Aviation News

July 3, 2011

New York City to Host First Blimp Race in 25 Years on Monday

[UPDATE Sunday 2:17pm] The race has been postponed until Monday due to rain and thunderstorms in the area. Same time, same place.

Three blimps will race up New York’s Hudson River on Sunday in the first competition of its kind since 1986.

blimp race

Blimp race over the Hudson. Year unknown. (Photo via Hangar One)

The Hangar One Vodka Blimp will square off against airships flown by DirecTV and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield in the Independence Airship Invitational from the Statue of Liberty to Midtown.

Starting time is 5pm, and the race is expected to run until 7pm.

The last blimp race in New York was held as part of Liberty Weekend in 1986, a massive celebration of the restoration and 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. Dubbed the “Great Blimp Race,” the New York Daily News sponsored the event, which awarded $25,000 to charity in the name of the winner. Four blimps competed on a 12 mile circuit from the George Washington Bridge to Battery Park. The Fuji blimp floated to victory in 15 minutes 36 seconds, followed by the Resorts International blimp, the McDonald’s blimp and the Citibank blimp.

Hangar One claims that the race field comprises 15 percent of the world blimp fleet. That sounds a bit high to us (pretty sure there are more than 20 blimps in the world), but seeing three blimps at the same time is no doubt a rare opportunity that we’re looking forward to.

(h/t NewYorkology + Jersey Journal)

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  • NYC blimp race on for Monday @ 5pm