Photograph by Cary Wolinsky
A "Lightship" blimp stays angled into the wind before takeoff with the help of a ground crewman. Two custom-made thousand-watt bulbs inside the gas envelope illuminate the translucent skin, a laminated polyester fabric measuring slimmer than one thirty-second of an inch thick. This helium-filled airship migrates across the country each year showing it's client's logo, filming sporting events, and sometimes giving rides to kids battling life-threatening illness. "They love it," says pilot Stephen Tomlin. "It's really nice to see their faces light up."