What Is a Balloon Plane Called?

An airship, also commonly referred to as a dirigible or dirigible balloon, is a remarkable and captivating marvel of engineering, representing a self-propelled aircraft that defies the conventional notion of flight. Distinguished by it’s ability to float in the air, these lighter-than-air crafts have been meticulously crafted in three distinct categories: nonrigids, semirigids, and rigids, each embodying their own unique characteristics and designs. Nonrigids, often recognizable as blimps, possess an inherent flexibility enabling them to adjust their shape in response to varying air pressures. Semirigids maintain a partially rigid structure, striking a balance between the flexibility of nonrigids and the structural stability of rigids. Rigids, on the other hand, feature a completely rigid framework, enhancing their maneuverability and overall control. The evolution and evolution of airships have contributed significantly to the field of aviation, capturing the imagination of the masses and inspiring awe in their magnificent presence in the sky.

Is the Goodyear Blimp a Balloon?

The Goodyear Blimp is a well-known icon of advertising and aerial observation. However, some people may wonder, is the Goodyear Blimp a balloon? The answer may surprise you. It’s structure is much more complex and sophisticated.

The balloon-like body of the airship, known as the “envelope,” is made of polyester. However, what sets it apart is the innovative film used to cover it. This film, called Tedlar®, is a product developed by DuPont™. Tedlar® adds strength and durability to the envelope, ensuring that the airship can withstand different weather conditions and maintain it’s shape during flight.

This internal structure gives the airship it’s distinctive shape and allows it to remain stable in the air. It also enables pilots to control the movement and direction of the airship, making it more than just a floating balloon.

To truly understand the complexity of the Goodyear Blimps construction, one can observe a timelapse video depicting the entire production process from beginning to completion. This captivating visual presentation showcases the meticulous attention to detail and the skilled craftsmanship that goes into creating the Goodyear Blimp. From the initial fabrication of the envelope to the installation of the internal structure, every step is carefully executed.

The Goodyear blimp, often spotted providing TV coverage to sporting events, isn’t a hot air balloon. While both blimps and hot air balloons use gas to create lift, they’re different types of aircraft. Blimps are a specific type of airship, a lighter-than-air craft.

Is the Goodyear Blimp a Hot Air Balloon?

However, there are significant differences between the two. While both rely on a lifting gas, hot air balloons use heated air to create buoyancy, whereas blimps rely on the buoyant force of the gas alone.

The Goodyear blimp, specifically, uses helium as it’s lifting gas. Helium is chosen for it’s non-flammable properties and availability. This gas is contained within the blimps envelope, which is a large, flexible structure made of durable materials such as synthetic fabrics or rubber-coated materials.

This allows them to move in any direction, making them ideal for providing aerial coverage for sporting events or advertising purposes. Hot air balloons, on the other hand, are at the mercy of the wind and can only drift with it.

In terms of appearance, blimps often feature prominent branding or advertising messages on their exterior, making them easily recognizable. They’re a common sight at major sporting events and serve as an iconic symbol for Goodyear. Hot air balloons, while they can also be branded or decorated, generally have a more colorful and artistic design.


Throughout history, three primary types of airships have been constructed, namely nonrigids (blimps), semirigids, and rigids. These extraordinary machines have fascinated humanity with their ability to navigate the skies, offering alternative means of transportation and exploration.