Blimps have been around for over a century, and they still remain a popular choice for advertising and surveillance purposes today.

If you’re wondering how many blimps there are in the world, you’ve come to the right place.

According to estimates, there are currently around 25-30 blimps in operation worldwide.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at blimps and their uses, as well as explore the history of these fascinating flying machines.

We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of blimps, and what the future might hold for this unique form of transportation and advertising.

What are Blimps?

A blimp is a type of non-rigid airship that uses helium to stay aloft. Unlike traditional airships, blimps do not have an internal structure to maintain their shape. Instead, they rely on the pressure of the gas within their envelope to maintain their shape.

Definition and Characteristics

Blimps are typically made of materials like nylon or polyester that are coated with a special material to make them airtight. They are filled with helium, which is lighter than air, allowing them to rise into the sky. Blimps have a distinctive shape, with a long, cylindrical body and a rounded front and back. They are also known for their ability to move slowly and hover in place, making them ideal for certain types of aerial photography and advertising.

Types of Blimps

There are several different types of blimps, including:

  • Advertising blimps – used for aerial advertising and marketing campaigns
  • Camera blimps – used for aerial photography and filming
  • Military blimps – used for surveillance and reconnaissance
  • Research blimps – used for scientific research and exploration

Uses of Blimps

Blimps have a variety of uses, including:

  • Aerial advertising
  • Aerial photography and filming
  • Surveillance and reconnaissance
  • Scientific research and exploration
  • Transportation of goods and people in remote areas

One of the most well-known uses of blimps is for advertising. Companies often use blimps to promote their products and services at outdoor events like sports games and festivals. Blimps are also used for aerial photography and filming, as they can hover in place for long periods of time, providing a stable platform for cameras. In addition, blimps are used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance, as they are quiet and can stay aloft for extended periods of time. Finally, blimps are used for scientific research and exploration, as they can carry scientific equipment and personnel to remote or hard-to-reach locations.

The History of Blimps

Blimps, also known as dirigibles, are a type of aircraft that use a non-rigid, inflatable envelope to contain lifting gas. They have been around for over a century and have a rich history of development and use.

Early Development

The first blimps were developed in the late 19th century by inventors such as David Schwarz and Ferdinand von Zeppelin. These early blimps were used for experimental flights and were not yet practical for commercial or military use.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that blimps began to see more widespread use. In 1910, the United States Navy purchased its first blimp, and other militaries around the world soon followed suit.

Military Use

Blimps were used extensively during World War I and World War II for surveillance, reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare. They were particularly useful for patrolling coastal waters and were able to stay aloft for long periods of time.

Today, blimps are still used by the military for various purposes, including border patrol and disaster relief.

Commercial Use

In the 1920s and 1930s, blimps began to be used for commercial purposes, primarily for advertising and passenger transport. Companies such as Goodyear and Zeppelin offered rides to the public, and blimps became a popular form of entertainment.

Today, blimps are still used for advertising and are often seen at sporting events and other large gatherings. They are also used for scientific and research purposes, such as studying the atmosphere and weather patterns.

According to Statista, as of 2020, there were approximately 60 active blimps in the world, with the majority being used for advertising and surveillance purposes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Blimps

Before we delve into how many blimps there are in the world, let’s first discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this unique mode of transportation.


  • Blimps are cost-effective compared to other forms of air transportation. They are cheaper to operate and maintain, making them a viable option for companies looking to reduce costs.
  • They are environmentally friendly as they produce fewer emissions than airplanes and helicopters.
  • Blimps are versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes such as advertising, surveillance, and transportation of goods.
  • They can navigate through different weather conditions and can even hover in place, making them useful for rescue operations and disaster relief efforts.
  • Blimps provide a unique and memorable experience for passengers, allowing them to enjoy the view from a different perspective.


  • Blimps are slower than airplanes and helicopters, making them unsuitable for time-sensitive operations.
  • They are also affected by wind and other weather conditions, which can affect their ability to fly or navigate.
  • They are limited in their carrying capacity and can only transport a certain amount of weight and passengers.
  • They require a large amount of space for take-off and landing, making them unsuitable for urban areas.
  • Blimps are still seen as a novelty or outdated form of transportation, which can affect their popularity and demand.

Despite the disadvantages, blimps continue to be used in various industries around the world. Now, let’s answer the question of how many blimps there are in the world.

The Future of Blimps

Blimps have been around for more than a century, and they are still being used today for various purposes such as advertising, surveillance, and research. However, the future of blimps looks promising, as there is a potential for growth in the industry, new technologies are emerging, and there are both challenges and opportunities to be explored.

Potential for Growth

The blimp industry has been growing steadily in recent years, and there is a potential for further growth in the future. According to a report by Research and Markets, the global blimps market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% from 2020 to 2025. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for blimps in various applications such as advertising, surveillance, and cargo transportation.

Blimps have an advantage over traditional aircraft as they can fly at lower altitudes, making them suitable for applications such as surveillance and advertising. In addition, blimps are also more energy-efficient, as they do not require the same amount of fuel as traditional aircraft, making them a more environmentally friendly option.

New Technologies

New technologies are emerging in the blimp industry, which is helping to improve their capabilities and make them more versatile. One such technology is the use of solar power to operate blimps. Solar-powered blimps have the potential to fly for longer periods without the need for refuelling, making them an attractive option for applications such as surveillance and research.

Another technology that is being developed is the use of blimps for cargo transportation. Cargo blimps have the potential to transport goods to remote areas that are difficult to access by traditional means of transportation. This technology could revolutionize the logistics industry, making it easier and more cost-effective to transport goods to remote locations.

Challenges and Opportunities

While there are opportunities in the blimp industry, there are also challenges that need to be addressed. One of the main challenges is the perception of blimps as slow and outdated technology. This perception needs to be changed to attract more investment and encourage the development of new technologies.

Another challenge is the safety of blimps. While blimps are generally considered safe, there have been incidents in the past that have raised concerns. These incidents need to be addressed to improve the safety of blimps and increase public confidence in the technology.


In conclusion, while blimps may not be the most common form of transportation or advertising, they certainly have a unique place in history and the modern world.

With their ability to provide aerial surveillance and advertising, as well as their potential for growth and innovation, blimps are likely to remain a fascinating topic for years to come.

Whether you’re a fan of blimps or simply curious about their history and uses, we hope this article has provided you with some interesting insights and information.

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