After dealing with wind one too many times, and especially in Yellowstone, I decided to build my own blimp. I assembled what you see in this photo:
After I built this, I discovered plans on the Internet for this same idea, even using the same components!
The tube is made from two inexpensive bird feeders, purchased at Home Depot. The sections are glued together using epoxy putty. Home Depot said they didn’t have any, but Lowe’s across the street, had Loctite, which is the same thing. I used two packages of Locktite on this.
The handle is a $1.68 paint roller handle, picked up at Lowe’s.
The end caps were made from two wire mesh sink drain covers, trimmed around and glued onto remnants of the bird feeder caps using more epoxy putty. The original bird feeder caps were drilled and then cut out with a jigsaw, leaving the rims.
I originally planned to weld the metal pieces together, but the bird feeder seems to be an aluminum alloy or something and was not weldable with my wire feed welder.
I still have to head to a fabric store to buy some fake fur to sew up a cover. That should happen within the next few days. I’ll try to post a followup picture of the final version.
Pros: Cheap, should work quite well. Can be mounted on any standard paint pole, as well as my 16 foot aluminum window washing pole.
Cons: the handle is not adjustable.