We've been developing this RC airship over the past two years. Features include 1 hr Endurance, 3-5 amp battery, 400g payload, camera gimbal, FPV, Low vibration, crash survivable, Helium recovery
and storage after each day of use.

Some videos:

Welcome to the LED - Long Endurance Dronehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMPtHGWouNQ
Brushless gimbal - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sqCBWNohug
Servo gimbal and MFD controller - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3glE5syuCI
Over snow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joLNCG17uPU

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Comment by John Rambo on April 1, 2016 at 12:42am

@Marthin H.,

the problem with blimps is -  they can't be small and efficient, just like quad's can't. 

it seems your L/D ratio is 6:1? That's not a shape which gives you a smallest drag possible. I've done a study and, surprisingly, 3:1 is a way to go for near-ground winds. Since blimp is simply a prolate ellipsoid, your volume increases ^2 (squared) while reducing length and increasing the diameter. 

In regards to envelope construction - default material is coated mylar - some 50uM tick. Rcgroups community claims it has lower helium leakage plus is lightweight. Maybe. For indoor use. 

I've made a sealed bag of UV-resistant polyethylene 2 years ago. 200uM tick. Filled it with hydrogen. It keeps the shape still, but lost some surface tension. I wasn't able to damage it even by standing or bouncing with my ass on it (I'm 65kg). Of course, if won't float as its to heavy for its volume.


On the other corner, my 20 liter Helium balloon in two years lost 70% of Helium. It diffuses through finger-thick metal more, than Hydrogen does through a polyethylene film (because H2 molecule consists of two atoms).

Conclusions: For longer endurance and cost reduction by 3x, Hydrogen is the way to go. 150-200uM polyethylene. 2-4 m^3 (as your envelope will come at ~1kg).

And sorry, I'm tend to disagree that such quantities of Hydrogen, and they way it is used is more dangerous than any multi-rotor drone with motors of <=1000kV. 

Comment by Martin Hill on April 1, 2016 at 4:51am
Hi John
To clarify
1) L to D ratio is 4
2) Envelope material is different from helium storage material. 1m3 gives 400g payload. Metalisation reduces porosity significantly
3) Helium costs per yr is about £80.
4) Payload is protected by the envelope on heavy landings. More than pays for cost of helium which is stored between flying days.
5) Solar power Possible for all day endurance.


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