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Author Topic: Aeroscraft Are Go!  (Read 1074 times)
Argus Fairbrass
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« on: September 21, 2014, 06:57:33 am »

http://gizmodo.com/the-aluminum-airship-of-the-future-has-finally-flown-1301320903

I'm quite surprised some of our American members are not trumpeting this achievement from the roof tops. I actually thought after the US Army sold off the LEMV all airship research was on hiatus in the States, but obviously not. As the article says, this a different concept to a hybrid air vehicle, and is actually a smaller prototype half the size of the craft intended for commercial availability.

As many of you know the LEMV was bought by British company Hybrid Air Vehicles last year. Now renamed Airlander, I believe (if all goes according to plan) it's maiden flight is scheduled for sometime around 2016.

But anyway, congratulations to Aero Corps for a successful flight. A fully untethered test is scheduled in the next few weeks, and it does indeed appear that large airships will be gracing the skies once again!
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thezombiekat
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2014, 07:09:34 am »

cool. not a fan of the colour myself but i guess they will paint or colour anodise it in the production model.

i worry about using helium. i understood the supply on this planet was a little low. i would hate to see us get a few years of use and then realise we don't have the gas any more.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2014, 08:11:36 am »

http://gizmodo.com/the-aluminum-airship-of-the-future-has-finally-flown-1301320903

I'm quite surprised some of our American members are not trumpeting this achievement from the roof tops. I actually thought after the US Army sold off the LEMV all airship research was on hiatus in the States, but obviously not. As the article says, this a different concept to a hybrid air vehicle, and is actually a smaller prototype half the size of the craft intended for commercial availability.

As many of you know the LEMV was bought by British company Hybrid Air Vehicles last year. Now renamed Airlander, I believe (if all goes according to plan) it's maiden flight is scheduled for sometime around 2016.

But anyway, congratulations to Aero Corps for a successful flight. A fully untethered test is scheduled in the next few weeks, and it does indeed appear that large airships will be gracing the skies once again!


To be honest, my attention has been elsewhere lately.  Survival and all that Jazz.  I've been paying far more attention to the "New Cold War" and the need for replacement rocket engines.  Part of the problem is the lack of enthusiasm for other lighter than air projects.  35 mill is not that much.  And someone still needs to tell me what a "NASA Boffin" is.  I  only know engineers   Grin  -and two is not that many a contribution by NASA for a project.

As I understand the Aeroscraft vehicle was meant as a heavy lift vehicle whereas the LEMV was and endurance optimised platform.  There are videos of the LEMV's maiden flight; I wish they had done so for this 50% scale model...

http://fusion.net/Culture/video/aeroscraft-future-air-transit-664756
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 09:06:28 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Argus Fairbrass
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So English even the English don't get it!


« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 08:32:11 am »

cool. not a fan of the colour myself but i guess they will paint or colour anodise it in the production model.

i worry about using helium. i understood the supply on this planet was a little low. i would hate to see us get a few years of use and then realise we don't have the gas any more.


Possibly, it might even be green hehe.



Yes I think the usefulness of helium and the fact that it's a finite resource is being taken a little more seriously now. I am expecting to see the end of party balloons in the next few years.

To be honest, my attention has been elsewhere lately.  Survival and all that Jazz.  I've been paying far more attention to the "New Cold War" and the need for replacement rocket engines.  Part of the problem is the lack of enthusiasm of other lighter than air projects.  35 mill is not that much.  And someone still needs to tell me what a "NASA Boffin" is.  I  only know engineers   Grin  -and two is not that many a contribution by NASA for a project.

As I understand the Aeroscraft vehicle was meant as a heavy lift vehicle whereas the LEMV was and endurance optimised platform.  There are videos of the LEMV's maiden flight; I wish they had done so for this 50% scale model...

http://fusion.net/Culture/video/aeroscraft-future-air-transit-664756


Well I hope you are doing more than surviving sir. Yeah I'm a little hazy on the exact differences, and as to whether these two will eventually be competing for similar contracts. There is certainly talk of them both potentially becoming luxury air cruise liners. I'm not entirely sure an extended air cruise appeals to me that much (mind you neither does a ship cruise in all honesty), but I'd certainly like to take a ride at some point.
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2014, 09:02:56 am »

One thing these won't be used for is delivering supplies to disaster areas because, even the largest planned version with the mush greater capacity than helicopters would take too long to get to the area so before it could start work a fleet of helicopters could have delivered a larger tonnage of supplies.
Taking large mining equipment to remote areas of Alaska, Canada Australia would be viable with the platform slung underneath, and, as it wouldn't need to be transported in parts then re assembled at the site, the fact that the airspeed is low would be offset by the time saved once the equipment is delivered (plus in the former two areas it could deliver things during the months when Ice roads are not passable).
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 11:13:05 am »

Sure. I would imagine the speed is one area they will certainly work to improve over time. Obviously they'll never be supersonic, but 20 MPH or thereabouts does sound incredibly slow.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 05:38:32 pm »

Sure. I would imagine the speed is one area they will certainly work to improve over time. Obviously they'll never be supersonic, but 20 MPH or thereabouts does sound incredibly slow.

Unfortunately, I agree...  The large cross sectional area is to blame. But perhaps more engineering is needed.  Note the slenderness of Luftschiffbau-Zeppelin designs and the tautness of their envelope.
Quote
Hindenburg was named after the late Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, ..... Maximum speed: 135 km/h (85 mph) ...
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 05:41:29 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 06:38:26 pm »

Well 85 MPH sounds a bit more like it. I mean I'm no expert (obviously) but I wouldn't have thought it was safe to let a craft of this type roam long distance at any altitude if it was only capable of around 20. Common sense would suggest long distance haulage means expect foul weather. I'd imagine you'd be hard pushed to make any headway in even the slightest breeze if that's your top speed, Anything more turbulent would likely blow you all over the place. So yeah, bit more juice if you wanna roam the skies there fellas.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2014, 08:15:08 pm »

Great achievement, but I'd take the article with a pinch of salt when it comes to the technical aspects (if the journalist thinks that the Hindenburg
was built primarily of balsawood there's no telling which other inaccuracies, half-truths or hearsay have crept in there). 

Well 85 MPH sounds a bit more like it.

Friedrichshafen- Lakehurst flight time = approx. 3 days.  Say 4000 miles / 72 hours = 55 miles/hour.  That's 55 mph average speed just to keep to time irrespective of head winds and the like.  85 mph top speed is about what you'd need to be able to run to time even if flying into a headwind for the entire flight. 
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2014, 09:08:27 pm »

Great achievement, but I'd take the article with a pinch of salt when it comes to the technical aspects (if the journalist thinks that the Hindenburg
was built primarily of balsawood there's no telling which other inaccuracies, half-truths or hearsay have crept in there). 

Well 85 MPH sounds a bit more like it.

Friedrichshafen- Lakehurst flight time = approx. 3 days.  Say 4000 miles / 72 hours = 55 miles/hour.  That's 55 mph average speed just to keep to time irrespective of head winds and the like.  85 mph top speed is about what you'd need to be able to run to time even if flying into a headwind for the entire flight. 

I'm afraid, even as an aerospace engineer, even I am unqualified to judge the performance or specifications without crunching some numbers and opening manuals that rival my grandfather's age ( who passed away this year
at the age of 95).

From Wiki:

Quote

Specifications:

Hindenburg class airship compared to largest fixed wing aircraft
Data from Airships: A Hindenburg and Zeppelin History site[1]
General characteristics

Crew: 40 to 61
Capacity: 50–72 passengers
Length: 245 m (803 ft 10 in)
Diameter: 41.18 [55] m (135.1 ft 0 in)
Volume: 200,000 m3 (7,062,000 ft3)
Powerplant: 4 × Daimler-Benz DB 602 diesel engines, 890 kW (1,200 hp) each
Performance

Maximum speed: 135 km/h (85 mph)


The Hindenburg had a duralumin structure, incorporating 15 Ferris wheel-like bulkheads along its length, with 16 cotton gas bags fitted between them. The bulkheads were braced to each other by longitudinal girders placed around their circumferences. The airship's outer skin was of cotton doped with a mixture of reflective materials intended to protect the gas bags within from radiation, both ultraviolet (which would damage them) and infrared (which might cause them to overheat). The gas cells were made by a new method pioneered by Goodyear using multiple layers of gelatinized latex rather than the previous goldbeater's skins. In 1931 the Zeppelin Company purchased 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) of duralumin salvaged from the wreckage of the October 1930 crash of the British airship R101, which might have been re-cast and used in the construction of the Hindenburg.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 09:27:51 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 01:12:27 pm »

Checking the article again it uses 3 engines for low speed (such as final approach) and 6 turbofans for 'cruising', but there is no information on expected max speed, but drag means it won't be particularly high. say around 100 - 140 MPH airspeed. So similar to many light aircraft.
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Prof Thadeus Q. Wychlock
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2014, 03:39:07 pm »



From Wiki:

Quote
In 1931 the Zeppelin Company purchased 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) of duralumin salvaged from the wreckage of the October 1930 crash of the British airship R101, which might have been re-cast and used in the construction of the Hindenburg.

[/quote]

Thats in interesting little bit I didn't know !!
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2014, 02:36:37 am »

Checking the article again it uses 3 engines for low speed (such as final approach) and 6 turbofans for 'cruising', but there is no information on expected max speed, but drag means it won't be particularly high. say around 100 - 140 MPH airspeed. So similar to many light aircraft.


OK.  This is more like it.  20 mph is not the target cruise speed.

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwide_Aeros_Corp

Quote
Project Pelican and Dragon Dream
Half-scale prototype "Dragon Dream"

Project Pelican was a US Government-funded project to build and test a half-scale prototype of the proposed full-size Aeroscraft, using representative structure and avionics.[14] Named Dragon Dream and having a length of 266 feet (81 m) and design speed of 60 knots (110 km/h), it does not carry a payload.[11] With funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the first floating took place on January 3, 2013 at Tustin, California, where it hovered indoors at a height of 12 feet for several minutes.[17] The Pentagon has declared that the tests of the Pelican were a "success", with the craft meeting its demonstration objectives.[18] The Pelican was rolled out of its hangar on July 4, 2013.[19][20]
Planned full-scale craft

The company is beginning production of two examples, an ML866 and an ML868 model.[21] A model capable of lifting 500 tons, the ML86X, is also proposed.[11]

The ML866 model will be 555 feet (169 m) in length, have a payload capacity of 66 tons, a top speed of 120 knots (222 km/h), a range of 3,100 nmi (5,700 km), and a altitude ceiling of 12,000 ft (3,700 m). The larger ML868 model will be 770 feet (230 m) in length and carry 200 tons, with the same speed and altitude ceiling as the ML866.[11]

Aeros is currently seeking $3 billion to fund the construction of 24 Aeroscraft vehicles, including the 250-ton capacity ML868 model.[22] They aim to finish construction in 2016.[7]
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 02:39:33 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
hardlec
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2014, 03:19:00 am »

the US Navy built an aluminium airship in the 1920's about the same time as Macon and Akron.  They did not use as radical a "lifting body" shape, but the ship could fly dynamically and was very fast for an Airship. 

The limiting factor on speed was how much pressure the fabric could take, an issue made moot by the aluminium skin.
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2014, 01:40:24 am »

I wonder whether we could make lighter-than-air hydrogen based aerogels now? Maybe get 500 g/m^3 for it. Use an inert material, so it can't get set on fire. The other advantage would be the much greater ability to handle punctures.
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Maets
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2014, 08:23:34 pm »

Missed this. Very promising.
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markf
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2014, 07:41:12 pm »

A month later the hanger semi-collapsed and caused some damage and a partial deflation to the airship. markf

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449286/Revolutionary-35M-airship-damaged-roof-World-War-II-era-military-hangar-collapses.html




http://gizmodo.com/the-aluminum-airship-of-the-future-has-finally-flown-1301320903

I'm quite surprised some of our American members are not trumpeting this achievement from the roof tops. I actually thought after the US Army sold off the LEMV all airship research was on hiatus in the States, but obviously not. As the article says, this a different concept to a hybrid air vehicle, and is actually a smaller prototype half the size of the craft intended for commercial availability.

As many of you know the LEMV was bought by British company Hybrid Air Vehicles last year. Now renamed Airlander, I believe (if all goes according to plan) it's maiden flight is scheduled for sometime around 2016.

But anyway, congratulations to Aero Corps for a successful flight. A fully untethered test is scheduled in the next few weeks, and it does indeed appear that large airships will be gracing the skies once again!
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2014, 05:51:07 pm »

Apparently the US military have been using airships operationally for surveillance etc in several current 'theaters of operations' this was hidden away in reports about using them in the USA.
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thezombiekat
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2015, 08:31:47 am »

I wonder whether we could make lighter-than-air hydrogen based aerogels now? Maybe get 500 g/m^3 for it. Use an inert material, so it can't get set on fire. The other advantage would be the much greater ability to handle punctures.
i looked into this potability not long ago. unfortunately the density of aerojell is still several times that of air, and it is an open sell structure so whatever gas you filled with would leak out.
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