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Aeros to develop civilian Walrus Airship

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posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 10:46 PM
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www.gizmag.com...

This is good news. I was hoping that something like this would happen and am glad to see that I was right. At the moment it costs roughly 2 cents a Kilogram to ship something across the pacific by cargo ship. A craft like this could invariably lower the price per kilogram by an order of magnitude. 2/10th of a cent per Kilogram. Imagine that. The amount of CO2 emitted by these things is also much lower then conventional shipping, landlocked nations will no longer be landlocked with this technology, and hopefully we'll have some Cruise liner Airships in the near future. I wouldn't mind taking a two week Air Cruise to the Bahamas. Probably be cheaper then a regular cruise to boot.



Here is a concept pic of the canceled Militarized version of this Airship.

[edit on 5-11-2006 by sardion2000]




posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 12:44 AM
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Oh yeah, for those of you who think Airships are slow, lethargic beasts, you'd probably be surprised to learn that this particular Airship was designed to go above 50 knots, which beats most(all?) cargo ships the crisscross the globes oceans..

Some other pluses for this technology include:
1. Little to No Infrastructure improvements needed, this beast can land on Water, Plains, or even dock to a skyscraper. Not sure whether cities will allow this, but it's still a neat thought of seeing these huge, graceful and majestic airship coming and going to and from downtown.

2. Large surface area on top of the craft is perfectly suitable for photo voltaic paint/cells.

3. It can reach heights that make the 747 blush(maximum height for a vessel of this type is the edge of the Stratosphere). The higher it goes, the less crosswind it has to deal with and the reduced friction from the thinner air will increase efficiency greatly, and the added bonus of being up that high, lets you squeeze out an extra watt or two of solar energy due to less water absorption and refraction.

Here is the original article from back when the Walrus was a DARPA project.

www.gizmag.com...

[edit on 6-11-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 03:01 PM
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Great news.

I liked this when it was a DARPA project, and was dissapointed
when it was cancelled.

I'm glad to hear that it's going to be made anyways, just as a
civilian vehicle instead of a military one.


I wonder, after watching Doctor Who, will the wealthy people
all buy there own private airships, and fly them around town?



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 11:40 PM
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I remember reading a while ago that airships where being considered for civilian communication purposes, the idea being that because they could stay airborne for so long, are relatively cheap to build and maintain, and that they can be fitted with solar panels for power, they could replace satellites for some roles.

I wonder if this new development could bring airships into the mainstream and see them form the backbone of next generation wireless networks, the possibility is there.



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 11:53 PM
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haha wow, never thought I'd see something like that.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:37 AM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
I wonder, after watching Doctor Who, will the wealthy people
all buy there own private airships, and fly them around town?


I doubt most municipalities will allow that. Most will have images of the Hindenburg disaster floating around in their heads.




I remember reading a while ago that airships where being considered for civilian communication purposes, the idea being that because they could stay airborne for so long, are relatively cheap to build and maintain, and that they can be fitted with solar panels for power, they could replace satellites for some roles.


www.space.com...

You're thinking of a Sratellite.



Service by "Stratellite"

Then there’s Sanswire Networks, LLC, engaged in "out of the atmosphere thinking". The firm is taking their wireless broadband network ideas to new heights. Sanswire Networks is a wholly owned subsidiary of GlobeTel Communications Corporation of Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Sanswire is prototyping a High-Altitude Airship Platform. Called a "Stratellite", it would transmit various types of wireless communications services currently handled from cell towers and satellites.

A Stratellite airship is 100 percent reclaimable, utilizing proprietary lifting gas technology. A concept, company officials report, could be exploited for many military and government uses like secure communications, border control, Homeland Security duties, Earth remote sensing and surveillance, battlefield control, as well as climate research.



I wonder if this new development could bring airships into the mainstream and see them form the backbone of next generation wireless networks, the possibility is there.


I'm much more excited about the shipping opportunities and tourism potential. We need to find ways to reduce interference before we can go towards a global wireless internet. Another thing that may become possible with this is extremely efficient launch platforms for sub-orbital and low-orbit spacecraft. Getting to the stratosphere bypasses most of the atmosphere so it would take less fuel and would cut costs by doing it that way.

Also, Astronomers are now using high altitude baloons carrying a "poor mans" Space Telescope. Or in this case, a Near Space Telescope. Just imagine how many eyes we can put up there with Stratellite technology.

[edit on 7-11-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:51 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
I doubt most municipalities will allow that. Most will have images of the Hindenburg disaster floating around in their heads.


Perhaps, but money talks, and I can see the disgustingly
wealthy people in big cities like London and New York and
Los Angeles buying off the city to allow it.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 02:01 AM
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All it would take is one crash to get the public up in arms. These things are huge and would do a considerable amount of damage to a building should it lose control and collide. Especially 500 Ton cargo airships or 150 Ton Cruise Airhships. Intertia plus mass... In most cities, these things will mostly be relegated to the suburbs and surrounding area's(within 50 miles).



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 02:06 AM
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Given the size, payload, duration, and exclusivity the new generation airships promise, perhaps the uber-wealthy will begin to commission "Sky-Yachts" as second, or even primary homes.

A custom designed airship could easily provide all the amenities and luxury of an ocean-going yacht (and more!) while providing global access simply not possible with a ship.

They shall build Mansions in the Sky, and from thence shall they Reign in Dominion o'er all they shall View.

[edit on 7-11-2006 by Bhadhidar]



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 02:10 AM
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A custom designed airship could easily provide all the amenities and luxury of an ocean-going yacht (and more!) while providing global access simply not possible with a ship.


It's also environmentally friendly as well. I've seen concepts for Airships that have a completely closed loop power infrastructure based on Solar Cells, Hydrogen Fuelcells, Electric Props, and Wind Sails. I'll try to find the article for you, it's quite interesting. I believe the theoretical top speed for this concept is above 100 knots with the wind at your back!!

100 knots = 185.2 kph

[edit on 7-11-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 02:24 AM
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www.aerosml.com...

Here is the first generation model on their product page. The first gen will be able to haul 20 tons. I hope they succeed and start to scale it up to the originally called for specs. I do agree they gotta go slowly though. This technology could start to compete with the Trucking industry too. I wonder how that'll turn out...



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
3. It can reach heights that make the 747 blush(maximum height for a vessel of this type is the edge of the Stratosphere). The higher it goes, the less crosswind it has to deal with and the reduced friction from the thinner air will increase efficiency greatly, and the added bonus of being up that high, lets you squeeze out an extra watt or two of solar energy due to less water absorption and refraction.


Man can say I'm airship enthusiast too, but airships cannot reach high alt with significant payload. Surely they might fly higher than most aircrafts but the payload would be 100times less than at typical (1500-2000 meters) operating alt.
I also don't believe we will see enough cheap, light and effective solar cells to be used for propulsion. Also it would be not capable to work at night and who would buy cargoairship that can fly only during day?



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 03:40 PM
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Man can say I'm airship enthusiast too, but airships cannot reach high alt with significant payload. Surely they might fly higher than most aircrafts but the payload would be 100times less than at typical (1500-2000 meters) operating alt.


Depends on how large the airship is proportional to its cargo, this particular ship was designed to be just slightly under neutral buoyancy when fully loaded. For Cruise liners and Luxury ships, max ceiling for these suckers will probably be around 50 thousand to 60 thousand feet. Other unmanned variants can reach the stratosphere. Make a large enough one and you'd be able to launch rockets to LEO eventually. It'd have to be pretty big though. It'd be more efficient then the White Knight!



also don't believe we will see enough cheap, light and effective solar cells to be used for propulsion. Also it would be not capable to work at night and who would buy cargoairship that can fly only during day?


Umm....the design I read about used a Hybrid design diverting 30% to 50% (depending on location and time of year) of electricity during the day to batteries for use during the night. Remember, it's surface area that counts. Solar Paint may not be all that efficient but cover the whole top of the surface and you'd get quite a few hundred kilowatt hours out of the deal. Wind sails &/ turbines adds even more efficiency.

Here is an article detailing other efforts for Solar powered flight.

www.popularmechanics.com...

You'd still have to reduce speed to conserve energy at night, but when you get right down to it, it doesn't matter. Their competition travels between 35 KPh to 120 KPh(Ships and Transport Trucks). They are bound to specific paths more or less. It's just going to be a small tradeoff the early adopters will have to make at the start.

The biggest challenge for this is in the storage area. Fortunately there have been a couple of breakthroughs as of late. Here are the links.

Nanosafe Lithium based battery

Silver-Zinc batteries show up Lithium Ion

[edit on 7-11-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
At the moment it costs roughly 2 cents a Kilogram to ship something across the pacific by cargo ship. A craft like this could invariably lower the price per kilogram by an order of magnitude. 2/10th of a cent per Kilogram. Imagine that.


i would be happier if you could cite the figures to back up these " facts "

becausr they seem like pipe dreams to me , that ignore

how much helium gas / pacific crossing are they going to be forced to vent ?

and other issues - which will affect airship viability .

how many airships will be required to replace one bulj carrier ? the largest VLCCs can carry phenomemal ammounts , even bulk carries haiulting heavier than water cargo can carry 50 thousand tons / trip - can an airship really compete with that ?

it is al very well citing " wonderous new technologies " whic might benefit these theoretical airships - and then comparing the pipe dream to current maritime technologies

that is special pleading , and is an intulectual dishonesty

there is a future and market for airships - but as a universal replacement for maritime shipping and terrestrial rail ? NO

very interesting articles though , thanks for bringing them to ATS attention .



[edit on 8-11-2006 by ignorant_ape]



posted on Nov, 9 2006 @ 12:09 AM
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I was estimating the second figure(My Physics Professor is the one who said it would cost about an Magnitude of Order less then Ships and approximately two magnitudes of order less then Trucks) and I can't exactly cite an informal discussion. I don't have him any more, but I can try to get him to pencil whip up the numbers for me, if he has the time that is. There's going to be a lot of complicated maths though, so be forewarned, cuz I'm not going to bother with the translation.

As for the 2 cents a kilogram figure, I got it from the book Worldchanging: A User's guide for the 21st Century. If you want the exact citation I welcome you to pick the book up from the Library or Amazon.com.

As for how many 20 ton Cargo Airships would be able to compete with one post-panamic class ship, it would take A LOT of them to do it. The first generation will most likely start to compete with the Trucking industry since they are not going to be building the larger ones anytime soon. 20 foot Truck Containers can haul I believe upwards to 12-14 tons(according to Discovery channel).

The largest concept I remember reading about could haul an 500 tons of cargo. It was fricken huge though.

Also, the main plan is to eventually get these types of Airships completely "filled" with a Vacuum to reduce the lifting gas cost and increase buoyancy. This Airship will have the ability to inflate emergency Helium balloons just incase the hull was compromised and they weren't in a position to land safely.



there is a future and market for airships - but as a universal replacement for maritime shipping and terrestrial rail ? NO


I never said it would compete with Rail transit. I also never said it would be a universal replacement. All I said was that they will give those sectors serious competition. What would you do if you have the choice of sending a kilogram package to Singapore. One choice will cost you a few bucks, the other choice will cost you a few cents, plus get their faster, and more sustainably. What would you choose? The cheapest vector will always win. The goods will always travel the path of least resistance.

[edit on 9-11-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 9 2006 @ 06:33 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
The goods will always travel the path of least resistance.



And the path of least corners would probably win.

Instead of trucking to a port along roads [which is almost surely not closing the distance efficiently to your final destination], shipping [which has to avoid land obviously], reloading to a truck at the port [same as earlier] - you can load it on an airship at the factory and transport in one go to its destination in a straight line.



posted on Nov, 9 2006 @ 07:43 AM
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BTW Ignorant Ape, helium sell for $ 0.54 cnd retail at a party supply shop per cubic foot of the stuff, so the stuff is fairly cheap. 1000 cubic feet is the standard unit amount to purchase in bulk(they don't measure in Cubic Feet though) so it would cost the industry less by purchasing it in bulk.

The goodyear blimp uses 180,000 cubic feet of Helium and refills 15-20 thousand of that per year(On the Discovery channel, I forget the exact showname, but the whole thing was about a Blimp trying to cross the Canadian Rockey Mountains and that was one of the tidbits they mentioned that I remember).


[edit on 9-11-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 9 2006 @ 10:55 PM
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Helium is great. I would seriously ride in a blimp...The only thing I can see with that...is if a small firestarts the helium goes BOOM



posted on Nov, 9 2006 @ 11:05 PM
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Your thinking of hydrogen, my friend.
goes boom!

Helium just leaks, the molecules are so small they tend to pass through most containing envelopes...



posted on Nov, 9 2006 @ 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by Pepperslappy
Helium is great. I would seriously ride in a blimp...The only thing I can see with that...is if a small firestarts the helium goes BOOM


youre thinking of hydrogen....that's what the hindenburg used. helium is not flammable.

on a side note, did you guys here about bin laden's latest attempted attack on the US? they hijacked the goodyear blimp and the target was the sears tower. last i heard, they were still bouncing off it!


(i know, lame as hell, but with the topic, i just couldnt resist).



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