This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Ed Yeates ReportingA 16 foot blimp that blends into the background and zips around like a hummingbird has caught the eye of residents living in the Sugarhouse area.
Even though it's sixteen feet long, the see through skin on the remote controlled helium-filled blimp makes it almost invisible against the sky. Inventor Daniel Geery flew his prototype low to the ground so we could keep an eye on it. But higher up, this whisper quiet hyperblimp, as its called, could keep an eye on everything else. It does what it has to do, then moves on quickly.
Daniel Geery, Inventor: "I've got the next generation in mind already and it should be quite a bit faster than this one."
Surveillance from an onboard mini camera is only one possibility. With more sophisticated electronics, the blimps could scout for the lost in search and rescue operations.
Geery: "There were people lost in the Uintas a few weeks back. Something like this could have probably helped find them a little quicker."
Geery is now working on an array of solar panels for his blimps. No need on a search or surveillance mission to return to earth to recharge batteries.
Geery: "Conceivably, if you had a large array of solar panels to where you had excess electricity, you could store it in fuel cells so it could run overnight."
In his backyard garage, dan does all of his inventing. And we're not just talking about blimps. He showed us another flying craft. Without batteries or an engine, it zooms underwater in swimming pools as a toy or a tool perhaps to teach kids to swim. A lot of neat stuff is coming out of Geery's backyard and he's just beginning.
Dan Geery would like to build a larger manned hyperblimp within two years, one you could fly from a cockpit attached to the bottom of the blimp.