"There's a certain amount of Buddhist detachment involved in being a good balloon pilot that I just don't have," [Dan Nachbar] said. "My guess is that our customers will be more like me, fellow control freaks."
Inside [Alberto] before takeoff, bathed in the yellow hue of the craft's nylon shell, Nachbar explains the blimp's innards: an array of aluminum tubing and wiring. While hot-air balloons and helium blimps require internal pressure to maintain their form, Alberto is akin to two enormous umbrellas. Internal motorized winches draw the ends of the blimp together, flexing aluminum tubing, and pushing the craft's fabric shell out, expanding the blimp in the process.
"On the one hand, it's frustrating that we're waiting while the FAA is scratching their heads; on the other hand, it's reaffirming that we've come up with something new and different," Nachbar said.