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Congressional report favors heavy lift airships instead of heavy lift aircraft

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posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 12:12 AM

A new U.S. congressional report endorses the idea of buying heavy-lift airships instead of cargo jets to get troops and equipment to future wars.

In a report looking at options for strategic lift, the Congressional Budget Office says airships, such as the Walrus program that is in its initial development stages, “would be virtually independent of air bases and would be well-suited to deliver combat-ready troops, along with their vehicles and other equipment, directly to their destinations.”

Fifteen airships could deliver 1,000 tons of cargo a day, three times as much as a fleet of 21 C-17 Globemasters, the report says.

Developing and buying 14 to 16 airships and operating them for 30 years would cost about $11.3 billion, the report says.

Entire article

I'd go for some Walrus, but still have some C-17s and of course some smaller tactical cargo planes.

[edit on 20-10-2005 by NWguy83]

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 01:16 AM
Sounds like good news to me. I'm glad to here congress also likes them.

I'm a big fan of Airships, and although your average Joe thinks there outdated and serve no real use in todays world other then above stadiums, they would have a huge role to fill...if they wanted to. Anything from unleashing 500 tons of water over some fire, or as a recue vehicle for the red cross or some other organization, would be great for natural disaster hard hit areas that either dont have a runway, or its unusable. Like Katrina and Rita...and probably Wilma. Also would be great for that large earthquake that hit Pakistan, since they dont have the infastructure in place over there like the US does.

Simply put, Airships have a big gap to fill.

I just hope that WALRUS works...cause if it goes way over budget, and less lifting capability then stated...It could once again make Airships a thing of the past...makes you wonder where they would be at today if it wasn't for the Hindenburg.

[edit on 20-10-2005 by Murcielago]

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 03:40 AM
I just LOVE aerostats! Environmentally friendly and multi-purpose. Got to figure out ways to make it more Aerodynamic though as current models act like giant sails in the wind. I'm glad congress is looking seriously at this technology again!

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 04:37 AM
Not a good idea. We all know their dissadvantages, they are too slow, wich makes themn easy targets for AA. besides if you need to get supplies somewhere fast an aircraft is a much better choise...

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 08:27 AM
I for one love the idea.

They may be slow, but IMO their value is in replacing naval transports, NOT air transports. Airships would be faster then boats, and carry nearly as much, while the initial soldiers/equipment deployed would come over on aircraft.

They are also very durable, and can take a lot of hits from AA fire, unlike normal aircraft.

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 08:50 AM
Wind shear put away the 1920s-1930s US Navy dirgibles, actually Zeppelins purchased from Germany but filled with Helium. A sudden down draft anywhere can happen, whether on the above proposed long journeys, and also while picking up cargo on short runs.

It looks like another boondoggle, with our military people at risk once more. As much as I actually like the concept, the science behind it suggests far more severe effects from the weather than subjected to airplanes. We know that windshear is a problem at airports around the world, the survival rate is far higher for airplanes than for dirgibles.

Maybe if there are some composite materials for this project as strong in the space required in construction as for airplanes it might work. Nonetheless due to physics of larger volumes and the slow flight of dirgibles the problem is clear at least on one point. They do not escape concentrated wind velocities quickly enough.

As much as I regret to say so, the proposal is absurd.

[edit on 20-10-2005 by SkipShipman]

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 12:46 PM
I think to may people think there going to be flying through a hot area, they would keep a safe distance away from AAA fire.
and if people on the ground to pop shots at it, it would do nothing.

besides if you need to get supplies somewhere fast an aircraft is a much better choise...

Aircraft are more expensive then Airships.
While its not as fast as a transport is faster then by ship...and can bring the supplies right where you need them...and not at some distant port where you also need a lot of semi's to bring the supplies to where its needed.

As much as I actually like the concept, the science behind it suggests far more severe effects from the weather than subjected to airplanes.

Since it could fly above the weather i'm assuming your refering to take offs and landings. Which is expected to be much eisier do to the large turbines it will have. Making it able to land with relatively high wind speeds.

the survival rate is far higher for airplanes than for dirgibles

that comment is simply apples to oranges.

BTW, the military wants this thing to be able to go over 100mph...let me see a ship do that.

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 06:53 PM
Murcielago, 100 mph? That's a good 80-90 knots. Ship speeds, and aircraft speeds and distances are measured using knots, and nautical miles. Using miles per hour and the measurement miles was used for a while but then people asked themselves "Why must we remember two systems? Take knots and NM and stick to it." So now that's what we use. It's confusing having to convert MPH to knots because a nautical mile is a few hundred feet more than miles, and knots are slightly higher than MPH, so is measured with lower numbers.

And yes, the WALRUS will be a very useful airship, as it will be faster than ships, and will still be able to perform the same job as naval vessels, if not even better, remember that for airships(the most modern), you don't need a harbor, you just need an open field minimum.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Oct, 20 2005 @ 07:36 PM
I really like this idea, and am glad to see that the WALRUS program is still going, I sincerely hope that airships like the WALRUS start making a comeback.

Something, that I suppose could be considered a positive side effect of this, is if commercial companies started having large airships built, and offering "air cruises", or have "Air Hilton" a hotel airship that flys around New York. (That would be awesome in my opinion.)

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