How Many Blimps Are There?

So, how many blimps are there? To maintain their form, Blimps depend on internal pressures. As internal pressures maintain their shape, semi-rigid blimp structures rely on a central iron-based keel for support.

Zeppelin-like blimps have a robust framework that allows them to maintain their shape. The Blimp’s compartments contain the gas that elevates them. Then, in September 1852, the first blimps propelled by steam took their first flight.

  • Blimps are propelled into the air by the pressure of lifting gas, such as Helium or Hydrogen.
  • There were fee-paying passengers on board the first Blimp in 1852, and they were in use until 1937.
  • Most of the time, they’re employed to promote a product or service.
  • During World War II, the army also used them to keep watch.

Most of the time, you don’t see blimps in the sky anymore because they are expensive to build and run. Building and flying a plane is a pricey endeavor in and of itself. A blimp’s journey can cost up to $100,000 in Helium, which is a hefty investment.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at blimps.

So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into it!

How Many Blimps Are There in the World?

How Many Blimps Are There in the World?
How Many Blimps Are There in the World?

After a census in 2021, researchers estimated that only 25 blimps are left, with only approximately half of them still in use for advertising. The Airsign Airship Group is the largest operator of various operating blimps, including the Hood Blimp, the Blimp for DirecTV, the Blimp for MetLife, and others.

Some most famous blimps are:

  • Hindenburg
  • Graf Zeppelin
  • Flying Aircraft Carriers
  • The First Zeppelins
  • The World’s First Airline
  • The Goodyear Blimp

History of the Blimps

History of the Blimps
History of the Blimps

Pilots lift gases lighter than the surrounding air to maintain blimps in the air, commonly known as dirigible balloons. Rigid, semi-rigid, and non-rigid types make up most of the fleet of blimps in operation today. We commonly refer to blimps as non-rigid blimps. Blimps are held in place by internal pressures. However, semi-rigid blimps also include an iron keel positioned in the middle of their frame, which helps maintain the shape of the blimp stable.

On the European Travel Information & Authorization System (ETIAS) website, the editor explains that the “Government largely use blimps or Zeppelins for military purposes and civilian objectives,” including transatlantic travel. In 1925, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company first started manufacturing airships using the blimp design. Aircraft of this type served in both the armed forces and advertising throughout World War II.

The ZEPPLINS are rigid blimps with a robust structural underpinning that maintain their shape. Some or all of the Blimp’s cells contain the gas needed to lift it. Then, in September of 1852, the first steam-powered Blimp took to the skies for the first time. The blimps claimed they were the future of air travel some 51 years before the Wright brothers made their first flight.

How Many Blimps Are There in the US?

How Many Blimps Are There in the US?
How Many Blimps Are There in the US?


Using blimps for advertising or broadcasting from the air is exactly why Goodyear utilizes its blimp fleet. Only 124 pilots in the United States have been certified to fly an airplane. According to the FAA, there are only 39 registered blimps.

What Gas Do the Blimps Use?

Hydrogen is used to lift a blimp. Also, Hydrogen is the lightest gas, which is why it can lift the most weight. However, it is also flammable, which has caused blimps to crash and kill people. Helium doesn’t float like Hydrogen, but it’s safer because it can’t catch fire.

How long can Blimp travel?

The inflexible helium gas pocket of a Blimp is not held in place by an internal frame of any kind. Instead, two propeller engines and a moving tail/rudder arrangement control a blimp. Airlines can fly 150-200 miles each day on average. It has two valves in front and two at the back of each Blimp, so there is a total of four.

How Many Advertising Blimps Are There?

At least 25 blimps exist, but barely half of them are being used for advertising in 2022. The DirecTV blimp, the Hood Blimp, and the MetLife blimp are owned and operated by the AirSign Airship Group.

Of the approximately 13 commercial blimps in operation worldwide, eight active ships are owned and operated by the Van Wagner Airship Group.

How Many Blimp Pilots Are There?

How Many Blimp Pilots Are There?
How Many Blimp Pilots Are There?

There are currently less than 10 active blimps on the planet, each having 40 to 50 pilots.

Once upon a time, blimps were at the vanguard of aviation until airplanes evolved beyond their lighter-than-air technologies. Goodyear uses its blimps for advertising and aerial broadcasting, exactly what companies use blimps for today.

According to the FAA, there are just 124 blimp pilots in the United States and just 39 registered blimps. But because of the efforts of a few different businesses, that is no longer the case.

Why Are There Only 25 Blimps Left?

The enormous costs involved in producing and maintaining these aircraft are the primary factor that prevents blimps from being used in today’s aviation industry. They are highly expensive to build and extremely expensive to operate once they are in the air.

They require Helium in substantial quantities for use in blimps. Wilnechenko estimates that this may cost as much as one hundred thousand dollars for each flight.

The Question Now Is Whether Blimps Are Safe or Not

The Question Now Is Whether Blimps Are Safe or Not
The Question Now Is Whether Blimps Are Safe or Not

Goodyear has never had a blimp crash while marketing its products, proving that blimps are extremely safe. However, the safety record is mainly reliant on preventive activities. For example, Goodyear’s blimps cannot be flown in winds more than 20 miles per hour due to engine power limitations.

The hull of a blimp is different from the past. To create a gas-proof skin, manufacturers can layer materials with varying qualities to create strong but light materials. Unpressurized and low-flying blimps are common. However, since rapid decompression cannot occur, this blocks a new threat to aviation safety.

Are Blimps Going Extinct?

Are Blimps Going Extinct?
Are Blimps Going Extinct?


Since blimp construction and operation are so expensive, you’ll never see one flying again. But, to build and fly, they’re quite expensive. For example, one flight on blimps can cost as much as $100,000 in Helium, says Wilnechenko. However, due to a global helium shortage, prices continue to rise. Flying one is likewise no easy task.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 128 persons in the United States possess the necessary credentials to pilot blimps. And just 17 get paid enough to do it regularly to make it worthwhile. For example, flying a single-engine plane typically requires ten to fifteen hours of practice. To fly a blimp solo for the first time, pilots need between 250 and 400 hours of training.

The third important factor is the rapid advancement of drone technology. Aerial photography has never been easier or more affordable than it is now, thanks to the advancements in drone technology. Nearly twenty-five blimps are still in operation today. However, only about half of those remain in service for commercial purposes. Blimps are uncommon, so appreciate the sight when you see one.

Can You Still Ride a Blimp?

Despite their relatively slow speeds, they are famously difficult to control. In addition, there are only 40 blimp pilots worldwide, making this one of the rarest vocations with no “flying by the numbers,” no pre-determined heights, airspeeds, or power adjustments.

Despite this, When there is no wind, the GZ-20’s cruising speed is 35 miles per hour; at full throttle, the GZ-20 can reach 50 miles per hour, whereas the new Goodyear Blimp can reach 73 miles per hour.

Where Do Hot Air Balloons Vary from Blimps or Zeppelins?

Where Do Hot Air Balloons Vary from Blimps or Zeppelins?
Where Do Hot Air Balloons Vary from Blimps or Zeppelins?

Zeppelin is a different name for a Blimp. A zeppelin is a type of Blimp, as well. A blimp is similar to a hot air balloon, except that it has an interior metal structure that keeps its shape even when you do not fill it with gas.

The last Zeppelin flight was the end of Hindenburg’s journey. After the Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey, businesses that relied on passenger ships went out. The German Hindenburg Zeppelin detonated above Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 6, 1937, engulfing the town in smoke and flames.

Final Words

The inflexible helium gas pocket of a Blimp is not held in place by an internal frame. Propeller and rudder systems control the airships’ movement and direction. Airships may fly between 150 and 200 miles per day on average. Airships have an equal number of front and rear air valves, for four total valves per airship.

No blimps used by Goodyear to promote its products have ever crashed, even though the number of blimps in operation is only 25 today. Preventive measures are critical to the safety record. However, there is a limit to how high the blimps can go because the motors aren’t powerful enough to control the air.

This was a complete guide on blimps.