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Civilian Airships Watch 2017

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posted on May, 16 2017 @ 02:07 PM
There are a couple announcements. I suppose each could be their own thread. But I have an idea…


Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company that made Airlander 10 airship (given the entirely British nickname, “the flying bum” due the shape of the craft resembling a part of the human anatomy. I guess it also closely related to, “The flying nun,” too!).

On August 24, 2016, on its second test flight the “flying bum” crashed nose first into a field after a 100 minute flight. The cockpit was damaged and needed repairing. No crew was hurt but…

The flight deck's instrument panels, overhead console, and associated wiring had to be reinstalled.

(source below)

Which meant it had to be deflated, taken off, fixed, tested, reattached, then tested again. They also attached retractable “air pods” to help protect the cockpit in the event of another “hard landing.” The inflated Airlander 10 was still in a hanger when this was reported back in February, 2017. In April, HAV reported that they would resume test flights in May. They also announced that they created a “Mobile Moring Mast” to assist the ground crew when landing. They also said they put the crew through more training.

HAV said they had done a root cause analysis (RCA) but have not shared all the details. The reports have speculated the airship came in too fast from too high an altitude (i.e., pilot error) but without the RCA details there are still unknowns.

[On] May 11, 2017[,] Wednesday evening Airlander 10 completed its first flight since the giant dirigible crash-landed nine months ago. The airship took off at 5:28pm, puttered around for almost three hours, and successfully landed at 8:15pm. …

The new auxiliary landing system… worked perfectly.

HAV says that [the] successful flight recommences Airlander 10's three-phase flight test programme. For now, Airlander 10 isn't allowed to ascend beyond 4,000 feet or travel more than 15 miles from its hangar in Bedfordshire. As it progresses through the test programme it'll be allowed to travel farther and higher and stay airborne for longer. In theory, Airlander 10 can hang around for a few days. [Five days in most reports], May 11, 2017 – Airlander 10, world’s largest aircraft, takes to the skies

Cool beans!

But wait. There’s more.


posted on May, 16 2017 @ 02:08 PM
Update: Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airship – LMH1

Lockheed Martin is currently assembling the first 15 of its LMH-1 hybrid aircraft — so called because they generate lift with both a lighter-than-air helium envelope and aerodynamic surfaces — at a plant in California, with the earliest expected off the line in 2018 or 2019.

With vertical take-off and landing, the airship will be able to carry cargos up to roughly 47,000 pounds without requiring a runway. Moving at a top speed of 65 miles per hour, [Ron] Hyde [PRL Logistics CEO] said the craft is best thought of as “not a slow plane, but a fast boat.”

The hangar Hyde plans to build at PRL’s Kenai center is also in the conceptual stage. In a presentation to the Kenai City Council on April 19, he estimated its cost as $10 million…

“It depends who’s piled on to that number,” Hyde said. “If you take Lockheed Martin, maybe they want to have a simulator, or the ability to completely rebuild the entire engine, or maybe they want to do a lot of things locally rather than waiting for parts to come in from LA.

Hyde said putting the airship near a busy airport like Anchorage’s would be “the worst thing we could do.”

“We knew that putting it at any airport was not a good option, because it flies so slow,” Hyde said. “And the whole purpose of the ship is not to be restricted to a commercial airport.”, May 14, 2017 - Kenai airport commission hears further details of PRL airship.

So that is what’s up in the AK! It makes sense, now, about having a slow moving airship around 400 mph jets coming and going. Dang! Maybe they will come and land down at the port! The article mentions extending a line of the Alaska Railroad to the hangar. It also mentions using the LMH1 for emergency situations as well as oil companies. It is still all up in the air but it is cool to find out that Lockheed already has enough of an order to build 15 hybrid airships and PRL Logistics is serious about their commitment to Alaska.

Also glad to see the Airlander 10 up and flying around.

edit on 16-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: under constructon

posted on May, 16 2017 @ 02:09 PM
Some ATS threads on helium and airships last year alone:

Aircraft Projects, 2016: Lockheed’s airship gets the green light.

Pictures and video of Airlander10, LOL. But the story is Lockheed’s hybrid airship order from Straightline Aviation, for which Ron Hyde, quoted above, works.

Aircraft Projects, 2016: world's biggest airship crasch.

Minimalist thread with spelling mistake! I’ve tagged on a bunch of posts. There was another thread made on the crash but that did not have as many responses.

Science & Technology, 2016: Amazon Files Patent for Flying Warehouse .

Kind of self-explanatory.

Science & Technology, 2016 (mine): Huge helium discovery 'a life-saving find' .

This announcement is where Lockheed ties the knot, so to speak, on a source for their airships.

Aircraft Projects, 2016: Lockheed: No Roads, No Problem.

Hybrid airship promo video. Has a cool video of the automated skin-hole finders called “spiders” towards the end.


Those are from the last year. As I said, having one thread of these announcements keeps from having to track all these down. Some do deserve their own thread, I'm just suggesting a platform for the smaller announcements and smaller news items like nobody out there reads the Kenai newspaper for news on Lockheed, right?

So my idea is to create a “watch” thread on airship developments! Good idea??

As with other "watch" threads, the OP leaves the thread open to all (does not moderate the thread). I can answer some questions but there are others here on this forum who are far more knowledgeable!

Since this will take some time (airships flying around loose in the world), please feel free to tag on any other airship news to this thread. And of course comments, discussion, etc., are welcome!

edit on 16-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: finished constructon

posted on May, 16 2017 @ 02:50 PM
Great thread. I think I dream of a world with quiet airships milling about and replacing lorries. I wonder how much of that is a fantasy?
edit on 16/5/2017 by paraphi because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 16 2017 @ 03:14 PM
a reply to: paraphi

A dynastat is a hybrid airship with fixed wings and/or a lifting body and is typically intended for long-endurance flights. It requires forward flight to create the aerodynamic lift component.

Wikipedia - Hybrid Airship.

But the name also applies to designs like Lockheed's where the ship's shape contains an airfoil design to provide lift in addition to the blimp-like helium bladders.

There are currently 3 companies going through the paces to get hybrid airships back up. In addition to Lockheed Martin, Hybrid Air Vehicles, there is an Australian company making one called SkyLifter. I can't remember if there is another one that is also being drawn up or not.

They are on their way! It is just going to take a bit of time; a year or two, which is the reason for the thread--to keep tabs on developments.

ETA: The other company I was thinking of is Aeros which has been providing aerostats to the government but has a civilian one called Dragon Dream. I'm not sure what is up with that one
edit on 16-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: remembered the one I could not remember earlier

posted on May, 16 2017 @ 03:50 PM


Unlike other airships, the Aeroscraft is the only air vehicle designed with the patent-pending control of static heaviness system that controls the vehicle's buoyancy to be heavier-than-air during ground operations or lighter-than-air during flight, acting as a “flying submarine.” The control of static heaviness system internally ballasts the non-flammable helium into the aircraft’s helium pressure envelopes (HPEs). - Aeros homepage.

Went to their website. They are the ones that pump helium into the ship when taking off. When they land and/or unload they employ this system called COSH. Control of Static Heaviness (COSH), is their tech where they recompress helium into a tank and try to maintain level buoyancy without having to carry around ballast.

Like a "flying submarine"!! lol

Popular Mechanics article explaining COSH: This Is What's Inside an Airship.
edit on 16-5-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: beCOSH its cool!

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