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Author Topic: Airship specifics  (Read 2440 times)
Steampunk Away
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States


Long Live The Icarus!

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« on: January 16, 2014, 02:38:28 pm »

Does anyone else have the specifics of their airship? Such as ship length, ship depth, ship width, propulsion, weight, and firepower? Also, does anybody have a backstory of their ship and its crew?
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pakled05
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 04:53:31 pm »

Not a backstory, but I suppose you could approach it by weight; for a given weight to lift, you have to have power, and, well, 'lift' from the gasbag. The more weight, the bigger the bag. Power plant would be a big part of the weight (make mine steam...Wink as well as any actual weaponry (cannons? sparks? uh...Wink

You might want to look for a thread called 'what would you name your airship' for some ideas. I think it's in 'Metaphysical' - it's dozens of pages long. There are other threads in that light, but I don't remember the names.
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Steampunk Away
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Long Live The Icarus!

https://twitter.com/Steam
WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 04:59:40 pm »

This is mine.

Airship Icarus

Country of Origin: England
Current Status: Rogue
Captain: Retep Madasa
Last Transmission: New Jersey, United States of America
Allegiance: None, hostile to any military ships. Considered pirate by many Nations.

Ship Class: Class 1 Battleship
Weight: 300 tonnes
Length: 350 meters
Height: 150 meters
Depth: 50 meters
Hull thickness: 1/2 mete
Power: Extra Large Dirigible, 5 Large Boilers, 10 Medium Boilers, 15 Small Boilers
Propulsion: 4 Large fans (two per side), 8 Medium fans (tail), 2 Tall sails, 4 Medium sails, 2 Tail and Head sails.
Firepower:
40 fifteen-pound main canons
15 eight-pound swivel guns

Ship History: After its manufacture in London, England, the HMS Icarus started a prestigious career as a battleship. Often the forerunner in its formation due to the aggressiveness of its Captain, it has destroyed 15 other airships in its career under Her Majesty's flag. At the onset of the rebellion, the Captain was killed in a firefight with the rebel Engine Aphrodite, commandeered by the Captain of the Icarus' brother, Captain Brown. The Captain's adopted son then took control of the Icarus at the age of 16. Originally training to be the ship's Assassin, the young Retep was shoved into the Captain's seat in the middle of a rebellion. The Airship Icarus has since gone rogue against the Queen, with the last transmission of, "This is Airship Icarus. Anybody reading this, rebel or loyalist, we do not have a side. We do not fight for anybody. If you get in the way of us, we will destroy you. Transmission Over."
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Kevin1632
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States

Steam breakfast of Champions


« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2014, 07:51:28 pm »

Name, The Royal Ann

Country, Denmark

Date constructed, Oct, 1636

Roughly 450 feet long by 45 feet in diameter

Power, six v-12 bash valve steam engines, roughly three thousand HP each, 18,000 HP total

Top speed, 50 mph, cruise 30 mph

Gross lift 50 tons, usable cargo lift 20 tons

Crew, six officers and twenty four crew (three watches)

Up to 40 passengers, depending on baggage

Interchangeable cargo / passenger/ research modules

Built for King Christian IV and the Gentlemen Merchant Adventures Company of Denmark after the union of Kalmar, for the Copenhagen, Stockholm, Magdeburg triangle route.

First voyage,  Copenhagen, to Venice, to Tranquebar, and return.

Used in the Novella "No ship for Tranquebar" Ring of Fire Press


Regards,
Kevin
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Steampunk Away
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Long Live The Icarus!

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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2014, 09:41:46 pm »

thank you for sharing!
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Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2014, 11:57:08 pm »

The Cloud Shark is from a roleplay I never got off the ground (ha). She's more sailpunk than steampunk, built in a world where airships had be extremely light, so much so that unscrupulous merchants were known to kidnap children to serve as a crew because they were smaller and lighter.

(Image, my sketch)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Origin: CSA airfleet scout ship captured by pirates during the First War. (Licensed as a merchant rebuilt from salvage in hopes that the CSA won't try to claim her back.)

length: 72 feet

Armament: Four ballistas (giant crossbows) capable of firing grappling hooks, ordinary, explosive, and burning bolts.

Crew: Four to eight, typically six.

Propulsion: Sail. Top recorded speed 48 knots.

Lift: Treated hydrogen and Kraken gas mix. Uses onboard hydrogen generator in emergencies, but typically refills gas cells 8 - 24 percent on landings.
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Angus A Fitziron
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'


« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 12:00:46 am »

Probably posted elsewhere on the forum, but main details:

R.A.S. (Research Air Ship) Saorsa (pronounced seersha; gaelic for 'freedom') was designed and build as a high altitude research vessel in the late C19th. It is rumoured that the ship was used for smuggling between China and North East India but probably due to associated clandestine political activities this has never been proved. However, research into air-borne flora and fauna above the Himalayas all the way across to the Hindu Kush is well documented and available for inspection and study at the research headquarters in Shimla. The vessel has also been contracted for survey work mainly for The Survey of India.

The airship is of a novel form having a single gasbag approximately 500' long and 50' diameter at the widest girth. The construction is semi rigid in that the shape of the gasbag is maintained mainly by internal pressure, however there are some longitudinal stringers made of a very lightweight cellular material thought to be of animal origin, possibly reptilian, however this has never been independently analysed.

The crew are housed in two, very long, fully decked, thin, canoe like bodies spaced 45' apart, between centrelines. Each hull is nearly 150' long and 12' wide at their broadest beam. The two hulls are joined by 3 beams, two of which incorporate walkways. The forward walkway has an open to the air conning station at its midpoint. This layout is similar to Mr Nathaniel Herreshoff's 'Amaryllis' often referred to as 'catamaran' construction. This allows the vessel to distribute loads for fore and aft and lateral stability without adding unnecessary ballast which would adversely affect performance in the ship's key role. It also means the vessel can land on water which is seen in abundance in the many large rivers of North East India. Indded the gas bag can be collapsed onto a trampoline set up between the hulls and the vessel can operate as a water based vehicle for short periods, mainly for maintenance or for recovery following serious structural failure or similar malfunctions.

Each hull has a powerplant aft of the centreline. These are 10 cylinder, inverted V, multi-fuel, hot air engines which are particularly efficient at high altitude temperatures. Forward of the engine rooms are matching control rooms with streamlined conning towers. Both towers can control yaw and pitch for single handed cruise or the two tasks can be shared between two helmsmen during 'operations'. In the bow of each hull is an armaments station. Usually, the starboard hull has a steam harpoon mounted in the bows for research purposes. The port bow usually mounts a prototype machine gun loaned by Mr. Hiram Maxim. This is mainly for defensive purposes but there is a sense where it is being evaluated as part of the unit's High Altitude Research role.

Other construction details all performance statistics are currently classified.

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Airship Artificer, part-time romantik and amateur Natural Philosopher

"wee all here are much troubled with the loss of poor Thompson & Sutton"
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 12:41:08 am »

This is my airship. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
Without me, my airship is useless.
Without my airship I am worthless.
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RodDuncan
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 02:03:30 pm »

This is mine.

Airship Icarus

Country of Origin: England
Current Status: Rogue
Captain: Retep Madasa
Last Transmission: New Jersey, United States of America
Allegiance: None, hostile to any military ships. Considered pirate by many Nations.

Ship Class: Class 1 Battleship
Weight: 300 tonnes
Length: 350 meters
Height: 150 meters
Depth: 50 meters


As a matter of interest, have you calculated the volume of the hydrogen-filled envelope required to lift 300 tonnes? Or is there some other lift providing system in the world you are writing about?

I have so far avoided putting any specific quantities to airships in the world I have created. Partly for this reason - I'm not sure my physics is up to the calculations involved!

Smiley
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Steampunk Away
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Long Live The Icarus!

https://twitter.com/Steam
WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 02:51:15 pm »

There are also the four large fans pointing down, and the balloon is huge, at least half of the ships length and the same depth. And I am maybe thinking if using a different lighter than air gas.
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Kevin1632
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States

Steam breakfast of Champions


« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 09:20:40 am »

It is not too hard, H lifts 66 lb per thousand cubic feet, He lifts 44 lb per thousand, and hot air lifts roughly (lots of variables due to altitude, temperature, and air density) 20 lb per thousand.

Three hundred tons is six hundred thousand pounds, making it a six hundred units of lift. Multiply that by 66 (for H) and you get, 39600 lift units (39,600,000 cubic feet) that is a cube 340 feet on a side, or a cylinder 160 feet in diameter by 1970 feet long. Further taking a conic section for the tail and a half sphere for the nose would give a good rough estimate for size of the envelope would be 2046 feet long. A Long pencil looking thing. Increasing the diameter decreases the length.

Regards,
Kevin

This is mine.

Airship Icarus

Country of Origin: England
Current Status: Rogue
Captain: Retep Madasa
Last Transmission: New Jersey, United States of America
Allegiance: None, hostile to any military ships. Considered pirate by many Nations.

Ship Class: Class 1 Battleship
Weight: 300 tonnes
Length: 350 meters
Height: 150 meters
Depth: 50 meters


As a matter of interest, have you calculated the volume of the hydrogen-filled envelope required to lift 300 tonnes? Or is there some other lift providing system in the world you are writing about?

I have so far avoided putting any specific quantities to airships in the world I have created. Partly for this reason - I'm not sure my physics is up to the calculations involved!

Smiley
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RodDuncan
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 10:17:07 am »

Very impressed Smiley
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George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 11:32:49 am »


Power: Extra Large Dirigible, 5 Large Boilers, 10 Medium Boilers, 15 Small Boilers


Why so many boilers? - And how much fuel and water would they need?



My own sketches and outlines are for a strictly short-range commercial freight airship.  In my scenario the canal and railway companies and unions have used their influences to restrict the hull/gondola dimensions.  Private cargo airships are limited to hulls/gondolas of maximum length 72' and beam 7' - dimensions based around those of canal barges.  Where I struggle at the moment is around the methods of balance and trim, particularly as cargo is on- and off-loaded.
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Keith_Beef
Snr. Officer
****
France France


« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 11:42:27 am »

My own sketches and outlines are for a strictly short-range commercial freight airship.  In my scenario the canal and railway companies and unions have used their influences to restrict the hull/gondola dimensions.  Private cargo airships are limited to hulls/gondolas of maximum length 72' and beam 7' - dimensions based around those of canal barges.  Where I struggle at the moment is around the methods of balance and trim, particularly as cargo is on- and off-loaded.

Good ideas, especially that the Railway Barons could use influence to maintain a monopoly on heavy haulage.

Surely the airship is tethered as cargo is on- and off-loaded. If this happens at purpose-built goods yards, there would be steam driven capstans. On the approach, the airship would drop a light heaving line down to the ground where a man would tie that to a hawser. A smaller steam driven capstan on the gondola would haul up the heaving line, bringing the hawser aboard where it would be tied off to a cleat on the centre underside of the gondola. Further hawsers would be attached similarly fore and aft, starboard and port, and tensioned to maintain position.
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--
Keith
Keith_Beef
Snr. Officer
****
France France


« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2014, 11:57:37 am »

It is not too hard, H lifts 66 lb per thousand cubic feet, He lifts 44 lb per thousand, and hot air lifts roughly (lots of variables due to altitude, temperature, and air density) 20 lb per thousand.


Kevin beat me to it, but here is a more general calculation, taken from this page.
Flift = (ρair – ρgas) × g × V

Where:
Flift is the amount of lift force required
ρair is the density of air
ρgas is the density of the gas in the envelope
g is gravity
V is the volume of gas in the envelope.

Now considering that David Schwartz designed and built an aluminium enveloped dirigible that flew in 1897, and that the production of aluminium was (although still very expensive) reasonably well-understood by the 1840s, it is quite reasonable in my mind to imagine a hydrogen-filled, aluminium-enveloped airship in a Steampunk universe.

If we can also allow a substance that is not only lighter than air, but which also displaces or repels the æther, we can have an armoured envelope of a reduced volume for the same lift.

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RodDuncan
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2014, 01:25:49 pm »

With the weight and lift calculations, we presumably also have to factor in the weight of the canopy structure required to contain all the buoyant gasses. Is that part of the 300 tonnes in the specification?

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Kevin1632
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States

Steam breakfast of Champions


« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2014, 04:41:15 pm »

With airships, "bigger is better", the more space you enclose, the better the weight to volume ratio gets. For small airships the square cube law can really hurt you as the structure weighs more in relation to the space enclosed.

When I do panels on airships at cons, my key phrase is, "Airships are always bigger, and carry less than you think."

On a side subject, do not automatically equate steam power with heavy. Aviation steam can approach one pound to the horsepower. The Besler steam plane produced 150 hp, for 300 lb of weight.

Regards,
Kevin








With the weight and lift calculations, we presumably also have to factor in the weight of the canopy structure required to contain all the buoyant gasses. Is that part of the 300 tonnes in the specification?


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Steampunk Away
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Long Live The Icarus!

https://twitter.com/Steam
WWW
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2014, 07:59:27 pm »

I'm seeing if I can use a lighter material for the hull.
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George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2014, 08:24:13 pm »

My own sketches and outlines are for a strictly short-range commercial freight airship.  In my scenario the canal and railway companies and unions have used their influences to restrict the hull/gondola dimensions.  Private cargo airships are limited to hulls/gondolas of maximum length 72' and beam 7' - dimensions based around those of canal barges.  Where I struggle at the moment is around the methods of balance and trim, particularly as cargo is on- and off-loaded.

Good ideas, especially that the Railway Barons could use influence to maintain a monopoly on heavy haulage.

Surely the airship is tethered as cargo is on- and off-loaded. If this happens at purpose-built goods yards, there would be steam driven capstans. On the approach, the airship would drop a light heaving line down to the ground where a man would tie that to a hawser. A smaller steam driven capstan on the gondola would haul up the heaving line, bringing the hawser aboard where it would be tied off to a cleat on the centre underside of the gondola. Further hawsers would be attached similarly fore and aft, starboard and port, and tensioned to maintain position.

My idea was more that airships would fill the gaps where the railway and canal couldn't reach.  The example I had in mind was picking-up a piece of machinery from a local goods yard (rail or canal) and moving a short distance (10-15 miles) to deliver it to a small factory.  The 'ship would potentially be running to the pick-up and away from the drop-off empty.  It could run-in with 10 tonnes of water ballast, load-up (probably slinging the load), discharging the ballast and making the delivery. But at the drop-off there would be 10 tonnes of surplus lift capacity, there may not be a source of water - and even if there was would the weight of an on-board pump be justified economically? The alternative is to vent lift gas and replenish later.  Fortunately, with hydrogen there are a number of compact ways that replacement lift gas can be generated.  Very few movements would be from one equipped goods yard to another, as these would tend to be rail and/or canal connected.

Trimming could be done with fore-aft and port-starboard placement of trim weights.  There's a couple if ways I can think of that this could be accomplished.

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CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
Zeppelin Captain
**
England England


The werewolf Airship Captain.


WWW
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2014, 10:42:03 pm »

Name: Aether shadow
Captain: Warning DO NOT CROSS this captain!, Easily identified by rope burn around neck and scar running down side of face. High reward for his capture but all bounty hunters have turn up dead for horrific wounds!
Port of build: Lulworth, Albion, world +386
Armament:52 of the 77 32 pounder cannons spread over 2 decks 26 guns sold to raise money, 350 colt yellow boys (lee enfields all sold in favour of these new multi shot weapons, Far too many colt 1851+what ever custom guns brought on board by crew.
Primary duty: While built as a battleship, usually service is as an armed transport ship.
Slimin line Pratt&Witney boiler married up to a custom dynamo of classified design and custom electrical motors to boost the ships sailing speed.
Noticeable peculiarities - equipment of unknown origins cover outside of vessel and smaller then mathematically possible airbag used to keep it aloft.
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I suffer from a random misfiring synapse and a bad case of wolfen the turns me into a seven-foot-tall werewolf or a seven-foot great wolf!
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Keith_Beef
Snr. Officer
****
France France


« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2014, 10:48:57 pm »

My own sketches and outlines are for a strictly short-range commercial freight airship.  In my scenario the canal and railway companies and unions have used their influences to restrict the hull/gondola dimensions.  Private cargo airships are limited to hulls/gondolas of maximum length 72' and beam 7' - dimensions based around those of canal barges.  Where I struggle at the moment is around the methods of balance and trim, particularly as cargo is on- and off-loaded.


Good ideas, especially that the Railway Barons could use influence to maintain a monopoly on heavy haulage.

Surely the airship is tethered as cargo is on- and off-loaded. If this happens at purpose-built goods yards, there would be steam driven capstans. On the approach, the airship would drop a light heaving line down to the ground where a man would tie that to a hawser. A smaller steam driven capstan on the gondola would haul up the heaving line, bringing the hawser aboard where it would be tied off to a cleat on the centre underside of the gondola. Further hawsers would be attached similarly fore and aft, starboard and port, and tensioned to maintain position.


My idea was more that airships would fill the gaps where the railway and canal couldn't reach.  The example I had in mind was picking-up a piece of machinery from a local goods yard (rail or canal) and moving a short distance (10-15 miles) to deliver it to a small factory.  The 'ship would potentially be running to the pick-up and away from the drop-off empty.  It could run-in with 10 tonnes of water ballast, load-up (probably slinging the load), discharging the ballast and making the delivery. But at the drop-off there would be 10 tonnes of surplus lift capacity, there may not be a source of water - and even if there was would the weight of an on-board pump be justified economically? The alternative is to vent lift gas and replenish later.  Fortunately, with hydrogen there are a number of compact ways that replacement lift gas can be generated.  Very few movements would be from one equipped goods yard to another, as these would tend to be rail and/or canal connected.

Trimming could be done with fore-aft and port-starboard placement of trim weights.  There's a couple if ways I can think of that this could be accomplished.


Trimming can be done with shiftable weights. But if your envelope is much longer than the gondola, then either your weights are on a carriage that runs along a track on the envelope, or your weights are much heavier and run on a shorter track between the envelope length and the gondola length (the track is mounted between the gondola and the envelope).

Or it can be done by having "ballonets". This is a quite standard way of adjusting flight trim, but usually only fore and aft, and during flight.

For slung loads, take a look at long-line slung load techniques that logging helicopter pilots use.

With the idea of a small steam engine working a capstan, and a heaving line, you can hover over your loading site and might not even need to keep position to anything more precise than a fifteen foot radius. Drop your line, pick up the hawser or sling, winch it aboard, pull taut against the load and lift straight up until you're clear of obstacles.

Dropping off at the other end is a bit more hairy. Your receiving crew need to be able to grab the load and stabilise it, or your load needs to be on a skiddable base. Otherwise any sudden movement could tip your pallet or crate over onto its side. So maybe a crate with some kind of stand-offs with a heavy rope net around it, and the receiving crew can throw grappling irons on hawsers to snag the net, and by main force hold the load in place laterally and the airship lowers the load vertically.
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Steampunk Away
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Long Live The Icarus!

https://twitter.com/Steam
WWW
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2014, 10:57:10 pm »

I am happy you lads are taking an interest in this topic!

With the weight and lift calculations, we presumably also have to factor in the weight of the canopy structure required to contain all the buoyant gasses. Is that part of the 300 tonnes in the specification?



The Canopy is included, and I planned on using tightly hydrogen that is heated by a reflector beam on the Helm of the ship, but with a canopy flexible enough to deal with the expansion of the hydrogen gas inside without ripping and thus having an accident like the Hindenburg.
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RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2014, 11:59:37 pm »

Tom Swift's airship, the Red Cloud, was an anomaly. It was described as half dirigible, half airplane.

The Red Cloud had float tanks that could be filled with buoyant gas that was stored compressed in a storage tank. When this gas was released from the float tanks, the ship descended. I don't think that the writer (Howard Garris writing as Victor Appleton) had a full grasp of how buoyancy actually works. If I had to build a model, I would give it air tanks that telescoped, but nothing of that sort was described in the text of the novel.

The Red Cloud could take of from a runway with it's floats empty, or fill the floats and rise like a balloon.

The Red Cloud had a deck and a cabin, float tanks, front and rear propellers, and a 20 cylinder internal combustion engine. But the overall appearance of the ship was not fully described.
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Steampunk Away
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Long Live The Icarus!

https://twitter.com/Steam
WWW
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2014, 12:08:53 am »

Tom Swift's airship, the Red Cloud, was an anomaly. It was described as half dirigible, half airplane.

The Red Cloud had float tanks that could be filled with buoyant gas that was stored compressed in a storage tank. When this gas was released from the float tanks, the ship descended. I don't think that the writer (Howard Garris writing as Victor Appleton) had a full grasp of how buoyancy actually works. If I had to build a model, I would give it air tanks that telescoped, but nothing of that sort was described in the text of the novel.

The Red Cloud could take of from a runway with it's floats empty, or fill the floats and rise like a balloon.

The Red Cloud had a deck and a cabin, float tanks, front and rear propellers, and a 20 cylinder internal combustion engine. But the overall appearance of the ship was not fully described.

Not an anomaly anymore. Scientist are creating a half-Dirigible, half-airplane to be used commercially, that will dominate the old flying times of airplanes. PopSci even did an article on it a few years ago I believe.
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Angus A Fitziron
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'


« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2014, 11:14:05 pm »

Tom Swift's airship, the Red Cloud, was an anomaly. It was described as half dirigible, half airplane.

The Red Cloud had float tanks that could be filled with buoyant gas that was stored compressed in a storage tank. When this gas was released from the float tanks, the ship descended. I don't think that the writer (Howard Garris writing as Victor Appleton) had a full grasp of how buoyancy actually works. If I had to build a model, I would give it air tanks that telescoped, but nothing of that sort was described in the text of the novel.

The Red Cloud could take of from a runway with it's floats empty, or fill the floats and rise like a balloon.

The Red Cloud had a deck and a cabin, float tanks, front and rear propellers, and a 20 cylinder internal combustion engine. But the overall appearance of the ship was not fully described.

Not an anomaly anymore. Scientist are creating a half-Dirigible, half-airplane to be used commercially, that will dominate the old flying times of airplanes. PopSci even did an article on it a few years ago I believe.

I take it you are talking about the lifting body airships like Skycat? These use conventional lift from air displacement but also forward thrust pushes the shape into the air which if tilted to the airflow, causes added lift due to the thrust of the propulsers. Another form of hybrid lift is with Zeppelin NT which uses vectoring thrust fans. These are used to force the ship down to land and to hold it there whilst mooring. They are then vectored on take off to aid climbing performance. Altitude stability in an airship is about balancing the internal volume of gas with mass of the airship against the density (pressure) of the air at the selected altitude. Vectoring thrusters and dynamic lifting bodies are all about transition flight rather than steady cruising flight. I think most recent airships (1920's to date) use some form of air displacement ~ for example air ballonets ~ which squeeze the lift bags thus reducing their volume (and increasing internal pressure) and so reducing lift. This does introduce physical strength problems and I think the early Zeppelins could compress hydrogen from the gas bags into cylinders - but it may be that they vented excess hydrogen from the gas bags, replacing it with hydrogen from compressed aluminium tanks. I think with Helium lift gas they need to be more environmentally aware as it is not a good gas to release into the atmosphere and so vectoring control of altitude and balancing air ballonets is probably how they do it. It would be interesting to read up how Zeppelin NT do it but I have not found any English language articles about altitude control (or anything else for that matter!) I visited the Zeppelin Museum a couple of years ago and they had a few items about NT construction and that was it...
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