Hindenburg Recreation Experiment

I'd like to fly a model Hindenburg and control it with my Futaba Super 7.
I'm open for suggestions on how to ignite the thing safely. Cameras will be
rolling. :) I have 15 acres of marsh land to play with, so I'm not worried
about hurting anyone.
Courtney
Reply to
Courtney
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Not knowing how to ignite Hydrogen is a pretty good indication that you shouldn't be playing with it.
Reply to
IFly
First, the idea if igniting a bag of hydrogen sounds...well....lets just say i have my fathers voice stuck in my head yelling "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING" having said that, if you feel you can do it safely, i'll take you at your word. Stroll down to your LHS and get a pack of Estes model rocket engine igniters. You should simply be able to rig a switch (and a safety switch!) closed by a servo. you could power it from a separate battery or maybe from your receiver pack, but the igniter may draw too much current - thus making your radio twitch out. That shouldnt matter because she will be exploding while twitching....shouldnt notice it.
Lastly, i dunno if your going to get the scale appearance you are going for. The Hberg 'burned' because there was sooo much hydrogen that lack of oxygen was the limiting factor. I suspect that a small balloon will just go "BANG". Oh, and lemme know when you post whats left of your radio on ebay. :P
Reply to
MikeF
Actually, was it really "a lack of oxygen" that caused it to burn slowly or did the hydrogen explode with a pop, and the structural components (framework and skin) start to burn like a regular old fire? I can't imagine there being a lack of oxygen at 30 something feet....
Scott
igniter may draw too
because she will be
limiting factor.
Reply to
Scott
Step out of your bubble a little bit. I've been flying rc planes for a while and bought the Super 7 equipment when it first introduced to the market. I want to keep it SAFE and don't have a lot of experience with blimps. Of course I'll practice first only an idiot would blindly jump into something. When in doubt ask a question.
BTW, when you first started to fly you didn't know much about flying, but you learned didn't you?
Courtney
Reply to
Courtney
Hehehehehe, a sacrificial servo and receiver is no big deal. I have a spare and will be updating to newer equipment next spring. It gets too cold to fly in these parts in the winter.
Thanks for the help, Courtney
igniter may draw too
because she will be
limiting factor.
Reply to
Courtney
Hydrogen burns with a clean, steady flame. Hydrogen mixed with oxygen will explode with a ferocity dependent on the ratio and eveness of the mix. A large ball of hydrogen might burn at it's periphery but delay combustion at the centre until oxygen could get there. But the lighter than air gas rising coupled with the gas vortices caused by burning would I imagine cause pretty rapid and fierce combustion of the hydrogen leaving the structural components as you suggest. Speed is all relative.
In any case I wouldn't like to be close to the experiment in case any pointy bits became projectiles.
Reply to
Steve
He doesn't need hydrogen, it's been proven that the fire was the skin burning. The treatments of the skin result in a chemical equivalent to slow burning gun powder.
Sure the hydrogen burnt, but it was the big bang it would have been if the hydrogen was ignited internally.
Reply to
The Raven
Recreating the actual way the airship earned it's demise will be almost impossible because of the way you would have to control the gases in an attempt to duplicate the original and how it all started and then finished. The original started when a vent at the front of the top fin gave off gases that flowed back and starboard (an intentionally designed feature) during the landing phase of it's last flight. It was ignited by static buildup from one of the skin sections that wasn't properly grounded (not intentional). The ungrounded skin section(s?) were "hot spots" just waiting to arc with something nearby... and they did. You're also going to have to install the multiple and separate envelopes that made up the structure of the lighter-than-air bouyancy system. I think what you're trying to do will give you nothing more than a "bang" followed by a fireball which is NOT how the original happened. But good luck, I think anything that blows up and doesn't hurt anybody is nothing but a load of fun. For ignition, I'd go with a sparking device operated by radio control. Something like what's used in most barbeque's to ignite the propane. Most of them only need a single cell AA battery for power. For a standby fire extinguisher, I'd recommend a pumper from the local fire department. Oh, and be ready to answer a lot of questions that might be posed by the Department of Homeland Security :-)
MJC
Reply to
MJC
It was more a case of materials than gases. The skin was essentially a slow burning gunpowder.
Never heard this but I won't dispute it.
A disputed fact but one the majority believe to be true (ie. some form of static discharge was the ignition point).
He wants it to burst into flame so it isn't necessary to duplicate the design exactlty.
Agreed
Wouldn't it be better to ignore the whole hydrogen argument and simply go for a burning skin. Even if you don't believe this to be the case, it's what visually appeared to be significant.
Some decent sized extinguishers and access to the planned crash site would help. Those silly little car extinguishers won't be enough if it starts a small ground fire.
Don't tell your insurance company either...................
Reply to
The Raven
I don't have any input on how to pull this off, but when you do, I'd REALLY like to see the footage!
Reply to
Paintballmavin
beebn there, done that.
A small piece of fusewire ( Courtney
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
don't listen to them. Coal gas is/was half hydrogen half carbon monoxide. As I said, we filled a kids balloon with it, taped a fuse on teh side, lit it and let go. Got to about 300 feet before it ignited. It dodn't explode. It sort of 'whumphed' and created a nice short duration fireball.
To explode, you need a critical fuel-air mix.
The hindenurg burned apparently mostly because the covering - fabric doped with nitrocellulose? burned. The hydrogen didn't go up immediately, but when it did, it just brough the thing down fast.
I'd defiitely try the party ballon and jetex fuse first, and for ***s sake be careful. It won't blow you to bits, but it will be second degree burns all over yer face if it goes up while you are lighting it.
Borrow a full face helmet from a biker, and gloves and leathers too.
What we did was hold the fuse out sideways, light it away from the ballon - it was a pretty LONG fuse, and let go. It burned through teh latex and set the gas alight quite nicely.
Early tests were done on the ground useing a tethered balloon.
Natural gas curtailed our fun shortly aftewards - this must have been 1973 or so...
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
I'd do that to some extent.
What *I* would do is get some party balloons, and fill them. And hope they stayed filled while...
...I glued them with CA into a balsa and doped tissue framework that came apart in the middle...
..and attach my fusewire and match head 'detonator' roughly where the orginal fire started...
..ballast the thing for _slightly_ heavier than neutral bouyancy...
..take it up 'on the planes' and then bring it in to land...
...detonate and film it slow motion.
Balsa and doped tissue burns remarkably like the footage Ive seen of the Hindenburg, and leaves a nice glowing red skeleton...
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Most blimps use helium now days and I don't believe that will burn. A rocket engine would definatly give it a big bang. I never played with Rockets before either, but who knows I might like them. :)
BTW, I'm a she, not a he. Yes, I know it is hard to tell on here. :)
Courtney
Reply to
Courtney
Me either, a web cam inside an 8 inch LX90 telescope will allow me to loose natural eyesite of the blimp and main safe control.
Courtney
Reply to
Courtney
Exactly!
Homeland Security? I have nothing to hide, they can even watch. I have a friend who is a volunteer fireman, he wants to come play too. :)
Courtney
Reply to
Courtney
Hide a balloon filled with acetylene inside...it'll blow up real good.
Reply to
Don Hatten
Courtney,
I'm sure safety is first in your mind, and and you realize setting off explosives with our radios CAN be dangerous. Just having the wrong servo "blip" when you turn on the Rx could blow this thing up...
Dan Stevens in Albany Ga. built the 22' B-29 that Mac Hodges flies, and it carries a small rocket powered version of the Bell X-1 that is lit off after being dropped at altitude..
Email me off the list, and I'll put you in touch with Dan.. He may have some tips you could use...
Cheers,
Bill
Reply to
Bill Fulmer
You can have fun with natural gas, too. Get a large garbage bag, preferably a cheap, thin one. Put a piece of mylar tape over the open end. The best way to do this is to lay the bag out while it's still flat, and put the tape along the edge with half of its width hanging off the end of the bag. Then turn the bag over and fold the tape onto the other side. Leave a half inch or so of the opening untaped.
Now stick a gas nozzle into the opening and fill the bag with natural gas. When it is full, put a small piece of tape over the remaining opening.
Get a packet of firecrackers, a pack of 16 is about right. Attach an extra long fuse to the firecrackers and tape them flat against the bag with about 5 layers of tape. Sparklers make really good fuses. When my brother in law and I were doing this several years ago, we would bend the sparkler at a 90 degree angle right where the flammable part stops. The stem would go under the firecrackers and through the little loop at the other end to stabilize it. The flammable part would come up from under the firecrackers to stick straight out, perpendicular to the face of the balloon. The firecracker fuse was taped to the end of the sparkler with one layer of scotch tape. (generic name for office/desktop tape for you non-US readers) The detonator always ends up on the bottom due to weight, so the sparkler will naturally rest in a position pointing away from the bag and the firecrackers.
Once you have the delay fuse in place and the firecrackers taped firmly to the bag with several layers of tape to direct the blast inward, you can light it up and let it go. Even more fun is to make about ten of these garbage bag balloons and get 9 pieces of mylar package tape about 3 feet long. Stick about an inch or two of the tape to the first balloon, then stick an inch of the other end to the next balloon. Then stick another piece of tape to the bottom of the second balloon and attach the third, and so on. The last balloon would have the firecrackers on it. One balloon is fun, but ten balloons is even more fun.
The net effect of all of this is that you get a bright, pretty light floating away from you for a minute or so, depending on how long your sparkler is. Then you hear the popping fireworks, then you see an orange mushroom cloud about 3 feet wide. If you have a substantial chain, you can get a really BIG ball of flames. The funny thing is that after the firecrackers, you don't hear anything. It's really not unsafe, either. The plastic melts, the gas burns, and you get little wads of melted plastic falling from the sky. We set off a chain of 7 one evening and made a light in the sky at night that lit up an area the size of a football field. Then the sherrif came around looking for a fire. So we went in the house.
Reply to
Robbie and Laura Reynolds

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