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Skunkworks secret Airship Revealed

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posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 06:12 PM
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Lockheed Skunkworks is one of 2 companies contracted to study the WALRUS concept, other one being Aeros.

An observer noticed skunkworks test flying there secretly built Airship, and snapped some pics.

Finally some real world progress, and not just rendering after rendering.


Its called P-791, the link below talks about it...but not in detail since Lockheed wont share any info...they didn't want people to know about it...probably because the dont want to give Aeros any ideas.

Lockheeds mini Walrus


another pic
another pic
another pic

[edit on 6-2-2006 by Murcielago]




posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 06:34 PM
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Wow! That's amazing, I just read an article in Pop Sci. today talking about the next giant airships and how they will be "Cruise Liners of the Sky". I had no idea a prototype had been built.

So from what I can see it seems to be a joined tri-hull aircraft with a total of 4 visible external motors. The four cushions on the bottom allow for the craft to take up less net space than an airliner on the tarmac because it needs no runway to take off. Essentially it takes off like a helicopter, up and down.

The article didnt' say but any chance the demsions are made public? Or what scale this is to what the full sized WALRUS would be?



posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 07:32 PM
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curious how many hits can one of these takes before it crashes or explodes?



posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 07:53 PM
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This would never get close enough to the action to recieve fire. It transports large loads to an large base. From there the load is split up and transported closer to the action by hercs or by themselves. That said airships are relatively resistant to hits. They don't just fall out of the sky, they gradually float down which allows the crew time to find a decent place to land. They're also filled with helium so they don't burn up like the hindenberg.

Can't wait to take Pacific cruise on one going from island to island

[edit on 6-2-2006 by dragon72]



posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 11:30 PM
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lol@how many hits can an airship take... 7 guys with blowguns could be a serious threat at low enough altitude. But as a theater transport and recon platform LTA (lighter than air vehicles) would be a major asset. Especially for a fuel strapped nation.



posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 11:48 PM
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That is... awesome. Great pictures.



posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 11:53 PM
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Originally posted by Sugarlump
lol@how many hits can an airship take... 7 guys with blowguns could be a serious threat at low enough altitude. But as a theater transport and recon platform LTA (lighter than air vehicles) would be a major asset. Especially for a fuel strapped nation.


Eh no, I'm pretty sure that modern aerostats use a cell design so even if one or two cells should be breached it would still have enough lift to land safely. Also modern day textiles will be used so even a handgun wouldn't be able to penetrate the hull of these things. Eventually they will look nothing like a conventional blimp when they start to incorporate ultra-lightweight nanocomposites for use in Vacuum filled aerostats which could be made into literally any shape (stealth anyone
) We are still a ways from that technology but it's closer then say a couple of decades so it's not that far away. You gotta start somewhere and for frieght and recon purposes this technology is perfect. Also no other aircraft can loiter in the stratosphere for months at a time either.

[edit on 6-2-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 11:56 PM
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Bravo M.

Awesome pics and info.



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 12:04 AM
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It's about time, I was wondering if they were ever gonna get to the physical testing phase.

I like this concept.
I just hope funding for it does'nt fall through, that would really suck.



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by Sugarlump
lol@how many hits can an airship take... 7 guys with blowguns could be a serious threat at low enough altitude. But as a theater transport and recon platform LTA (lighter than air vehicles) would be a major asset. Especially for a fuel strapped nation.


Actually, you couldn't be more wrong. These things can get quite a few holes in them and fly just fine.

Beyond that, as it was mentioned, the materials aren't like that of a balloon - they are solid, very strong materials and the gas is stored in cells, so that it could take hits and stay in the air.



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 01:09 AM
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Depeneding on the intended mission, you could easily construct at least the lower half of the outer skin from ballistic-restitant materials. You'd limit the payload and/or the operating ceiling, but ground fire would be of little to no concern.

The design presented would be very stable on-station. Of course, given so much surface area, you're trading speed and maneuverability (never the strong points for LTA's) for lift and/or longevity.

I must say though, the design somehow reminds me of a 1950's Buick ...sans the chrome!



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 09:15 AM
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Wow Skycat lives!

This seems very very simmilar to the Skycat designs of the late 90s and to the Skykitten prototype



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 09:57 AM
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That is kinda interesting... I thought that those machines were long gone...




posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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Ok well I am convinced now that the "black triangles" are in fact the "black" version of the above in a more radical design.

Operating this thing in the day light means that also have developed and tested the "secret" version.

Wedge shaped multi hull with a dark paint scheme so that it could not be identified at night. Five light 1 at the nose two on each side, operates silently, floats, seems to appear and re-appear (turn of the lights would do it).

Same principal fly low, fly slow, fly undetected, drop in some special forces units, take out the objective, hover over station maybe electronic counter measures or ELCTINTL who knows might be a rapid deploymnet airframe as well.

Assembled in the field SOCOM airship maybe using components brought in by C17's at a nearby friendly base.

interesting



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by UnMature
Wow! That's amazing, I just read an article in Pop Sci. today talking about the next giant airships and how they will be "Cruise Liners of the Sky". I had no idea a prototype had been built.


Yeah, I made a thread about the Pop Sci article a while ago HERE.

I think I'm most excited about the commercial transport aspect of this. Though it'll be slower than a standard commercial airliner, i'd take a trip on one of these over the airliner every time.



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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I saw this on discovery a couple of years ago. Well, it was about the engineers who built a remote control scale version.


They said it would be able to carry 100s of troops +lots of equipment.



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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WOW! How marvy!
I had no idea of this!
Thanks for posting the pics!
Ol Lockheed Skunk Works never fails to amaze me.



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 07:17 PM
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DoD has cancelled Walrus.
Walrus has no funding for 2006, they will use earlier funding for an "orderly end after phase 1".
Lockheed confirmed today they have a project INDEPENDENT of
Walrus.



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by Wu_Xia
DoD has cancelled Walrus.
Walrus has no funding for 2006, they will use earlier funding for an "orderly end after phase 1".
Lockheed confirmed today they have a project INDEPENDENT of
Walrus.


Have any links or articles to confirm this?



posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 10:00 PM
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this is great news, i always thought the blimp was abandoned too soon. there are so many different jobs they can do that no other type can do, they are the kings of hover. A walrus with visual and radar shealth will be very hard to detect like a smaller version of the uber one would make a great uav!





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