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(BBC-US)   This re-blimpening of America has nothing to do with your waistline   (bbc.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Akron, Ohio, new generation of airships, Airship, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Moffett Federal Airfield, first half of the 20th Century, Goodyear Airdock, Sergey Brin  
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1671 clicks; posted to STEM » on 26 Jun 2022 at 11:26 AM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-06-26 11:42:33 AM  
I have an airship tattoo so I'm getting a kick out of this article.
 
2022-06-26 11:46:18 AM  

baronbloodbath: I have an airship tattoo so I'm getting a kick out of this article.


So does your mom, and it's 1:1 scale!

/Airships are honestly pretty cool
 
2022-06-26 12:19:50 PM  
Autonomous airships seem a hell of a lot safer than autonomous trucks on our roads... so long as they are programed to fail gracefully and/or there is infrastructure to hand them off to human operators.  Figuring out the logistics of avoiding bad weather and what they should do if somehow caught by surprise could be interesting, and I doubt anyone's going to want giant floating mass-bombs hovering over dense populated areas, so this is for transport between rurally-located hubs.  And loading and unloading are issues, unless they're designed to pick up a standard container.

You know what?  It occurs to me there's more than one reason blimps never made a comeback despite repeated attempts.
 
2022-06-26 12:22:57 PM  
preview.redd.itView Full Size
 
2022-06-26 12:28:54 PM  
Butt blimp
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-26 12:29:35 PM  
Captain Beefheart - The Blimp (mousetrapreplica)
Youtube MpA4XpnnI_U
 
Xai
2022-06-26 12:30:48 PM  
Honestly this just seems like it's way too unreliable for most industries or applications but perhaps there are some applications i haven't considered.
 
2022-06-26 12:42:37 PM  
Everybody Needs To Get A Blimp : animated music video : MrWeebl
Youtube ik9WEW2o8FA


This is actually pretty cool news. The equivalent of passenger train service in terms of speed, and can land in the space of a wal-mart parking lot with minimal added infrastructure.
 
2022-06-26 12:48:35 PM  

Xai: Honestly this just seems like it's way too unreliable for most industries or applications but perhaps there are some applications i haven't considered.


It's got to be pretty fuel-efficient if you could boost a container to a reliable trade wind and have it carried around the globe for you while the tracking and fine controls were powered mainly by solar power.  Of course, you'd need your origin and destination to be in convenient proximity to reliable wind and you'd have to be pretty patient.

I'm no expert, but the oceans do seem to have some large circular pattern trade winds connecting the shores of the continents.  Might make a decent alternative to container ships.
 
2022-06-26 12:49:06 PM  

maxheck: [YouTube video: Everybody Needs To Get A Blimp : animated music video : MrWeebl]

This is actually pretty cool news. The equivalent of passenger train service in terms of speed, and can land in the space of a wal-mart parking lot with minimal added infrastructure.


It seems like a lot of great advancements make this entirely feasible. Autonomous blimps make so much more sense
 
2022-06-26 12:53:12 PM  
I've been reading about the airship revolution just about to get here since I was a kid. I don't think I'd invest anything in it I couldn't afford to just straight up lose.
 
2022-06-26 12:56:15 PM  
Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.
 
2022-06-26 1:25:17 PM  

ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.


I don't think they use helium.
 
2022-06-26 1:36:38 PM  

fastfxr: ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.

I don't think they use helium.


The alternative, using hydrogen, is less than optimal.
 
2022-06-26 1:38:25 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Autonomous airships seem a hell of a lot safer than autonomous trucks on our roads... so long as they are programed to fail gracefully and/or there is infrastructure to hand them off to human operators.  Figuring out the logistics of avoiding bad weather and what they should do if somehow caught by surprise could be interesting, and I doubt anyone's going to want giant floating mass-bombs hovering over dense populated areas, so this is for transport between rurally-located hubs.  And loading and unloading are issues, unless they're designed to pick up a standard container.

You know what?  It occurs to me there's more than one reason blimps never made a comeback despite repeated attempts.


Grepping autonomous returns nothing, presumably the operating expenses are high enough that there is no reason not to pay (and train) a pilot to fly the thing (they do mention pilot training).  They also mention that you don't sink when the engine is off.  But you *do* drift, presumably east.  Not sure what kind of cargo you really need to deliver where there aren't any roads.

Somehow I suspect Sergei's real plan is to make his own personal zeppelin, because yachts are played out.
 
2022-06-26 1:46:13 PM  

ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.


Ever seen a natural gas flare? There's usually a lot of helium in it. There's plenty of helium and always will be as long as there are alpha-radiating elements in the earth, it's just not profitable to collect it. Re-price it and we will suddenly have a glut.
 
2022-06-26 1:49:20 PM  

Unsung_Hero: I'm no expert, but the oceans do seem to have some large circular pattern trade winds connecting the shores of the continents.  Might make a decent alternative to container ships.


It would be better to use container ships with sails for most of the propulsion, or to supplement propulsion. If circular trade winds have a good pattern connecting locations, we should have some high-tech sails like kites that can be deployed to propel the ship for most of the trip.
 
2022-06-26 1:50:16 PM  

ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.


They should go all-in and use hydrogen as the lifting gas. Certainly we can overcome the problems of the Hindenburg.
 
2022-06-26 1:50:37 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: Unsung_Hero: Autonomous airships seem a hell of a lot safer than autonomous trucks on our roads... so long as they are programed to fail gracefully and/or there is infrastructure to hand them off to human operators.  Figuring out the logistics of avoiding bad weather and what they should do if somehow caught by surprise could be interesting, and I doubt anyone's going to want giant floating mass-bombs hovering over dense populated areas, so this is for transport between rurally-located hubs.  And loading and unloading are issues, unless they're designed to pick up a standard container.

You know what?  It occurs to me there's more than one reason blimps never made a comeback despite repeated attempts.

Grepping autonomous returns nothing, presumably the operating expenses are high enough that there is no reason not to pay (and train) a pilot to fly the thing (they do mention pilot training).  They also mention that you don't sink when the engine is off.  But you *do* drift, presumably east.  Not sure what kind of cargo you really need to deliver where there aren't any roads.

Somehow I suspect Sergei's real plan is to make his own personal zeppelin, because yachts are played out.


Anywhere under-served by rail would benefit.
 
2022-06-26 1:52:15 PM  

maxheck: There's plenty of helium and always will be


It's a non-renewable resource and is diminishing on Earth.
 
2022-06-26 1:59:26 PM  

maxheck: ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.

Ever seen a natural gas flare? There's usually a lot of helium in it. There's plenty of helium and always will be as long as there are alpha-radiating elements in the earth, it's just not profitable to collect it. Re-price it and we will suddenly have a glut.


A glut of helium? Are you mad?

You say this as if helium is the second-most abundant element in the universe.
 
2022-06-26 2:28:52 PM  
Doesn't matter how much high tech you throw at it the fundamental flaw of airships is the weather. They suffer more losses due to wind tearing them apart or blowing them into things when landing.(Including the ground)
Airlander crash lands after second flight
Youtube pvRTC5ISYgQ
 
2022-06-26 2:33:42 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-26 2:36:11 PM  
From what I can find in my very limited intertube search, airships max out around 70 mph. I don't think people are going to pay to travel that slow when almost every alternative is capable of much faster travel.

The one thing airships can do better than almost any other aircraft is loitering so they still have potential.

Unsung_Hero: Autonomous airships seem a hell of a lot safer than autonomous trucks on our roads.


According to Wikipedia, the largest airship ever made was the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. It had a usable payload of 15,000 kg (33,000 lb) on a 10,000 km (6,200 mi; 5,400 nmi) flight (so usable payload could go up for shorter journeys by carrying less fuel). The maximum gross weight of a shipping container cannot exceed 67,200 lbs. So my guesstimate is a really big modern airship would be able to carry roughly the same as a big-rig truck but would be slower and more expensive to purchase and operate.
 
2022-06-26 2:46:18 PM  

Obscene_CNN: Doesn't matter how much high tech you throw at it the fundamental flaw of airships is the weather. They suffer more losses due to wind tearing them apart or blowing them into things when landing.(Including the ground)
[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/pvRTC5ISYgQ?autoplay=1&widget_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&start=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&widgetid=1]


"Everyone can borrow my head."

Cool; I have a seance coming up.
 
2022-06-26 2:47:00 PM  
Let us hasten the re-blimpening of our dying earth!


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-26 3:01:35 PM  
i.pinimg.comView Full Size


/oblig
 
2022-06-26 3:18:58 PM  

Befuddled: According to Wikipedia, the largest airship ever made was the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. It had a usable payload of 15,000 kg (33,000 lb) on a 10,000 km (6,200 mi; 5,400 nmi) flight (so usable payload could go up for shorter journeys by carrying less fuel).


Presumably we can now build airships out of modern materials (carbon fiber instead of metal) that would increase the usable payload.
 
2022-06-26 3:19:56 PM  

maxheck: ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.

Ever seen a natural gas flare? There's usually a lot of helium in it. There's plenty of helium and always will be as long as there are alpha-radiating elements in the earth, it's just not profitable to collect it. Re-price it and we will suddenly have a glut.


Yes, I have seen those flares. That's helium which is no longer available for easy extraction in the future, and the emissions should be taxed accordingly (in addition to the carbon tax). Those alpha emitters do not replenish reservoirs on a human timescale. U-238 has a half life of 4.5 billion years. 

It is possible to extract helium from the atmosphere but it's inefficient because you're starting from a very low concentration. Leave it in the ground because humanity will need it later. There are no other options for certain scientific applications. Use hydrogen if you need a lifting gas. We've learned a lot about safe handling methods since the "oh the humanity" days.
 
2022-06-26 3:37:03 PM  

Whack-a-Mole: Butt blimp
[Fark user image image 425x283]


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-26 3:38:49 PM  

Befuddled: The one thing airships can do better than almost any other aircraft is loitering so they still have potential.


Yep. As someone who has worked with wireless Internet, I always dreamed of just floating an access point up on a balloon.

Oh look:

https://www.mathworks.com/company/mathworks-stories/autonomous-blimp-beams-mobile-internet-and-cell-signals.html

One blimp can replace 15 cell towers.
 
2022-06-26 3:38:54 PM  

Xai: Honestly this just seems like it's way too unreliable for most industries or applications but perhaps there are some applications i haven't considered.


By unreliable I'm assuming you mean slow
 
2022-06-26 3:49:43 PM  

Ivo Shandor: Those alpha emitters do not replenish reservoirs on a human timescale.


Neither does petroleum, but helium's been at it for a lot longer.

When people talk about a helium shortage, they're talking about a shortage of helium that is *cheap*, not that we can't meet demand.
 
2022-06-26 4:27:29 PM  

ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.


As opposed to the infinite supply of natural crude oil we currently use for the same air-transportation tasks?
 
2022-06-26 5:07:47 PM  
I've been hearing about a new generation of airships coming soon since at least the late 80s so I'm very skeptical.
 
2022-06-26 5:10:28 PM  

clkeagle: ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.

As opposed to the infinite supply of natural crude oil we currently use for the same air-transportation tasks?


Actually yes, because there are other ways to power those flights. Biofuels, synthetic fuels from atmospheric CO2 capture, liquid hydrogen (either burned directly or put through a fuel cell to power electric motors), etc. Helium has unique physical properties (e.g. boiling point of 4K, superfluidity) which can not be replaced with any other substance.
 
2022-06-26 5:19:41 PM  
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2022-06-26 5:22:33 PM  

mrmopar5287: Befuddled: According to Wikipedia, the largest airship ever made was the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. It had a usable payload of 15,000 kg (33,000 lb) on a 10,000 km (6,200 mi; 5,400 nmi) flight (so usable payload could go up for shorter journeys by carrying less fuel).

Presumably we can now build airships out of modern materials (carbon fiber instead of metal) that would increase the usable payload.


Even with modern materials it takes a lot of capacity to lift even a single standard shipping container. Airships have uses, but for mass transportation of things they aren't practical. A normal tractor trailer can haul about 40-50K pounds of cargo and don't have as many weather restrictions or difficulties. They likely even would get similar fuel mileage if it's a modern tractor and trailer.

If you could science fiction a way to float all the cargo without needing a huge gas bag that would be wonderful. But, the sheer size of the lifting body to carry that much weight makes them not a really good idea.
 
2022-06-26 5:28:08 PM  

Mouser: fastfxr: ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.

I don't think they use helium.

The alternative, using hydrogen, is less than optimal.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-26 5:39:43 PM  
I get my blimps above the waistline, sunshine.
 
2022-06-26 5:42:34 PM  

Unscratchable_Itch: I've been hearing about a new generation of airships coming soon since at least the late 80s so I'm very skeptical.


People dream, engineers design, investors invest, and then someone has the bright idea to have someone run the numbers and do the market research at which point they find out blimps are less efficient than existing transport methods and the enterprise falls apart until the next convincing dreamer pops up to start the cycle over again.
 
2022-06-26 5:45:58 PM  

NBSV: If you could science fiction a way to float all the cargo without needing a huge gas bag that would be wonderful. But, the sheer size of the lifting body to carry that much weight makes them not a really good idea.


Oh, I totally agree.

I did a lot of research into Zeppelins because my great-grandfather was a fairly wealthy industrialist in Berlin in the 1930s. His company made pressure cookers and other steel ware that was on display at the "Century of Progress" in Chicago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Century_of_Progress

He supposedly wanted to book passage on a Zeppelin across the Atlantic but found they were sold out. He was a man who was always fascinated with technology and wanted to have or try "the latest things" and apparently he was wealthy enough to book a ticket on a trans-atlantic air ship.

Anyways, the Zeppelins existed as a form of travel for the wealthy when airline travel was dangerous or impossible to go some places. The Boeing 314 Clipper hadn't yet been invented so there wasn't reliable air travel across oceans. Everyone traveled on ocean liners and the wealthiest people could get a ticket on a Zeppelin and travel in some form of luxury. You got to have a sleeping cabin for multiple nights, a lounge and dining room where good meals were served prepared by on-board chefs, and even a smoking lounge. You could send messages via wireless telegraph to conduct business or correspondence with family via telegram.

I was always amazed that the crew of these airships was about double the count of passengers. The number of crew that it took to operate Zeppelins was huge as you needed officers, engineering staff (to maintain and operate engines), regular maintenance and deckhands for stuff like flight controls and helping with mooring tasks, and then a purser and other crew to look after passengers. The kitchen required a chef and assistants, and then waiters if they weren't the same crew as doing other tasks. Crew accommodations were basically hammocks strung along walkways above the passenger compartment, in the engineering backbone of the Zeppelins where the crew could transit between lifting gas cells. It was certainly sparse and crew was either on duty or sleeping. You were there for days of the trip so your hygiene was basically a towel bath from a sink or bucket.

Still, all this was a huge investment that only benefitted and paid off for the wealthy in the world. It just wasn't available to regular people and still isn't.
 
2022-06-26 5:48:37 PM  

Unsung_Hero: People dream, engineers design, investors invest, and then someone has the bright idea to have someone run the numbers and do the market research at which point they find out blimps are less efficient than existing transport methods and the enterprise falls apart until the next convincing dreamer pops up to start the cycle over again.


It's always some sales pitch about how cargo can be transported somewhere and it's a better use of resources, less greenhouse gas emissions, blah blah. All this has to ignore the massive transportation networks that already exist and compete at low prices, and they have the ability to get goods somewhere pretty fast.
 
2022-06-26 5:56:09 PM  

chitownmike: Mouser: fastfxr: ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.

I don't think they use helium.

The alternative, using hydrogen, is less than optimal.

[Fark user image 425x347]


Goodyear?
 
2022-06-26 6:25:35 PM  

Tom Marvolo Bombadil: [encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com image 339x149]


I'd rather fly on an uncut blimp then a cut one. I mean really nip the tip is not what you want to hear when your high up in the air.
 
2022-06-26 6:38:25 PM  

EvilEgg: [i.pinimg.com image 500x282]

/oblig


tyty, came in here for ^^^this!

Archer Does Not Understand Blimps
Youtube KsjQZ2eXTxE
 
2022-06-26 6:42:56 PM  

maxheck: Ivo Shandor: Those alpha emitters do not replenish reservoirs on a human timescale.

Neither does petroleum, but helium's been at it for a lot longer.

When people talk about a helium shortage, they're talking about a shortage of helium that is *cheap*, not that we can't meet demand.


isn't He one of the few (only?) elements that can escape the atmosphere? plus afaik there are literally zero ways of synthesizing it.

/best get to mining the moon or whatever
 
2022-06-26 6:48:49 PM  

King Something: maxheck: ImpendingCynic: Stop farking wasting helium we can't replace.

Ever seen a natural gas flare? There's usually a lot of helium in it. There's plenty of helium and always will be as long as there are alpha-radiating elements in the earth, it's just not profitable to collect it. Re-price it and we will suddenly have a glut.

A glut of helium? Are you mad?

You say this as if helium is the second-most abundant element in the universe.


Working conditions in the Solar helium mines are rather hot.  No one wants that job.
 
2022-06-26 6:53:00 PM  
I've been reading articles since the 1990s about how airships are about to make a comeback for transporting goods...
 
2022-06-26 7:32:31 PM  
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