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Return of the zeppelins?

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posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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I was wondering, as aviation is not getting any less fuel thirsty, and oil(and therefore kerosene) isnt getting any more abundant, how good an alternative are drigible airships as far as long haul flights (domestic travel, freightetc) are concerned? (apart from the obvious shortcommings in speed)

How much more fuel efficent are they when compared to airliners? How susainable are they, how economoical are they? (i.e, fuel, maintainence, support infrastructure such as airports, hangers etc.) and how safe and environmentally freindly?

As airliners become less economically viable, could we be seeing the return of airships as widespread modes of transport?

(((soz im a bit bracket happy today
)))




posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by TheSilentProtagonist
As airliners become less economically viable, could we be seeing the return of airships as widespread modes of transport?
(((soz im a bit bracket happy today
)))

Nope.
Too slow.
Can't carry enough weight.

Actually PIPELINES are your most efficient means of transportation, followed pretty closely by TRAINS. Way, way down on the list are TRUCKS.

If people would just stop trying to come up with all kinds of exotic nonsense like maglev for trains, and just concentrate on the Disneyland style electric motor monorails, we'd have plenty of fast, clean, quiet and efficient transportation you could quickly and easily build just about anywhere.

Some place you might see airships in use is as high-altitude platforms for cell-phone broadcasts and stuff. Like very low-level satellites. Solar powered. Very good for that.

[edit on 17-4-2006 by Enkidu]



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 02:42 PM
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zeppelin will come back the USA DOD has plans to build two types one cargo and one for radar and communication .

and yes they can build ones for cargo ..
like the one called Cargolifter.
260 meter length en 65 meter width). This airship to carry cargo from 350 to 500 ton over a maximal distance of 10.000 kilometer

www.aerospace-technology.com...

[edit on 17-4-2006 by MarkLuitzen]



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 03:43 PM
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Actually PIPELINES are your most efficient means of transportation, followed pretty closely by TRAINS. Way, way down on the list are TRUCKS.


Erm...never been in a pipeline myself, nor a truck, at least not when going on holiday anyway. Seems to be the favoured method for getting into my country though


I think the poster meant using Airships instead of planes for people tansport.

I sure hope you don't want us all to be piped to the Costa del Sol this summer?



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 08:43 PM
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I suppose the economics of travel will answer that one. A rigid hull or semi-rigid hull airship can attain speeds around (though historicly just below) 100 knots. Airplanes typicly use speeds anywhere from 300-600 knots. So, are you willing to spend 6 times as long getting to your destination? If you're shipping cargo on your airship, you'll be looking for an interesting little niche. Somewhere between "GET-IT-THERE-GET-IT-THERE-NOW!", and "We've got a few days, just stick it on a truck." I imagine the 'fast-freight' niche that marked the end of the steam era of locomotives in this country is the same niche an airship could fill. kind of a "we want it there in a hurry, but we can't afford to fly it".

Now as a cruise ship, there is some real possibility. Granted your weight allowance is still at something of a primium, just like airplanes. However, your available space is many times greater. While extra deckspace and furnishings are going to cost you in terms of weight, It still seems entirely practicable to set them up more like a small cruise ship for passengers than as a flying sardine can.

*edit* I forgot to mention, airships have historicly been proven VERY safe. Personally, I think a lot of the "airship disasters" that marked the end of thier days were as much a function of media hype as legitimate accidents. Everyone's seen and heard the newsreel footage of the Hindinburg going down, but what most people fail to realise is that of the 90 some people onboard, 60 walked away. The remaining 30 weren't killed by the fire, but by panic, as they jumped from windows while it was still much too high in the air. Those who kept thier heads, and waited for it to settle towards the ground escaped largely unharmed. By way of compairison, Airplanes seem to be an all or nothing endevor when there's a mishap.

[edit on 17-4-2006 by Travellar]



posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by MarkLuitzen
zeppelin will come back the USA DOD has plans to build two types one cargo and one for radar and communication .

and yes they can build ones for cargo ..
like the one called Cargolifter.
260 meter length en 65 meter width). This airship to carry cargo from 350 to 500 ton over a maximal distance of 10.000 kilometer

www.aerospace-technology.com...

[edit on 17-4-2006 by MarkLuitzen]


Just wanted to point out that your info is outdated. CargoLifter went bankrupt a couple years ago.

And the DARPA funded WALRUS (the cargo one you mentioned) has been cancelled.
But one program that is still going is the HAA (High Altitude Airship).....I guess spying is more important then logistics.

TheSilentProtagonist - Airplanes continually keep getting quieter & more fuel efficient, but a Airship whoops em' on both fronts...just not speed.

The Airship concepts I've read estimate speeds around 100-140mph, I think your average Airliner is around 525mph.

But Airships dont need Airports, they can land in the desert if need be. I think massive Airships have a large role to play, from dumping tens of thousands of gallons of water onto forest fires, to being flying cruise ships, or large military movers, or move commercial heavy equipment (an example is a TBM, they could assemble it at the factory, and haul the whole thing to location without disassembly), another good idea would be for disaster relief, incase of a hurricane, flood, or any other natural disaster, they could have a flying hospital land a day after the event took place.


I think theres a big role...but its being hard going, Lockheed are experimenting with different designs, and a company called Aeros has some good concepts as well.



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by Travellar
*edit* I forgot to mention, airships have historicly been proven VERY safe.


Unless they run into a thunderstorm.



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