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Poll
Question:  Will  Airships return as viable air transport for Passenger & Cargo ?
YES - 13 (76.5%)
NO - 1 (5.9%)
MAYBE - 3 (17.6%)
Total Voters: 17

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Author Topic: Zeppelin Airship Dirigible Question: Are they viable for Mordern/Future Use ??  (Read 1863 times)
Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
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New Zealand New Zealand



« on: April 08, 2015, 05:59:25 am »



 There are modern developments in design  for Zeppelins, airships and dirigible that make these craft   plausible as a predicted  air transport and military purpose  of the near future. Do you think they are viable  air craft for regular use in commercial or military  roles? Is there potential for airships to rule the skies?


http://rt.com/news/aeroscraft-revolutionary-airship-cargo-187/
http://factor-tech.com/transport/6195-the-revival-of-the-airship-cargo-transport-today-sky-resort-tomorrow/
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/21/us-lockheed-cargo-idUSKCN0J52BL20141121
http://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/3815/why-have-cargo-hybrid-airships-not-succeeded-in-the-market
http://www.army-technology.com/features/featurecommercial-crossover-makes-aeroscraft-military-airship-dream-come-true-4429199/
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 06:10:24 am »


http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/airships/4701088


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Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 06:23:48 am »





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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2015, 06:44:39 am »

Dear Annie:

Yes they are and otherwise you wouldn't see such developments as of late.  The airship design formula has always worked and the purpose as of late can be classified in two categories:

a) Extra long range and/or endurance flight, like for example a logistic communication centre/command for the battle field or communications hub (LEMV)

b) Heavy Lift capabilities, such as VTOL lifting of raw materials such as wood to and from remote locations (Aeroscraft)

Both of these mission goals are achievable, but not simultaneously, as the type of design changes a bit.

If I'm not mistaken there are two airship designs - one for each one of those design goals in the works at the moment.  Not without failure, mind you, because apparently, in spite of current engineering technology, the skills needed to design airship are "a bit rusty" shall we say?  The performance failures that we have read in the newspapers are laughable for this day and age - such as "the craft is too heavy," which have scared investors away and cause the military to drop one major project


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Air_Vehicles_HAV-3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwide_Aeros_Corp
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2015, 07:51:09 am »

For cargo transport and luxury cruises, yes. However I don't see them ever making a revival as a means of transporting passengers from A to B.
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2015, 08:20:36 am »

It depends what you want to use them for...

http://www.anabatic.aero/
I want one !!!


Their endurance is probably their most useful attribute when used as a platform for filming sports events and such like. Once in location they can stay there for days with hardly any fuel consumption so are cheaper than a helicopter.

Also for some kinds of research they are ideal (I'm thinking of the time one was used to allow scientists to explore the upper canopy of a rainforest as an example). They could also have use in weather forecasting as they could  target areas more accurately than other methods for extended monitoring.

I don't think they will be used for 'mass transport' because most people who fly from A to B are in a hurry (otherwise they would use surface transport).
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Hurricane Annie
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2015, 09:41:02 am »

I wont pretend I know anything about the practical engineering side of  of air vehicles; if the those in know say it is feasible on that level I will take it at its word.  That new technology , resources and  need  make  dirigible /airship type craft a more valid  option than in the past.

 I did note that the aeroplane  building companies and military  have taken a renewed interest  in  dirigible craft  of different sizes  for utilitarian activities rather than passenger liner use.  Exploration, haulage and  supply. Which has a  rather steampunk aspect to it.  Industrial and intrepid , military  manoeuvrings opening up  the world for exploration  and  discovery.

 The idea of small scale air ships and zeppelins seems a romantic  notion or a novelty futuristic landscape vision.Like something out of a steampunk fantasy that was just a pipe dream.  I started off looking for  images  for aesthetic and artistic purposes and curiosity got the better of me. I started reading articles  that intrigued me about modern developments. I live near a main airport   and see small planes over head most days.  Helicopters are common place.  I occasionally see larger planes when traveling by the airport.  These developments could alter the world around me.  It got me thinking what if....

 as with the landrover  and jeep on land , some things are just so  simple and serviceable  , one would be hard pressed  to find a better utility air vehicle


 
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2015, 09:44:58 am »

Well yes. There's plenty of talk of them being used for high value, non-perishable cargoes due to both the socio-political-economic situation in East Africa (which is making using cargo ships increasingly expensive/dangerous) and developments of ship design which have the Panama Canal unusable by most modern cargo vessels so airships offer a cheap alternative to conventional cargo planes.

Airships are obviously never going to replace modern airliners, but I daresay there will almost certainly be a resurgence in the use by military organisations as UAVs become the norm for airborne attacks.
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2015, 09:59:12 am »

Airships as flying aircraft carriers for swarms of drones? That does actually seem plausible.
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Hurricane Annie
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2015, 10:01:16 am »

 From what I have read, that could be possible . But don't quote me on that.

Drones are another  steampunk  type  craft that will change the world
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Fairley B. Strange
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2015, 03:33:44 pm »

Every base in Afghan had at least one Surveillance blimp tethered overhead - big outfits like Kandahar had a ring of 6-7 like a WW2 barrage balloon ring. They were fitted with long range cameras and sensors to scan the area out to beyond rocket range.
So, like their WW1 observation brethren, the Womens Auxilliary Balloon Corps still has a role in modern warfare.



And they worked - they were safely up beyond rifle and RPG range and could scan day and night from a vantage height that could see over the nearby town and the far sides of hills that otherwise made good hidden rocket launch-sites. They were so effective we would only get rocket fire during high winds and storms when the balloon had to be winched down to its trailer or it was down for camera maintenance etc.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 03:40:38 pm by Fairley B. Strange » Logged

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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2015, 03:53:01 pm »

they worked - they were safely up beyond rifle and RPG range and could scan day and night from a vantage height that could see over the nearby town and the far sides of hills that otherwise made good hidden rocket launch-sites. They were so effective we would only get rocket fire during high winds and storms when the balloon had to be winched down to its trailer or it was down for camera maintenance etc.

Well this was much more the usage I was thinking of when I mentioned military usage, or as a form of portable base/control platform for UAV operators since using drones for airstrikes negates the need for a massive airstrip and hangers for planes along with accommodation for their pilots (all of which offers a tempting target). Of course with modern warfare increasingly being based in ensuring a '2nd strike' capability there's no reason a drone couldn't be launched from a submarine and controlled by someone on an airship several hundred miles away (thus hampering any attempt by an enemy to stop you dropping bombs on them).
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Burgess Shale
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2015, 04:13:05 pm »

Small autonomous airships like the Solar Ship shown above could also be adapted to being used as a flying cellular towers to boost signals in remote areas, too.
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Wormster
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2015, 05:32:58 pm »

Its all technically achievable, however the real issue that everyone has overlooked is that of just WHO controls the world supply of Helieiumm??

I think that if one were to start looking from teh supply end of things I bet you'll find a case of:

"Big bu$ine$$ control$ the $ypply of our ga$es!"

And all the while that the dreaded "black gold" continues to be burned by all of us then there is no way that all the "alternative" technologies will be available to us, that and the fact that the "Big bu$ine$$" have snaffled up many of the patents to such devices to "Keep us Hooked on Crude!" and fill their bank coffers with plenty of loot!

(anddd back in the Faraday Cage!)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 05:36:00 pm by Wormster » Logged

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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2015, 05:37:58 pm »

Well that, and of course we're running of helium thanks to it's use for refrigeration.
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Peter Brassbeard
Zeppelin Captain
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United States United States



« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2015, 05:58:25 pm »

When the current reserves of helium run short and prices return to natural market rates, extraction from natural gas will pick up again.  At the moment such extraction has difficulty competing against the former strategic reserves being sold off.

Hydrogen is less of a hazard if you:
- don't have to vent lift gas to manage buoyancy.  Hindenburg was approaching a landing when it caught fire.
- can avoid static discharge as an ignition source.  Suspected ignition source in above.
- don't use a highly flammable coating on the envelope.  Known factor in above.
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Wormster
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2015, 06:57:57 pm »

NAH you're still talking KAfrikkingBOOM! old chap!
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2015, 04:31:01 am »

Every base in Afghan had at least one Surveillance blimp tethered overhead - big outfits like Kandahar had a ring of 6-7 like a WW2 barrage balloon ring. They were fitted with long range cameras and sensors to scan the area out to beyond rocket range.
So, like their WW1 observation brethren, the Womens Auxilliary Balloon Corps still has a role in modern warfare.



And they worked - they were safely up beyond rifle and RPG range and could scan day and night from a vantage height that could see over the nearby town and the far sides of hills that otherwise made good hidden rocket launch-sites. They were so effective we would only get rocket fire during high winds and storms when the balloon had to be winched down to its trailer or it was down for camera maintenance etc.


 While I have been reading up on the subject , there is a strong thread of surveillance and espionage use  for small craft, in war zones and over civilian communities that comes through. 

 The suggestion being that if  a population becomes accultured  to small craft  flying around  above for commercial or police  use, it could be  utilised for watching, listening   and recording  activities and communications.
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Colonel Hawthorne
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2015, 04:57:51 am »

I'd love to see them come back, but I think the gas used for lift is going to need some work.  As noted above, helium is getting scarce (the sun is still making rather a lot, but it's a little hard to harvest).

If, as Mr Brassbeard suggests, hydrogen can be made safer, the question is possibly more one of 'when' than 'if' we'll again have a chance to board a leviathan of the skies for a leisurely cruise.  Sign me up!
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2015, 05:05:52 am »

I'd love to see them come back, but I think the gas used for lift is going to need some work.  As noted above, helium is getting scarce (the sun is still making rather a lot, but it's a little hard to harvest).

If, as Mr Brassbeard suggests, hydrogen can be made safer, the question is possibly more one of 'when' than 'if' we'll again have a chance to board a leviathan of the skies for a leisurely cruise.  Sign me up!


 Our own Ohakea  Airbase was originally planned to be  a airship  base with moorings for international and local craft. Then there were a series of air ship disasters that scuttled the plans for large scale airship use

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNZAF_Base_Ohakea

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Maets
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2015, 10:37:29 pm »

Hydrogen based systems will be increasing in the future. If we get more comfortable with hydrogen, then maybe airships become more common. I recently entered an airship in an art contest about technology in five years. This thread sure is timely. Still have my fingers crossed on the outcome of the contest.
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Hurricane Annie
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2015, 03:16:19 am »

Hydrogen based systems will be increasing in the future. If we get more comfortable with hydrogen, then maybe airships become more common. I recently entered an airship in an art contest about technology in five years. This thread sure is timely. Still have my fingers crossed on the outcome of the contest.

I wish you luck with your artistic endeavours, Mr Maets

 On watching a DVD  with the subject matter of airships in WW1 and later developments , the US navy and Goodyear have never given up  on theirs.  They have  always kept research  on the boil since the 30s; seeking the perfect gas,  size and covering for stability.

The navy have never lost a ship in war time when they have had  groups of small dirigibles scouting ahead  of the fleet.

 The bigger question in my mind now  is - why have there not been war movies made over the years that  include these air ships that featured  in  the  2 world wars?

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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2015, 08:23:22 am »

Indeed.  The airship is the unsung hero of military history.
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Hurricane Annie
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New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2015, 09:59:18 am »

Indeed.  The airship is the unsung hero of military history.

 Now I am wondering why we have not heard more about  zeppelins and dirigibles   over the years  and the  impact they have had and the extent of their use.   Then again perhaps the various military forces haven't wanted to give away their secrets.
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Maets
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2015, 02:32:37 pm »

That could be 
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