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Author Topic: Interception Hot Air Balloon: A Pet Idea Of Mine  (Read 263 times)
chicar
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« on: September 01, 2017, 02:00:20 pm »

Their surely a obvious problem i miss but here we go....

We know than historically, hot air balloon only serve war as a scouting mean. But in a world where airships exist , they may serve as the fighter to rigid dirigible's bombers if we add a rudder , electrically powered rotor and a crew of infantrymen.

What do you think ?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 02:13:32 pm by chicar » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 12:47:12 am »

I saw a hot air blimp fly at a balloon festival, probably about 20 years ago.  Your post prompted me to do a bit of googling, to see if they still exist.  It seems they do: Cameron Balloons.

This article about a similar invention describes it as travelling at about 20mph.  You might have to release them from a high-flying carrier airship, in front of the flight path of the bomber airship, to attempt an interception.  Popular Mechanics.
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 08:50:28 am »

The other alternative might be a parasite-fighter or unpowered attack-glider launched from a mothership at sufficient altitude to dive at their targets and later be recovered when the mothership descends to a lower altitude or picked up from a ground landing.
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 02:50:56 pm »

The problem I see with a balloon, is that its overall shape is not an aerodynamic ideal. Quite the  contrary, a spherical envelope shape at those speeds is very prone to generate turbulence in its wake.

The net effect of turbulence is increase the apparent viscosity of the air and disrupt the pressure distribution that you could have used for the operation of fins or a rudder.

Worse, the sphere shape causes an effect called "boundary layer separation" (you can Google that), which basically means you have created a relative "vacuum" in the wake of the sphere which translates as a large amount of drag ("pressure drag"). In this situation even the turbulence drag (viscous drag) is small in comparison.

In other words, your rudders will be useless and you won't have any control. The finned balloon will simply be carried by the wind, like any other balloon.

The airships' "streamlined" cigar shape was designed to delay the onset of turbulence and present a lower frontal cross section (ie lower drag), for the overall volume of gas you need to contain. More importantly the cigar shape prevents the separation of the boundary layer (no "vacuum in your taik").

So between the two, the dirigible makes a better war craft, pure and simple.

Granted, the boundary layer  is turbulent for most of the envelope of the dirigible but the cross section is smaller, and hopefully you don't get that vacuum (unless you get a really strong transversal wind, or you have a very steep angle of attack.
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