My initial test of the different blimp envelope shapes resulted in the other balloons that I had bought not having a large enough volume of helium to support the weight of the flapping technology that is needed to enable them to traverse space. This was also true in the case that all 3 small balloons were connected together.

For my second trial of these tests, I went to Party City and sought to buy significantly larger balloons. I bought two balloons; one is a trianglular shape and the other is a circular shape.

Before I explain my experiment and process, I would like to mention that all the data for my experiments can be found at the following link:

Experiment Data

I started with attaching the flapping mechanism to the triangular balloon which is pictured below.

Figure 1

Figure 2

As you can see, the weight of the flapping mechanism was once again past the maximum payload of the balloon and as a result, I decided to attach 2 of the the smaller helium balloons on top and the result is pictured below.

Figure 3

Figure 4

After numerous iterations, I was finally able to successfully create an alternate envelope design to test the speed of the blimp! I then ran the experiment of timing how long it takes for the balloon to traverse from a specific point A to point B. After noting down the experimental data, I moved onto running the same tests on the circular balloon that I had bought. Once constructed it looked as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5

This time, there was no need for additional balloons to be attached because the surface area to volume ratio of the circular balloon was greater than that of the triangular balloon that I had run experiments on earlier. A video of this balloon in action is shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6

An important thing to note is the fact that the circular balloon sways side to side as it traverses space which is a result of the shape of the balloon itself. This fact results in a lowered maximum speed in comparison to the other two balloon designs I had run tests on.

Based on the data I collected, the triangular blimp was the fastest, the circular blimp was the slowest, and the fish blimp was in the middle of these two. I can conclude from this that the shape of the envelope (balloon) of the blimp does play a factor with regards to the speed of the blimp.

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