Airships (current)

A month or two back there was a thread on the future of airships. Knowing I
have a fondness for airships a friend sent me a link . . .
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Has several links to various Russian airship projects incluiding a rigid
hull type and a cargo carrying flying saucer type.
Maybe I'll get a ride one day after all.
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
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True, and I -could- travel in a sealed tube at lethal speeds, breathing in other peoples farts, or I -could- (maybe, one day) saunter out onto the viewing deck with a gin and tonic and relax in a comfortable deck chair as I watch the world go by. I'm too old to hurry.
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
I've never been convinced that any shape other than used in the twenties and thirties has any real advantage.
The airship has some fundamental advantages for air travel at speeds below 100 mph. It has the same efficiency equation as a super-tanker. I see it viable for cargo, and possibly passenger carrying at a low price for a longer trip time than current airliners.
Big problem is that it would take a lot of capital and the payback would be slow. I don't see any reason a cargo airship could not be lifted by hydrogen, but a passenge ship would probably need helium.
BTW, at least two airship kits currently available. I built the Lindenberg Graf Zeppelin, and have the Glencoe Navy blimp kit in the que to my workbench.
Reply to
Don Stauffer
...personally, I hate gin...but as long as I have a window seat, I can still buy a beverage of my choice and look out the window...biz-class on a 777 rocks - particularly on a trip from LA to Stockholm.
I travel on biz so much that I look to NOT traveling at all as being my "vacation", so I don't really care much "how" I travel. But it would be pretty cool to be able to make a trans-lant crossing on a real, genuine Zeppelin - not a saucer.
Reply to
Rufus
I thought those teardrop-shaped things that were pointed out awhile back were pretty innovative, as far as a "modern airship" goes.
Reply to
Rufus
: : be slow. I don't see any reason a cargo airship could not be lifted by : hydrogen, but a passenge ship would probably need helium. : Problem I see with hydrogen is that shipping insurance would be very high if it were available at all.
If you can't get insurance on the cargo, your not going to get many customers shipping their cargo, even at ruinously cheap rates to cover the lack of insurance. Then your backers are going to be howling...
Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Burden
=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Bruce
urden =A0 =A0Austin, TX.
Thinking about this, I'm not sure that I'd ~like~ to see these come about. I mean, can you imagine a Zeppelin being bought by DHL? Even SLOWER service in package delivery!
Reply to
The Old Man
There is the sort of teardrop shape that is the optimum low drag shape (the shape of many external tip or drop tanks).
However, the difference in drag between those and a cylinder with a good aerodynamic nose and tail is likely not enough to pay off over the increased production cost.
The neat thing about an airship, like a supertanker, is that drag is only proportional to square of the length, while payload is proportional to the cube. So if you make it big enough drag becomes less important. Beyond a certain size, inertial forces dominate. It takes a lot of power to get it moving (and to stop it) but it will almost coast forever :-)
However, Coriolis force is an inertial force, and the thing would then want to keep turning right in northern hemispere :-) However, a bit of rudder will hold it on course, and the rudder trim drag is an aero force that is negligible anyway.
Reply to
Don Stauffer
Unless operator could convince insurance companies that it is safe enough. Many insurance companies have pretty good technical staff. We have made great strides since the thirties in handling hydrogen. One aid is to not vent it but recompress it instead.
They insured cargo planes fueled by gasoline, and gasoline is one wicked fuel for safety. In earliest days of motorized vehicles the fuel properties were indeed a big holdback to spark ignition engines, in favor of steamers that could use kerosene, a much safer fuel. Yet we learned to live with gasoline and even use it in consumer vehicles.
Reply to
Don Stauffer

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