Artist sculptor Shane McGrath successfully built and flew, with the help of friends, a helium-filled yellow blimp today at Customhouse Quay in Dunedin.
Relatively still air conditions twice allowed the ‘friendly’ LuftBallon to gain maximum height – simulating, indirectly, the proposed height (96.3 metres) of the hotel and apartment tower planned for the vacant site across the road at 41 Wharf Street.
McGrath had earlier made sure the planned flight received CAA clearance.
The blimp contained smaller balloons filled with the gas to guard against a sudden downing. A small team of men, including McGrath, coordinated the length and position of the guide-lines, keeping the blimp off surrounding buildings and roads, and out of harbour waters.
The bright photogenic structure – alternately Lemon, Zeppelin, Chrysalis – hovered impressively overhead for half a day, long enough for professional photographers and camera people to take stills and recordings from the site and prominent vantage points around the city.
Gerard O’Brien’s outstanding photographs place the Gelber LuftBallon in the city context – see tomorrow’s Otago Daily Times.
█ Enter *hotel* in the search box at right to learn more about the proposed hotel and apartment building for 41 Wharf Street.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr