A dirigible fitted with high-tech surveillance equipment is patrolling the Republican National Convention in New York this week. NYPD insignia appear next to the Fujifilm logo on either side of the blimp.
Although not as common as helicopters, the Fujifilm blimp employed during the convention has been used by local police departments across the country for various events in the past few years. And there are reasons to use a blimp instead of helicopters.
“A blimp has the ability to stay up for much longer periods of time and provide a continuous stream of images to various command posts on the ground,” says one NYPD police officer.
Fujifilm’s blimp can stay in the air for 16 hours, says Adam Yates, director of communications at Fujifilm. He also says it’s the largest blimp in the United States.
The blimp measures 206 feet long and more than 66 feet high when airborne, according to the Fujifilm Website, and can carry two pilots and six passengers.