Could They Ever Return?

Airships!

Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby Mutabilis » Sun May 08, 2011 11:20 am

it won't change much, if anything.

the real problem airships are facing is lack of infrastructure. you can fly any heavier-than-air aircraft almost anywhere, and find an airport with the neccessary facilities to go on. there are only a handful bases that can support airships with their quite different demands. that's why there are no lighter-than-air-yachts. no matter how stinking rich someone is, there simply are no counterparts to yachtclubs around to refurbish expendables.

though in flying cloud universe, that would be quite different. i could see someone like howard hughes actually -living- up in the clouds there.
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby ASoriano » Sun May 08, 2011 12:20 pm

Mutabilis wrote:i could see someone like howard hughes actually -living- up in the clouds there.


That would be pretty awesome.
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby Jupiter » Mon May 09, 2011 6:40 am

ASoriano wrote:
Jupiter wrote:I just noticed Goodyear has decided to renew its fleet with German Zeppelin NT's. They're bigger compared to their current blimps, so let's hope that's an ongoing trend :P


Are you implying that bigger is better? :P

Nope, but I did notice a trend here of wishing the old (big) airships to return :P

Of course, the Zeppelin NT's are actually not really "lighter than air", they're still 300 kg heavy no matter what...
I did run into an interesting Lockheed Skunk works project, which atm sadly seems scrapped... The P-791 seems to be a proof-of-concept for a (military?) cargo airship.
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby Guignol » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:01 am

They have begun to. I'm swiping this guy's photoblog of the airship Eureka, which just departed my hometown after spending a few days giving air tours.

http://home.comcast.net/~bzee1b/Zeppelin/Zeppelin.html
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby Guignol » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:54 am

RbSned wrote:Since airships have a huge surface area why not cover the outer surface with solar panels and use the power to drive the props?
Also, why are you assuming a modern airship would be restricted to a ceiling of 6000 ft?
Surely modern materials and technologies allow for solutions to the gas expansion problem and cabin pressurisation for fixed wing aircraft has been around for decades.

First off, the weight would be prohibative.

Second, photovoltaic solar panels depend on the existence and development of solid-state semiconductors, also, of having the pure silicon sand of Silicon Valley, and the proper trace elements to throw into the mix. Knowing WHICH trace elements to throw into the mix, and in what miniscule proportions, depends on exact knowledge of atomic (in the most general sense) characteristics and a much fuller periodic table than was known in the early 20th, discoveries which depend on having electron microscopes and understanding electron shell arrangements...pentavalent and trivalent being crucial concepts. The Doctors Curie's level of experimentation with "uranite" and, what, "radiantite" (?) just won't cut it.

Third, photovoltaic arrays have only recently increased in efficiency to the point where they are practical for VERY low-voltage electronics. Even the high-intensity LED's we've become accustomed to now use less power than those first-generation dim red LED's of the 80's. Good old-fashioned first-generation transistors, in quantities useful for things like radios, would hog too much power even for modern photovoltaics. In the Vietnam War era, otherwise solid-state military backpack radios still needed exactly one battery-power-sucking vacuum tube to generate radio waves with enough strength to have tactically significant range.

Assuming one magically has first-generation photovoltaics, running something like a several-hundred-amp industrial-grade electric motor (not too efficient a device, either, in the early 20th) is absolutely out of the question, even for a fixed ground-based installation. Unless you perhaps have a few acres to spare.

Sorry if I'm stomping a little hard on what seems to be a simple question, but as you can see, it really isn't that simple...
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby LordVince » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:10 am

Just some "Modern Mechanix" articles I stumbled across.

"Dirigible on Pontoons" by LCMDR C.D. Burney (May, 1930)
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2011/06/ ... more-12967

"Hospital Airship" (July, 1930)
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2011/08/ ... 5767425547

Airships Network
http://www.airships.net/

"Floating Mooring Mast" (April, 1923)
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2008/03/ ... #more-4079
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby marko dash » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:52 pm

Jupiter wrote:
ASoriano wrote:
Jupiter wrote:I just noticed Goodyear has decided to renew its fleet with German Zeppelin NT's. They're bigger compared to their current blimps, so let's hope that's an ongoing trend :P


Are you implying that bigger is better? :P

Nope, but I did notice a trend here of wishing the old (big) airships to return :P

Of course, the Zeppelin NT's are actually not really "lighter than air", they're still 300 kg heavy no matter what...
I did run into an interesting Lockheed Skunk works project, which atm sadly seems scrapped... The P-791 seems to be a proof-of-concept for a (military?) cargo airship.


bigger IS better when it comes to airships as volume increases much faster than size and more volume means more lift. so you have a ship that is twice as big but can carry four times the payload.
Some say the sky is the limit. but to those who love aviation, the sky is home.
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby Mutabilis » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:28 pm

unfortunately, it ain't quite as simple. while an airship twice the size in all dimensions would indeed have eight times the volume, and therefore 8 times the gross mass, the strength requirements for the frame would be different. throw in engines, fuel for it, crew to run it... other things that would be different. in the end, i'd be surprised if that double size gives you anywhere near the payload you expect.

the big question however, is this: will the expected income ever cover the costs of building and operating a super airship (or many)? and can they compete with other modes offering the same service?

for reasons already outlined earlier in this thread, it's hard to imagine airships being able to compete with the established modes of transportation. that the infrastructure needed to do so would have to be build up as well, doesn't help.

but i guess you're infected by the sae bug as all of us here, dreaming ...
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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby Derfick » Tue May 01, 2012 5:42 pm

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Re: Could They Ever Return?

Postby Jupiter » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:55 am

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