Monday, 25 April 2011

Blimp my ride

You may have spotted the Goodyear Blimp floating above London recently. It's been pootling about trying to imprint the Goodyear brand onto the general consciousness, as well as filming football matches and giving VIP flights.

As we were neighbours on the airfield for three weeks, the Blimp crew very kindly offered me a ride. I had been up in the Stella Artois Zeppelin which was based on the airfield a couple of years back, so thought I knew what to expect, but was taken by surprise by the maneuvrability of the blimp, which is significantly smaller than a zeppelin. Mike, my pilot decided to do a couple of low swoops around the airfield - at one point it felt like we were heading straight for the ground and I felt the need to hold onto the back of my seat to make sure I didn't fall out!

Then we levelled up and went for a slightly more relaxing cruise around the local area. I know the Thames estuary very well from the air, having flown around it in a microlight on numerous occasions. But the Blimp can fly lower and slower, giving me a very different perspective on the world below. The lorry parks near the Dartford Crossing struck me as particularly photogenic, as did the shadow of the Blimp casting itself over the fields.

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