Loud And Slow, And Lighter Than Air

Sitting at my computer by an open window every day I get to learn the sounds of all the regular aircraft that fly over the house. Matter of fact there’s one going by right now as I write this post.

Airliners, sightseeing biplanes and small, personal planes, along with Coast Guard, military, police and news helicopters are the usual disruptors.

But this morning there was a different sort of rumble. It was slow in its approach and higher pitched than what I’m used to hearing. Having lived enough years where I’ve heard this in the past, I recognized it as a dirigible of some sort. And it was getting really loud. I went outside and watched as the 192-foot long Goodyear blimp “Spirit of America“, based out of Carson, CA, casually floated past at about 30 mph on its way to getting aerial coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open taking place at Torrey Pines.

I think they are fun for people to watch because a) they are so big, b) they fly relatively low to the ground, c) they are slow, giving you lots of time to check them out, d) they are colorful, e) they just aren’t seen very often, and f) “blimp” is such a silly sounding word.

And it’s amazing how loud these airships can be with such small motors. Maybe the hollowness amplifies the vibration and resonance. I can’t be sure since I didn’t major in blimpology.

Goodyear Blimp  01-28-14 lo-res

Spirit of America

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