You might actually do better with a rigid hull design rather than a blimp. They have a tendency to have better handling characteristics and can hanndle being buffeted around by winds a bit more than a blimp can as you can mount stabilizer vectored thrust props in the upper and lower rudder to act as lateral thrust in winds plus you have hard points all over the airframe for equipment mounting (including better long term support for amorphous solar panels if you want to go all solar) and can even mount much of your desired equipment inside the keel to allow for less drag.
There is a guy just north of you, Hector, in LA I think, named Jack Clemens who built a 20' flight capable model of the USS Macon. He used balsa for his frame design, but lightweight plastics could provide better strength at the same or even less weight (just for a lot more money). The blimp would be cheaper to build, however the rigid frame would be a more robust design which will provide greater operational longevity.
Hi Wes, so much thanks for your comments, i will take hands on that information!
My team and I are currently exploring similar ideas, we are located in New York City as well. Let me know how your project goes, maybe we can collaborate.
HI wahaha. I am located close by in NJ and we are looking a build a surveilence blimp. I have a quad drone but the endurance is too short. One of the many issues we are struggling with is how to dock the blip autonomously for recharge and in the event of strong winds. Happy to work with you.
Im doing an experiment based out of history, im tryng to recreates the army's attempt to make a flying aircraft carrier only for mav fixed/multi & single rotors. I saw below someone mention riged design known as a derigible, I agree they are typicly better, the military (army again) is retesting normal but very large unmanned blimps (powered by prop?) for radar and its working well. just curiouse what fabric are you using?
Hi, I am looking to do a long distance flight-a ridged frame blimp with an endurance of maybe 2 weeks. Please share any findings!