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I Keep Hearing The Idea Floated

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posted on May, 6 2011 @ 01:56 PM
But it seems that there might finally be some production going to airships as cargo carriers. That's right, blimps just to simplify it.

For years, the answer of why hasn't this be pursued has been the Hindenburg. But think of the changes that would have been made over the past 75 years had we not abandoned this form of transportation. Is it possible that we would have consumer models by now? Less of an energy crunch? Wars avoided over oil? Would the world been more globally connected had we opted for consumer models versus automobiles?

The civilian applications and just over all cost savings versus roadways and railroad construction and maintenance over the decades could have been spent for other developments or more critical infrastructure like cleaner water systems and community high speed internet and other communications.

Just amazing how long it has taken for such a long abandoned military tech has taken to be embraced by the commercial sector. And hopefully it will quickly come to the consumer market.

posted on May, 6 2011 @ 03:47 PM
The problems have been with practicality.

For the cost - fixed-wing aircraft have offered superior function and performance to anything that could be offered in the form of an airship.

However, newer technologies have allowed for more practical applications of the concept - stronger alloys, composites, and polymers allow for larger volumes of inert gasses to be used; photovoltaics and electric motors make an electric-powered airship a good idea, and better meteorology, automation, and navigational data make the prediction of routes much safer and more reliable.

Satellite uplinks even make it so that a commuter service based off of these ships would not be all that agonizing - and the weight of 'a room full of air' is almost negligible by comparison to the far more dense materials that will be carried as cargo/passengers - so you won't have to be cooped up in a small seat.

Although landing, docking, and maintenance still will be some fairly large hurdles. Airship hangars have to be absolutely massive by comparison to fixed-wing aircraft of the same cargo/passenger capacity - even if you plan to inflate/deflate for maintenance inside of a hangar.

posted on May, 6 2011 @ 04:15 PM
Yes, with new technologies, new and improved materials, and ever rising fuel costs, Airships are looking better and better as an alternative to conventional, heavier than air vehicles.

Improvements in communications technology are steadily making travel-for-business less of a requirement and more of a luxury.

The true cost of a "long supply-line" economy is facing increasing resistance in the face of 21st century realities.

And new materials like Graphine, becoming available on a more commercial scale, make the rennaisance of the Airship more than a just a pipe dream.

I've often wondered about the possiblity of constructing a hybrid, helium/hydrogen bi-gas airship.

For efficiency and cost, the primary lifting gas would be hydrogen. But for the sake of safety, the hydrogen-filled lifting cells would be "piggy-backed" above a "safety buffer" layer of non-flammable, helium-filled cells, below which passengers and/or cargo would be protected in a fire-proof fuselage.

Yes, I dream big!

ETA: I'd like to see this thread become sort of a "brain-storming" forum for ideas on how to design a modern Airship, incorporating as many of the newest ideas, technologies and material available (please, no anti-gravity posts, unless you have actual blueprints, patent #'s, and or commercial supplier for the anti-grav units themselves!)

Let's keep it real, with the intent of maybe inspiring someone to Make It For Real!

With the OP's permission, of course.

And to get the ball rolling ...S&F!
edit on 6-5-2011 by Bhadhidar because: Light bulb went off!

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 12:12 AM
Practically this most certainly is a rational and achievable technology/concept.

Realistically it can never be realized because of the times we live in. Such a vehicle would immediately become such an irresistible target for terrorism that it is doomed to be one of those ideas that (forgive me) can never get off the ground.

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 12:17 AM

Originally posted by samstone11
Realistically it can never be realized because of the times we live in. Such a vehicle would immediately become such an irresistible target for terrorism that it is doomed to be one of those ideas that (forgive me) can never get off the ground.

Actually this is the best kind of vehicle to resist terrorism.

Consider how much damage a high speed jet aircraft does when flown into a building or ship.

Is it any wonder the concorde supersonic fleet was grounded and entirely scrubbed?

A zeppelin is slow moving, the worst someone could do is park it on something.

David Grouchy

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 02:26 AM
Last time a company tried a project like that they ran out of money before the whole thing left the prototype stage.

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 10:03 AM
reply to post by davidgrouchy

Is it any wonder the concorde supersonic fleet was grounded and entirely scrubbed?

The problem with the Concorde fleet was that it was older than the hills and spent about 60-75% of its flight-time at supersonic speeds.

The maintenance costs were about to exceed what it would cost to design and field a replacement, I would imagine.

As for being a target for terrorism - they would likely be using helium, so flammability is low/non-existent. Using them as some kind of weapon would be rather difficult. About the worst threat that could come from them is if someone were to float a nuclear bomb up on one and detonate it above a city. But that's not much different than threats posed by private and business aircraft that can just as easily reach optimal altitudes.

As for shooting one down... it might be a bit easier since it's a larger and slower target.... but you would need to make a very large hole in one of these things to lead to an uncontrollable deflation. Even then - there is such a large amount of surface area to drag against the atmosphere that some kind of seat or restraint system could easily absorb the damage of an impact.

The only issue would be that you would want to make all air-fields and routes using these blimps avoid paths where they would fly directly over densely populated areas at lower altitudes - that way, if such a catastrophic failure were to happen, the blimp would crash into trees, fields, or sand - rather than people's homes or rolling down the side of a sky-scraper.

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