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Author Topic: Hybrid Airships: Next level cargo, freight and passenger transport.  (Read 866 times)
Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« on: June 08, 2019, 07:57:52 pm »

Are we on the cusp of a new era? Is airship technology about to replace rail or is it still a flight of fancy?  What  would the new age be labelled? Is there a renewable energy more effective than helium?

Ian Dickinson from Iron Maiden makes a good argument, along with other experts

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/02/29/a-new-generation-of-airships-is-born


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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 11:23:17 am »

I think there is definitly a place for airship/hybrid airship transport. I suspect it wouldn't wholesale replace other types, but one can imagine international freight over water requiring a quicker delivery than ship would be ideal application, and certaintly reduce aircraft freight which would be a boon for the mch needed reduction of cardbon emissions. And of course I can't wait for the passenger service  Smiley.

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 07:44:03 pm »

The lack of progress is excruciating, though. It seems a number of people are looking at the benefits of lighter than air craft and neutrally buoyant craft. Those people have shown potential on different parts of the flight envelope, that is, heavy cargo ship, stratospheric surveillance and communications etc. But only a handful of people have gotten past the design stage into actual flying prototypes.

Right now my concern is over where the world is headed. The First World seems stuck in "Retro Mode" and I do believe that is affecting the outlook for technology. Instead of trying to make the world look like 1955 everyone should be focused on futuristic solutions to transportation and pollution control, and that very much includes lighter than air ships.

The thing that has me exited the most lately is the potential for electric or hybrid electrical aircraft, namely, the super-sized drone type. For short hops and commuting over dense urban areas, I can see swarm-computation guided drones carrying people much like automobiles do today. And progress is fast and furious in that area, even though we can only talk about a few prototypes, excepting the UAE who are starting an air taxi service very soon.

The drone is not entirely unrelated to airships, however, as I think the public and industry will demand more agile and controllable aircraft than traditional blimps can be. A neutrally buoyant Airship can be steered with a multitude of electric fans.

Because the power density of batteries is still low, I'd suggest developing hybrid fuel electric power systems. Batteries are still too heavy but not so much that we rule them out entirely. The solution is a Diesel Electric engine model where an internal combustion engine is providing the electrical power to be stored in short term battery storage. I think this could be used for both airships and Blade Runner style hover cars; though the propulsion fans will be numerous, they envelope the drone allowing a "flying car" configuration, as opposed to a helicopter configuration.


My reasoning is that electric motor propulsion allows the use of smaller rotors and the corresponding thermodynamic efficiency that combustion engines don't have in large clusters of engines... In other words, internal combustion engines used directly to drive propellers force you to reduce the number of rotors and hence rotors are also larger. Producing electric power centrally reduces the number of internal combustion engines to one and you can use distributed propulsion, which is also very important for stability and to avoid gyroscopic forces and moment coupling like in the V-22. Having distributed electric propulsion also means safer rotors around the envelope of an airship.

The only obvious problem I see is that small propellers are less efficient aerodynamically speaking. There will be big losses in that manner of using multiple rotors, but something tells me this balance between the internal combustion losses and the aerodynamic rotor losses has really never been explored outside of helicopter design. The job of aerodynamicist is to make the best lifting device possible with the lowest drag. So traditionally we give preference to the best aerodynamics possible. But internal combustion inefficiencies count too, and they tend to be huge, namely large percentages of energy lost in the form of heat (turbine engines being far worse that piston engines, thermodynamically speaking). Thinking outside of the box is called for at the time.

Now if we just had the political clarity... My guess is that it will be a lot easier to implement these new technologies outside of the First World, where politics and financial interests obfuscate new ideas.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 08:00:03 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 12:45:42 am »


 Mr J Wilhelm while I'm unable to debate with you on the aeronautical and engineering technicalities. I can wade in boots and all, on the socio political aspects.  NZ has over the last 200 years, been used as a test ground for military operations, products, services, education health and other  social experiments.

 New Zealand was at the fore front of aviation in the first half of the 20 th century.  The Pacific  was far away  and difficult to reach, it was a slow boat journey from anywhere, NZ being the furthest archipelago from Europe.  Planes were a solution.  The original  zeppelins were tested here at the turn of the century pre WW1.  In the interbellum  there was a airship mooring port planned in the North Island.  After  a series of international disasters those plans were  off the drawing board. It became an airforce base during ww2.

 Which segues us to trains  and helicopters. NZ has suffered  since mid last century from a dearth of rail services. Lines were not maintained, extended or improved,  urban routes not developed for public transport or freight. It's been a political foot ball.  The railways gets sold, shunted, sold on repeat cycle  by the government of the day. Currently its a pet project of an elderly senior politician who is being humoured.

 As I climb on my soap box... trains are a 200 year old technology, is it viable to spend billions reinstating an infrastructure that may well be obsolete? It there modern technology  that could and should be rolled out in place of traditional rail?

NZ is a long narrow place  with 2 main islands.  It is mountainous and terrain is rugged,  large parts are inaccessible by the current modes of transport.  Weather is wild and extreme. The NZ environment invites adventure tourism and overseas military exercises.  From an industrial perspective, there are huge untapped natural resources  that offshore corporates want their greedy exploitative hands on. The government is intent on serving up us on a plate, despite its pretence of oil and gas bans.

 The reasoning behind my rant is, NZ would make and ideal testing ground for military,  industrial, commercial, and social purposing of  airship use for surveillance, cargo, passenger and rescue operations.

... maybe they already are...
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 12:50:28 am by Hurricane Annie » Logged
newjack
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United States United States



« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2019, 12:02:16 am »

well there is always the issue that helium isn't going to be around forever.

about a decade ago, i read a science article on a huge dirigible, possibly the largest ever, that was going to have a massive lifting capability.
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2019, 03:55:16 am »

well there is always the issue that helium isn't going to be around forever.

about a decade ago, i read a science article on a huge dirigible, possibly the largest ever, that was going to have a massive lifting capability.

 Was that the Flying  Bum? It had a few glitches, production though is going ahead

 https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/1/13/18180790/hybrid-air-vehicles-flying-bum-airlander-10-airship

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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2019, 01:04:09 pm »

A viable option for a post-oil world? If enough development is done in areas of fuel and safety now, the airship will be ready! Grin
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2019, 06:55:37 pm »

Hmm, let's see... For on-board generation of electricity I'd go for hydrogen fuel cells (so long as the hydrogen is dissociated from water using renewable sources). For propulsion, I wonder if you could use a scaled-up version of Dyson's bladeless fans?

Yours,
Miranda.

Edit: I've just seen this - https://www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/news/airlander-takes-step-toward-electric-propulsion
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 07:46:19 pm by Miranda.T » Logged
Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 05:39:32 pm »


 How soon will hybrid  airship  be a common feature in our skies ?  Is the world ready?   Will freight trains and helicopters soon be articles from the past?
 
http://youtu.be/wPRCX7CMJqI
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 05:50:56 pm »

Hmm, let's see... For on-board generation of electricity I'd go for hydrogen fuel cells (so long as the hydrogen is dissociated from water using renewable sources). For propulsion, I wonder if you could use a scaled-up version of Dyson's bladeless fans?

Yours,
Miranda.

Edit: I've just seen this - https://www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/news/airlander-takes-step-toward-electric-propulsion


 Having a browse on YouTube, I noted  that the Arab countries are promoting hybrid  airship use. The fossil fuel corporates have been investigating  renewable energy , in order to catch the wave of alternative fuels. It stands to reason that the Arab Emirates  are at the fore front of airship development.  Your dream Dear Miranda, is about to come through


 http://youtu.be/B3b0Hr69hqU

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Prof Marvel
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it


« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2019, 02:32:35 am »

.... For propulsion, I wonder if you could use a scaled-up version of Dyson's bladeless fans?

Yours,
Miranda.

Unfortunately, whilst the Dyson toys look like amnazing technology magic, they are neither bladelss nor particularly quiet...
"There are blades in the fan -- you just can't see them because they're hidden in the pedestal. A motor rotates nine asymmetrically
aligned blades to pull air into the device. According to Dyson, these blades can pull in up to 5.28 gallons (about 20 liters) of air per second.

The air flows through a channel in the pedestal up to the tube, which is hollow. The interior of the tube acts like a ramp. Air flows along the ramp,
which curves around and ends in slits in the back of the fan. Then, the air flows along the surface of the inside of the tube and out toward the front of the fan. "

In order to mitigate the incredible noise in the original, Dyson incorporated Helmholz cavities in the 2nd gen models...

Whilke I am in lovewith the concept  until someone overcomes the problems with groundwind, Lighter Than Air craft will have .... issues ....   with launching, landing, loading and unloading...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/worlds-longest-aircraft-airlander-10-collapses-in-uk
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/19/worlds-largest-aircraft-crashes-bedfordshire-injuring-member/

yhs
prof marvel
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Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand



« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2019, 03:03:59 am »

.... For propulsion, I wonder if you could use a scaled-up version of Dyson's bladeless fans?

Yours,
Miranda.

Unfortunately, whilst the Dyson toys look like amnazing technology magic, they are neither bladelss nor particularly quiet...
"There are blades in the fan -- you just can't see them because they're hidden in the pedestal. A motor rotates nine asymmetrically
aligned blades to pull air into the device. According to Dyson, these blades can pull in up to 5.28 gallons (about 20 liters) of air per second.

The air flows through a channel in the pedestal up to the tube, which is hollow. The interior of the tube acts like a ramp. Air flows along the ramp,
which curves around and ends in slits in the back of the fan. Then, the air flows along the surface of the inside of the tube and out toward the front of the fan. "

In order to mitigate the incredible noise in the original, Dyson incorporated Helmholz cavities in the 2nd gen models...

Whilke I am in lovewith the concept  until someone overcomes the problems with groundwind, Lighter Than Air craft will have .... issues ....   with launching, landing, loading and unloading...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/18/worlds-longest-aircraft-airlander-10-collapses-in-uk
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/19/worlds-largest-aircraft-crashes-bedfordshire-injuring-member/

yhs
prof marvel



 Many of those concerns are being over come.  The " Bum" was a prototype.  There are other designs being tested.  The future is here

https://youtu.be/7i-pKuJThHA
https://youtu.be/owwDZEQ7ryc
 https://youtu.be/Ix8KP3lU3Sw
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