- "The most iconic and leisurely aircraft in the Los Santos skies."
- ―Rockstar Games description
It is the first controllable blimp in the series, and the second one featured in Grand Theft Auto, after The Gash Blimp. It can be seen flying over Los Santos, and it is also available to fly for those who pre-ordered the game or have Special/Collector's Editions. It can be used by calling the blimp contact on the phone and going to its location.
The Atomic Blimp is based on the GZ-20 blimp, manufactured by Goodyear Aerospace, the aeronautic subsidiary of the tires company Goodyear, on which Atomic, which manufactures the Atomic Blimp in-game, is based on. The Atomic Blimp bears a heavy resemblance to its real-life counterpart, bearing Atomic decals nearly identical to the Goodyear blimp (as seen on this photo).
Despite being a blimp, it's quicker and more agile than the vehicle type suggests. Its handling is comparable to that of a helicopter. It has good maneuverability and modest acceleration, and it has very little turbulence in-flight, making it a very good choice for flying around San Andreas. The Atomic Blimp, despite being considered an aircraft, shares the same control setup and flight style as a helicopter. When pressing (PlayStation) or (Xbox), the engine speed increases. But interestingly, instead of what should technically happen (which would be the blimp moving forward), it actually climbs vertically.
The Blimp's main weak point, however, is that it is very weak. Simply bumping into a building or a car will cause the Blimp to explode. Extra care must be taken when piloting it. Bullets will also do short work of it.
- Can be ordered on a special in-game app after completing Franklin's intro mission. Has to be picked up at the location given on the map. These locations are the Vinewood Racetrack and Los Santos International Airport (on consoles).
- NPC-controlled Blimps can be hijacked by landing on the top of it, and pressing Y/Triangle. This feature is only available to players who pre-ordered the game on Xbox 360/PS3, or for returning players on Xbox One/PS4.
- Shooting down an NPC-controlled blimp will give the player an instant 3-star wanted level.
- Unlike most vehicles, the blimp will remain afloat if crashed into the water.
- The Atomic Blimp is classified as a fixed-wing aircraft in the game's internal files, despite the fact that its handling is more similar to a helicopter's.
- The name "Atomic Blimp" is obviously a play on "atomic bomb", probably poking fun to its large explosion when destroyed or crashes.
- When shooting out the pilot, it will play the same sound as the helicopter sound (when falling from driver death). and will interestingly start to turn to the left when going down, simular to how the helicopter will spin out of control when shot out.
- Despite the wreckage of the blimp holding some of its shape, the nose is visually separated from the middle section of the wrecked frame, giving the impression that the front part is floating.
- The player may see a second blimp flying around the city. The second blimp may be flying around Los Santos at a higher speed than normal. Turning the in-game cam around and back will result in the blimp not being in the sky anymore.
- The blimp will be parked in a weird position if the player lands it in the parking lot of the Los Santos Country Club and plays golf.