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Author Topic: Airship Balloon  (Read 8366 times)
doctor_steam
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« on: February 15, 2011, 04:32:53 pm »

My friend and I are taking on the task of building a fully opperable airship. We have the basic design worked out but we aren't sure what material to use for the balloon. Any suggestions?
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akumabito
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 04:41:00 pm »

Here we go again.. Grin

Do either of you guys have a license to fly? What lifting gas are you using? Did you do a weight estimate yet? How will it be powered? WHere will you build it? Got a hangar you can use? Will your design pass airwortyness inspection? Got enough cash to see the project through?

Just a littly FIY: A 30ft advertising blimp will set you back around $3k and is not nearly large enough to lift the two of you..

This ain't a cheap hobby..
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 04:45:17 pm by akumabito » Logged

bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 04:57:33 pm »

The name of your post gave me an idea.
Airship balloon: why not make (or let someone who knows what he's doing) 3 hot air balloons in line connected. Add some ultralight fans and your done. Make a lightweight basket in the shape of a ship.

It seems easier and safer than filling an envulope with flamable gasses. It also saves space when the balloon is deflated.
(why hasn't anyone ever thaught of that before?)
Edited: darn, someone did.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

But like Akumabito said: do you have a license to fly? etcetera etcetera...
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 05:01:51 pm by bicyclebuilder » Logged

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akumabito
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 05:06:08 pm »

There are hot air blimps out there as well.. this is the smallest on the market:
http://www.personalblimp.com/



From their website:

How much will it cost?
...we expect the price of the aircraft to be between $100,000 and $200,000 depending upon configuration and precise FAA certification process applied.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 05:08:46 pm by akumabito » Logged
bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 08:17:42 am »

There are hot air blimps out there as well.. this is the smallest on the market:
http://www.personalblimp.com/



From their website:

How much will it cost?
...we expect the price of the aircraft to be between $100,000 and $200,000 depending upon configuration and precise FAA certification process applied.


There you go, problem solved. If they take custom orders, perhaps a lightweight ship shaped basket and some brass propellors would make it a very nice steampunk dirigible.
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 09:10:53 pm »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1217148/Another-Top-Gear-stunt-hits-skids-caravan-attached-airship-crashes-field-near-busy-road.html
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Captain
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 09:39:10 pm »

http://smallblimps.lefora.com/

There are like minded people working on the complex design problems of an affordable airship.  It will not be easy but it is not absolutely impossible either. 

  Don't let this discourage you but I had to throw it in to show that it is not impossible. 

Are you currently licensed to fly any aircraft? 
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-Karl
Atterton
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 10:12:27 pm »

Sadly(?) that little boy was never in the balloon and it wouldn´t have carried his weight either.
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nicromanov
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look out for that !....


« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2011, 02:25:52 am »

it is entirley possible to build and operate your own airship ,however ,the cons will most likely out way the pros in most cases.
i would say however ,that ou should research designgs that have worked in the past 1st .
look up the white dwarf airship ,small and pedal powered .this is the most ambitious thing you could attempt on a limited budget of say... 100000 pounds.
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akumabito
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2011, 11:53:55 am »

Everything that flies ends up being expensive, plus you need to be licensed to fly. Taking those topics out of the equation, for me, the biggest hurdle would be the sheer size of an airship. Unlike a hot air balloon, which is also enormous, you don't really want to deflate your airship after use: helium is mighty expensive these days.

An ultrlight is a much better option to get airborne..
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Maets
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2011, 02:10:05 pm »

Helium is not only expensive, but the price continues to rise.  No pun intended.
Hydrogen, while lighter is too dangerous. 
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2011, 02:20:25 pm »

Therefore, hot air balloon for the airship. Inflate the thing, fly around as desired, land, deflate and store it in your garage.
You can use the materials as used in a hot air balloon.
@poster: you are awefully quiet. Did you dicide not to continue or do you have plans worked out?
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Captain
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2011, 01:45:58 am »

Helium is not only expensive, but the price continues to rise.  No pun intended.
Hydrogen, while lighter is too dangerous.  


Let's not be too quick to rule out hydrogen.  It is plentiful, relatively cheap, and slightly better lift.  It is hardly any more dangerous than gasoline fumes and can potentially be mixed with halon or other fire extinguishing compounds.  For a few hundred dollars in electricity you could produce your own which makes it practical to at least seasonally deflate your airship.  One of the Holy grails would be a light weight "nurse" pump allowing deflation and re-inflation of your lift cells anytime that you like.  

Nothing that flies is cheap even before the FAA.  I am doing my airplane annual right now.  Ouch!  I have heard fairly good things about those para-planes for bone-head safety and simplicity (as long as you are not fighting a head wind  Wink)



I clever person might even buy a cheap "distressed" para-plane and enhance it with an inflated sail. 
« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 01:51:00 am by Captain » Logged
silversmith
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 11:20:35 am »

There are period instructions (1880-1890)  for making airships and hydrogen. Although mostly included in books like the Playbook of science by john henry pepper, they are incredible detailed.
I wont scan in the pages as my copy is gtting a little fragile, but for the fabric.
1400 yrds corah silk sealed with a mixture Boiled linseed and beeswax, (2 gallons boiled liinseed, 2 gall, raw, 4 oz beeswax well incorporated and simmered for an hour)Obviously you'll need a whole lot more. This does make a good varnish for waterproofing fabric (oilskins)

Hydrogen production is by passing steam through a tube containing iron swarf. The tube itself is in a large brazier or fire. This means that when the steam passes over the iron the oxygen mages instant iron oxide on the swarf an out comes hydrogen ready for cooling, drying and storage.

Both work, both require big pockets and a degree of insanity.

If you really need to take to the air, do a search for glider designs in chest of books.

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