Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Stamford Advocate)   US Military and NASA testing new rigid airship prototype, expect it to be ready to take on the Kaiser sometime in 1918   (stamfordadvocate.com) divider line 30
    More: Strange, Kaiser, airships, NASA, psychological testing, flab, blimps, Tustin, hangars  
•       •       •

7142 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Jan 2013 at 3:22 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2013-01-31 03:44:31 AM  
3 votes:
sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net

I await my commission.
2013-01-31 08:09:43 AM  
2 votes:

Enigmamf: Ostman: I might be missing something major in the article (more than likely), but the lead designer kept repeating how this was a big step forward in aviation, particularly that it can hover a dozen feet off the ground.

Didn't we have trans-Atlantic crossings with airships already? Is this something to do with the skeleton of airship, or the fact helium makes it float? Genuinely interested as to why this is being touted as a big step forward.

As I imagine it, although dirigibles are much much slower, they should be able to move a given mass with much less energy, since the work of lift is performed by buoyancy. It's kind of like a form of anti-gravity.




This. Contrary to what the article is claiming, this is less about moving cargo to areas without runways, and MUCH MUCH MUCH more about moving cargo via air, while using using much less fuel.

Petrochemicals WILL become prohibitively expensive within a generation or two. This is NASA and the military planning ahead, but not wanting to tell you exactly why they are doing what they are doing.

"We're soooo excited about our advancement!!!! but our article is going to come off as being silly because I cant actually talk about the real reason its an advancement!"

What a world.
2013-01-31 01:09:31 AM  
2 votes:
Oh the huge capacity!
2013-01-31 01:23:26 PM  
1 votes:

The Irresponsible Captain: [images2.wikia.nocookie.net image 480x329]

A childhood dream.


I am Don Karnage!

Actually, I wanted Balou's flying ability and Wildcats mechanical ability.
2013-01-31 12:12:43 PM  
1 votes:
What people missed about the system, which I think even the article's writer did not understand was the buoyancy control system.We've had rigid airships for a century. We've used helium before. Lockheed even used a lifting body a few decades ago.The problem has been the fact that you have enough gas to lift 60tons of material and then you remove the 60 tons of weight and now you have 60 tons of lift. They tried mooring masts, people pulling on ropes, water ballast, and a vacuum suction. None worked effectively with a major infrastructure. If this guy has solved it then that is a huge step forward.As for speed of cargo, these things should be compared to ships but they can deliver directly to inland ports without the wasted time of unloading and reloading to a train. It also does not require the use of rail infrastructure.As for being a target in a war zone, we currently have many blimps and LTA vehicles in Afghanistan doing quite well. You can't shoot them out of the sky since they are low pressure and don't pop like a balloon. Maybe a small hole that would take weeks to deflate giving them time to make it home and repair it.I do find it annoying though that people look at air disasters of the 30's and wonder why we are still trying on this product. Have you ever looked at the number of Jet aircraft disasters that happened in the 70's?
2013-01-31 09:46:01 AM  
1 votes:
Exciting news. Airships are useful for more than just advertising tires above football games. They have several competitive advantages over heavier-than-air craft.

First, they use a lot less fuel because the craft does not have to fight gravity every moment to stay aloft. They have no minimum speed and do not stall. This is important for military uses because an airship can stay aloft for weeks with enough provisions and fuel. That means you can park them in areas that need to be monitored and keep an eye on everything for a very long time. That provides much better coverage than satellites that can only fly over every 90 minutes or drones that must return to base.

Also, they are not as slow as you'd think. The LZ Graf Zeppelin could move at 80mph, which is a pretty good clip when you've got no traffic to worry about and you can fly straight-line shots. If we are talking about getting these to disaster relief areas, the time frames are not terrible. If you had airships in Akron, for example, you could have flown them down to New Orleans in about 14 hours if you could match the 1930s-era speeds of the German airships. That beats everything except fixed-wing planes, which cannot hover and need airstrips to land. I don't think disaster relief is a reason to build them, but it's important to consider. More likely, these could haul timber out of the wilderness and move mining and drilling equipment into it, without any roads needing to be built.

We've got to remember that rigid-body airships (dirigibles and not soft, doughy blimps) stopped being innovated on after about 1940 or so. All of our information about their maneuverability is based on using giant diesel engines that couldn't gimble and relying on weather reports that even lacked radar. These machines were pretty nimble; I mean, things like this, the Graf Zeppelin meeting with an arctic trawler, actually happened:

www.cowanauctions.com

The need for helium is troubling; I don't like that we have to use it. I also don't like that it's a strategic resource that we just put in party balloons for kicks. You can cheat a little bit by adding in about 5% hydrogen to the mix without it becoming flammable, which can cut down on costs and improve lift. The joke about needing space-age Mylar is understandable when you realize that helium atoms are tiny and have a habit of getting out of anything you put them in. Before Goodyear developed a helium-impermeable synthetic skin in the 30s, they were using goldbeater's skin - which is a membrane found in the intestines of calves. They needed 8,000+ skins per envelope. If you're using helium, it's crucial to have an envelope that won't let your helium float away. It's also essential to run compressors to store pressurized helium or install water-recapture systems instead of just opening the vents, the way the Germans did with hydrogen.

You could even construct an all-hydrogen lifting envelope if you wanted to. The Hindenburg disaster was the only hydrogen-involved disaster and it was most likely caused by the aluminum-doped skin. What I remind people who bring up that tragedy is that two thirds of the passengers on that craft not only lived, but walked away. We routinely lose airplanes with all hands lost, but the Hindenburg was much less fatal than a typical air crash. A failure on an airship that doesn't involve catastrophic, immediate and total combustion of the envelope results in a rapid, but not deadly, drop to the ground. An airplane that loses a wing will crash and kill everyone. A zeppelin that loses half of its envelope will fall at much slower speeds. I could especially see hydrogen lifting unmanned airships.
2013-01-31 08:58:59 AM  
1 votes:

way south: The fatal flaw in airships wasn't the hydrogen (Germans made that mistake because they couldn't get enough Helium), it was their vulnerability to wind and weather. They just kept crashing.
These things handle worse than a greased pig on ice.
The idea here is to make an airship that can be controlled.

/I wish them the best of luck, but I don't see it happening.


Well, it was the 1930s, when weather forecasting was about two steps up from fortune-telling and your onboard warning systems consisted of gobs in leather helmets with signal flags and (just maybe) a phone.

I figure if they can make a space shuttle that only burns up in midair every 100-plus missions despite traveling 18,000 mph, they can make a reasonably weatherproof rigid airship. All it takes is a space-shuttle-sized budget.

/which I don't see happening
2013-01-31 08:41:05 AM  
1 votes:

Radioactive Ass: That hasn't been done before with helium.


dl.dropbox.com

It has, just not as a lifting body/hybrid thing.
The fatal flaw in airships wasn't the hydrogen (Germans made that mistake because they couldn't get enough Helium), it was their vulnerability to wind and weather. They just kept crashing.
These things handle worse than a greased pig on ice.
The idea here is to make an airship that can be controlled.

/I wish them the best of luck, but I don't see it happening.
2013-01-31 08:15:55 AM  
1 votes:
Conceptually, if it's cheaper, I'm all for it.  I'm not sure it will be - probably sits as a middle ground usage between ocean freight and air freight.  One's slow and cheap, one's fast and expensive.  However, lots of stuff might work a bit better if the airship could bypass ports and take larger amounts of cargo right to where it's needed (or much closer).

I also do see a luxury use.  As much as Archer poked holes in it, there might be a market for transAtlantic or transPacific flights by rigid airship.
2013-01-31 08:04:51 AM  
1 votes:
The "Big Deal" is that this is a rigid airship that uses helium instead of hydrogen. Rigid ships can spread the load over the entire airframe so that you can actually carry some weight without either tearing the skin or pinching it in making it impossible to control. That hasn't been done before with helium. If it works out the main benefits are in moving a large amount of weight for pennies on the dollar and a small fraction of the pollution created compared to using conventional cargo aircraft. It wouldn't be a good idea to use it in a combat zone but moving gear into a rear supply area for more conventional transport methods in the last leg or as mentioned in TFA to get supplies into disaster zones where other methods are unsafe or just plain impossible (remember the Haiti earthquake where they couldn't get much of anything in for a couple of months because what little infrastructure that they had was completely wrecked?) are the type of jobs this type of craft could do well and inexpensively.
2013-01-31 08:03:57 AM  
1 votes:

BronyMedic: And I don't normally fly on the Hindenburg 2.0.

[media.avclub.com image 608x342]


What part of inflammable aren't you getting?

Obviously the core concept, Lana.
2013-01-31 07:53:45 AM  
1 votes:
images2.wikia.nocookie.net

Unavailable for comment.

/airships
2013-01-31 07:35:43 AM  
1 votes:

SpdrJay: So we're moving ever further into a steampunk dystopia.


Dadoody:
data.whicdn.com

...

i2.kym-cdn.com
2013-01-31 07:26:28 AM  
1 votes:

fusillade762: You could take this vehicle and go to destinations that have been destroyed, where there's no ports, no runways, stuff like that.

How is that idea better than this?

[www.nh-global.com image 329x500]

Especially considering how long it would take an airship to even reach a disaster zone.


Size, weight, and quantity of what can be dropped.
In theory you could move some truly massive equipment into the boonies and offload it by ramp. That increases the kinds of missions you can do in places otherwise inaccessible.
Moving big stuff cheaply is usually a good thing.

/But being a large and lightweight aircraft, those places better not have a stiff breeze blowing.
/I remain unconvinced that this is an all weather platform.
2013-01-31 06:46:41 AM  
1 votes:
1.bp.blogspot.com

data.whicdn.com
2013-01-31 06:37:26 AM  
1 votes:

Enigmamf: Ostman:

Didn't we have trans-Atlantic crossings with airships already? Is this something to do with the skeleton of airship, or the fact helium makes it float? Genuinely interested as to why this is being touted as a big step forward.

As I imagine it, although dirigibles are much much slower, they should be able to move a given mass with much less energy, since the work of lift is performed by buoyancy. It's kind of like a form of anti-gravity.


But isn't that still similar to the technology we already had decades ago, and which was dismissed as either too slow, or not cost effective? The only difference is that they seem to be using modern materials.

What I'm trying to get at is why this a big step forward in aviation, when all it looks like is re-inventing the wheel?

/Oh, so if he's not Muslim he just gets a pass? That's a little thing called racial profiling, Lana, and I don't do it.
2013-01-31 04:37:13 AM  
1 votes:

F22raptom: who the farking fark would fund such a slot big piece of shiat?


Someone who wants to reduce the cost of shipping supplies half way around the world  You also have to consider the cool factor.
2013-01-31 04:36:33 AM  
1 votes:
Oh great I expect many reports of UFOs when this thing flies at night
2013-01-31 04:22:03 AM  
1 votes:

Ostman: I might be missing something major in the article (more than likely), but the lead designer kept repeating how this was a big step forward in aviation, particularly that it can hover a dozen feet off the ground.

Didn't we have trans-Atlantic crossings with airships already? Is this something to do with the skeleton of airship, or the fact helium makes it float? Genuinely interested as to why this is being touted as a big step forward.


As I imagine it, although dirigibles are much much slower, they should be able to move a given mass with much less energy, since the work of lift is performed by buoyancy. It's kind of like a form of anti-gravity.
2013-01-31 04:20:03 AM  
1 votes:
I might be missing something major in the article (more than likely), but the lead designer kept repeating how this was a big step forward in aviation, particularly that it can hover a dozen feet off the ground.

Didn't we have trans-Atlantic crossings with airships already? Is this something to do with the skeleton of airship, or the fact helium makes it float? Genuinely interested as to why this is being touted as a big step forward.

/First thing I thought of was Archer too.
2013-01-31 04:19:59 AM  
1 votes:

Ghastly: [sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net image 705x960]

I await my commission.


Probably the most normal Ghastly pic ever posted to Fark.
2013-01-31 04:00:46 AM  
1 votes:

miss diminutive: Hello Airplanes? Yeah, it's Blimps. You win.


Rigid airship!
2013-01-31 04:00:16 AM  
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: Ghastly: [sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net image 705x960]

I await my commission.

Great pic.

Not disturbing in the least.


i can't tell if you are trying to be sarcastic.. but you *ARE* right, it is a great picture.
2013-01-31 03:45:04 AM  
1 votes:
So cool.  High tech retro.
S23
2013-01-31 03:43:16 AM  
1 votes:
Aeros wants to build a full-size 450-foot-long vehicle that can carry 66 tons of payload.

M1 Abrams: Weight=67 tons
2013-01-31 03:42:39 AM  
1 votes:
The article's headline is "High-tech cargo airship being built in California," and it ends with "The prototype isn't intended to carry cargo," just so everyone is aware of how badly I want to slap everyone involved with this shiatty, horrible article.
2013-01-31 03:36:29 AM  
1 votes:
So we're moving ever further into a steampunk dystopia.
2013-01-31 02:29:55 AM  
1 votes:
Hello Airplanes? Yeah, it's Blimps. You win.
2013-01-31 02:05:46 AM  
1 votes:
You could take this vehicle and go to destinations that have been destroyed, where there's no ports, no runways, stuff like that.

How is that idea better than this?

www.nh-global.com

Especially considering how long it would take an airship to even reach a disaster zone.
2013-01-31 01:36:02 AM  
1 votes:
disfunctionaldiva.com
 
Displayed 30 of 30 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report