LED displays take to the skies on a blimp

Nov. 4, 2005
HiTech Electronic Displays has installed an LED display measuring 30 feet high by 70 feet wide on an airship.
American Blimp HiTech Electronic Displays has unveiled a new generation of LED technology that is lightweight, moldable, and can convert a standard blimp (otherwise known as an airship) into a giant floating television.

The display was created jointly by HiTech Electronic Displays of Clearwater, FL and American Blimp Corporation of Hillsboro, Oregon for its subsidiary The Lightship Group of Orlando, FL.

The LED sign stands 30 feet high and 70 feet wide and contains 337,920 LEDs. The display has 128 x 240 pixels, each containing 11 LEDs.

Tracy Pardee, marketing director of HiTech Electronic, told LEDs Magazine that each pixel contains 8 red LEDs, providing 32 shades of red during the day, and a further RGB cluster to provide full-color video at night.

The display can easily be seen from as far as 2 miles away. “We now have an exciting new interactive media platform available day and night.” says James Thiele, president of American Blimp. “We’re very happy with the performance of this new display.”

The new American Blimp display features an energy-efficient design composed of lightweight heat-resistant, waterproof strips containing LED clusters. "The strips mold to the curves of the blimp but have a material behind the strips that levels the lights so that the sign looks flat," says Pardee.

HiTech Electronics' innovative system requires only 100 amps at 28 volts and can run off of a truck battery! The typical weight for a display of this size is 11,000 pounds. The new lightweight material and special engineering reduce the weight to less than 1,000 pounds, allowing the blimp to take flight.