction
Contact us today: (949) 583 9571 eBlimp@yahoo.com Skype: eBlimp
Frequently Asked Questions
Performance and Operation:
How fast do eBlimps fly?
Typically, eBlimps are set up to fly about 25 mph, but generally, the smaller ones are a bit slower, and the larger ones are a bit faster. A 10 ft 300 watt system will fly around 20 mph (32 KMH), while a 25 ft 2400 watt system can fly over 40 mph (64 KMH).
How long do eBlimps fly?
1 hour is typical, however eBlimps can be designed to fly anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours and can be custom built to meet your needs.
How long does it take to recharge?
Usually, eBlimps come with a charger that is programmed to charge the batteries in about 2-3 hours. they can be charged faster, but 2-3 hours is a good speed that keeps the batteries in good condition.
How much weight can an eBlimp carry? larger blimps can handle larger payloads. small 10 ft (3meter) blimps can carry about 3 oz (100 grams) and larger 40 ft (12 meter) blimps can carry up to 25 lbs (10kg). When ordering a blimp, always specify your intended usage so we can make sure we are selling you the right product.
Can eBlimps hover in one place?
Yes, eBlimps have this ability. however, they fly most efficiently in slow forward flight.
How much wind can an eBlimp handle? eBlimps are easy to fly in winds of 10 mph, as long as you are in clean (non-turbulated) winds. so, flying on a windy beach is usually easier than flying in an urban environment, as the buildings will cause the winds to be very turbulated. in general, the larger blimps can handle the higher winds better, while the smaller blimps are more agile to handle the slower, yet turbulated winds. Our traind staff has flown blimps in winds as high as 25 mph (40 km/hour), but it is certainly not easy. VIDEO LINK
What is the set up time required for an eBlimp? When you are well experienced with your equipment, you can go from deflated to inflated and ready to fly in less than an hour. Infact, for the smaller 3 - 4 meter systems, we typically can set up in about 30 minutes or less. You can also chose to travel with your system inflated in a trailer and eliminate all but 3 minutes of set up time.
Is it easy to fly? When there are no winds, or you are opperating indoors, eBlimps are VERY easy to fly. However, opperating in the winds can be quite tricky if you are not experienced. Typically, those that are very good with conventional RC planes, or Helicopters will find it fairly easy to operate in the winds. The most challenging aspect is turbulated winds, which are caused from winds blowing around buildings, stadiums or other structures. VIDEO LINK
Do I need to use helium? Yes, Helium ins the only lighter than air gas that is safe to use.
What materials do you use for manufacturing your Blimp envelope? Our standard RC Blimps are made from Urethane. PolyesterUrethane to be specific. We also have Nylon, TPU (AKA, ThermoPlastic Urethane, PolyetherUrethae or extruded urethane) PVC, Vynil, and BoPet (mylar) available.
What is the Difference in materials... pvc vs urethane vs nylon?
*Polyester Urethane is the best choice when available do to its strength and helium retention. the leakage rate is very slow. It is truly rip stop, and stretches enough to prevent accidental bursting. The down side to PolyesterUrethane is that it is difficult to print on or make complex shapes. Small amount of printing on this is easy, but full digital printed balloons is a slow, tedious and expensive task. Complex shapes require a welding process that is also very slow and expensive. For this reason, TPU or PVC are often times used.
*PVC is the fastest easiest material to work with, also, very porous and easily torn, therfore usually the Cheapest for full digital print or complex shapes, however usually not strong enough to handle the stresses of windy outdoor operation.
*TPU is often the solution for these high performance complex printed shapes, as it can be printed, and welded reasonably, and is middle of the road cost.
*Nylon is a very rigid material, so it has the draw back of showing wrinkling instead of smooth contouring. Also, becasue it does not stretch, you have a higher chance of bursting a nylon blimp during accidental over inflation.
*Mylar type materials are only good for extremly light weight micro size blimps. it is very light weight and holds helium wonderfully, but it tears too easily to me used with anything large or used in a profesiaonal environment.
Do eBlimps use a 2 layer system for the envelope? We can if you like. the 2 layer system is not recomended though. the concept is, very light weight airtight internal layer, and a very strong yet porous outer layer work well together to give a strong light weight airtight solution. The challenge is though finding and repairing leaks when you get any loss of helium. In order to repair the leak, you need to completely deflate the system, and take the inner balloon out, which is a long slow process, and will force you to waste your helium. This process can only be done AFTER you find your leak, which is very easy with the single layer balloon. Additionally, the 2 layer system is more expensive to purchase, and maintain over time.
Where are eBlimps, and the components made? Our carbon fiber and aluminum parts are manufactured in southern california, where we can keep our eye on quality control. Our hand built tial fins are assembled in our own facility with the rest of our finished product. Our Polyurethane balloons are not made in our facility, but they are made in the USA by one of our partner companies. Our custom shaped PVC & TPU ballons are usually (but not allways) made overseas. And of couse, almost all the little electric components such as batteries and motors are sourced from asia. But all these pieces are brough together and assembled in our Facoru in Laguna hills, California.
What are the gondolas made from? our standard RC eBlimps use carbon fiber Gondolas, and machined aluminim motor mounts, unlike the competitors which are mostly all plastic.
What are the airship tail fins made from? our tail fins are made from a light wieght foam usually 1, 3, or 6 mm thick, which is then reinforced by lightweight carbon fiber frame. They are lighter, and more durable than the balsa built fins from our competitors.
Is ther any warantee? Yes. Our systems are waranted for 1 full year, and the details can be seen HERE:
What is the required construction time. Once a depostit is blaced, conventional, standard shaped blimps will usually be delivered in 2 - 4 weeks. Some blimps that are in stock can be delivered in as little as 3 days. However, custom shapes usually take 3 - 6 weeks, depending on complexity and our current work load.
Whats better, Gas or Electric? Gasoline Blimps are loud, and oily. The fuel is dangerous and flammable. The oil gets the balloon dirty and sticky. The fuel and oils make the plastic parts brittle. The Gas engines vibrate and destroy the other components due to the vibration. the Carburetors are difficult to keep tuned at different altitudes. IF a gasoline engine stops in flight due to carburation adjustment, or other reason, you will most likely crash your blimp. Electric is Clean, Quiet and reliable. You tell me which you prefer.
What Size airships are available? eBlimp brand remote control airships are available any size over 2 meters. however, the smaller ones under 3 meters just dont fly as well as the larger ones.
How do I find a leak? Finding leaks in big balloons can be time consuming if you dont know how. Because our standard balloons include internal lighting, it is fairly easy to find the leaks. Simple turn onthe lights in the balloon, while turning of the lights outside the balloon. The pinholes will shine like stars. If this is not easy enough for you, we do have some helium Leak detectors we can sell, rent, or soemtimes even lend to our clients.
How do I repair a leak? Leaks can be reraired as simply as using Clear packing tape. WE do include a small pice of very strong self adhesive patch material with all sales. however, the cheap packing tape works well in most situations.
How much helium is normal to leak? People often refer to material leakage in percentage, which can be misleading. Percentage leakd is based on amount leaked divided by aount countaiined, so the percentage is greatly deteramined by amount contained, or size of balloon. So larger blimps that have a large volume to surface area ratio will have a lower percentage of leak, while smaller balloos wil have a higher percentage of leak. A healthy 30 ft balloon, with no pinholes, made from a thicker urethane might leak less than 1 % daily, while a small 10 ft balloon, made from the thinner urethane, might leak 3% daily. PVC balloons might leak 3-5% daily.
costs and payments
How much will the helium cost? Helium currently sells in the US between $0.50 - $1 per cubic foot. We can supply helium at most locations for about $200 for a 290 cubic ft (8.2 cubic meter) tank. For custom sizes, you can estimate Volume = length x diameter x diameter divided by 2. (V=LWH/2)
What s the Shipping Cost? We can ship any method of your chosing. Usually, small indoor blimps can ship any where in the USA around $100, and Internationally around $300. The outdoor blimps we like to deliver in person so we can set them up with you and show you how to operate them. We do not chare anything for this, except for hte cost of travel. When trying to determin the cost of travel, you can look up the expense for an economy round trip flight on United Airlines. We do however often charge a small fee for the travel days, which is sometimes waived for large sales.
What are the accepted payment methods? Wire transfer, domestic checks, Direct deposit (citibank), Western Union, MoneyGram, or Cash. sorry, no Credit cards or paypal.
Why do eblimps cost more than Chinese and other manufacturers? Chinese manufacturers do not offer the same quality products that we offer. They are interested in maximizing profits, while we are intersted in maximizing performance. Please see below in the DIfferences between eBlips and others section.
How much do eBlimps cost to buy? Please see our product pages: Indoor Blimps
How much do eBlimps cost to rent? Please see our rental page.
What is an eBlimp? eBlimp is our brand name for Electric Blimps.
What is the difference between a Blimp, Airship, Zepplin and a Dirigible? An Airship and Dirigible are the same thing. Dirigible comes from a french word that means to steer, and in many languages, airship directly translates to Dirigible. A blimp is a non rigid dirigible / airship. meaning, there is no rigid structure in the balloon, and it is simple airpressure that keeps it inflated. Zeppelin is a brand name of airships that was the first to make Rigid airships. short for the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin of Germany, founded by Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Today the word Zeppelin, although technically a brand name, is often used to refer to Rigid Airships. while in fact is often an improper use of a brand name.
Can eBlimps carry Banners? YES, but digital printed stickers are a better way to got because they are lighter, and more aerodynamic
Do eBlimps include lights to fly at night? Yes
Can eBlimps drop prizes? Yes, the prize dropper is included with all standard eBlimps.
Can I have Scrolling LED sign like the GoodYear blimp? Yes, eBlimp brand RC airships are the FIRST practical, comercially available remote control airships to offer scrolling LED signs.
Do eblimps include a carrying case. No, this is not standard included. it can be included at an additional cost. Please inquire if you need one.
What is LiPo? LiPo is an abreviation for Lithium Polymer batteries. These are most energy dense rechargable batteries available on the comercial market today. All standard eBlimps are powered by LiPO bateries.
What Does RC mean? RC is an abreviation for Remote Control or Radio Control, whicha are actually slightly differnt meanings. Radio Control is actually One method of Remote Control using radio waves, whch has much longer range than Infrared style remote control that you use for your television.
How is an eBlimp differnt from the other manufacturers?
PolyesterUrethane Balloons: Superior helium retention.
Carbon Fiber Gondola: Absolute best, lightest weight technolodgy.
ALL Brushless motors: Most efficient motor technolodgy.
Steel Drive cable: Never slips, Motor rotaion always predicatable.
Multi turn Winch servo geared down: gives high torque to rotate motors with power
Instant response tail motor control: turns when you tell it to.
Carbon FIber Framed Foam tail fins: light, durable, and resiliant.
2.4 ghz radio with telemetry: long range, reliable, and secure. Allows inflight monitoring of batteries.
8 channel radio for outdoor blimps: allows easy and independant control of elevators and winch system in different flight modes. Also allows independant control of main motors for easier steering.
Flight Instruction. Instruction is offered in english and spanish.
Interrnal wire harness: looks clean
The other Guys:
PVC / TPU Balloons: weak, and poor helium retention
Nylon: Heavy and difficult to repair
Plastic Gondola: Absolute cheapest, technolodgy, heavier, more brittle.
MIxture of Brushed & Brushless motors: Less efficient. Less Power.
Toothed belt and Pulley system: sometimes slips, Motor rotation not predicatable.
Standard servo geared up: loses torque to rotate motors, lacks control when power is applied.
RC car controller for tail: Requires release of left turn and then reapply left turn before response. this is due to a "reverse Lock out" function on standard RC car controllers.
Solid Foam tail fins: Heavy
Built up wood and covering tail fins: fragile
72 mhz radio without telemetry: Short range, easy to interfere and jam. without telemetry can not see battery levels.
4 or 6 channel radio for outdoor blimps: Does not allow independant control of elevators and winch system. does not allow independant control of main motors.
Flight Instruction. not instruction. offered usually in chinese.
External wire harness: looks like a maze of wires outside the balloon.
LEDS not included. some offer this at an additional charge.
2x payload drop mechanism: Drops approx. 10 cards through 2 deliveries.