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AirLander take off then 2nd Flight Mishap

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AirLander take off then 2nd Flight Mishap

Old 22nd Aug 2016, 07:36
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Batteries

Originally Posted by scuffers
No matter if it's in a car or a blimp, you still need to physically hold/contain the battery cells, and to make out weight is unimportant to Tesla is laughable.
Actually, I wasn't talking about the blimp, I was talking about the NASA research aircraft.

For a blimp, you probably can get away with much less batteries - It just needs them for takeoff and maybe some climb. On the other hand, that research aircraft has to drive 100kW worth of motors, while the Airlander has >1MW...

Originally Posted by Tourist
No, it had 66Kw over an area of 269.5 m2 at 135 micron thick. Not exactly heavy duty.
Airlander has more than 3500m2 to play with on top.
Thanks for these numbers. I'm also rather sure Solar Impulse had some batteries to keep flying through the night.

According to these numbers, something around 700-800kW should be possible. Of course, the payload will suffer, but I wouldn't be so sure how much, considering fuel also has weight. I wonder at what endurance will be the break-even point where solar becomes better than conventional engines.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 12:09
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It could be that the Airlander does not need to carry a lot of batteries. If solar cells are just enough to power the front fans, then it can run on these during the day and the diesels at the back at night. Relatively small battery packs at the front motors would be required for power during take off and landing.

The main advantage of electric power is that it allows the ducted fans to operate in any attitude, up to and beyond vertical, which aids getting airborne. if this was required from the current car-derived diesel engines, re-certification may be necessary. Vectoring the fan has got to give more vertical thrust than the current vanes in the prop wash, however good they are.

It is worth noting that the Airlander 10 is intended to lift 10 tons on 1400hp, whereas the Lancaster carrying the Grand Slam bomb needed 4 x 1620 hp to get itself and bomb airborne. How the range of the two compares, at max takeoff weight, would be interesting..
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 13:01
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Originally Posted by Mechta View Post

It is worth noting that the Airlander 10 is intended to lift 10 tons on 1400hp, whereas the Lancaster carrying the Grand Slam bomb needed 4 x 1620 hp to get itself and bomb airborne. How the range of the two compares, at max takeoff weight, would be interesting..
what a completely pointless comparison...

I can really see it replacing the worlds 747-800F fleet or chinook/skycrane/super-stallions/V22's/etc.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 13:24
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Skycrane is potentially not an entirely pointless comparison. There could be some overlap.

Interestingly, I don't see anybody suggesting it might replace 747 or V22s except you?
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 13:56
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
The point is the Airlander is another take on a technology that is over 100 years old and which was kicked into the long grass over 80 years ago as a commercial failure with limited technical upside
What If daring individuals didn't push the boundaries?






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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 14:11
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Originally Posted by glad rag View Post
What If daring individuals didn't push the boundaries?






Another totally pointless comparison.

or are you going to suggest that the next SpaceX Falcon booster will be solar-powered? (and please don't start go on about ion engines).

Just for clarity, I have no issue with people developing new tech, what I do have a beef with is pie-in-the-sky stupidity that's totally impractical without rewriting the laws of physics.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 15:02
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The main advantage of electric power is that it allows the ducted fans to operate in any attitude, up to and beyond vertical, which aids getting airborne. if this was required from the current car-derived diesel engines, re-certification may be necessary. Vectoring the fan has got to give more vertical thrust than the current vanes in the prop wash, however good they are.
The Airship Industries 500 and 600 used Porsche flat 6 engines which drove vectored, ducted fans. The engines were in-board, (in the rear section of the gondola) and each ducted fan swivelled around the drive shaft from its engine. So the engines themselves remained static and fixed.

I flew in one for a BBC outside broadcast where we provided a live top shot of a cricket match at Lords. We stayed right over the pitch for a couple of hours.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 15:28
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Originally Posted by Scuffers View Post
Just for clarity, I have no issue with people developing new tech, what I do have a beef with is pie-in-the-sky stupidity that's totally impractical without rewriting the laws of physics.
The problem is that pretty much all new successes are pie in the sky stupidity until suddenly they aren't.

If that was not the case then science would not move in surges like it does.
One company/man/country does something that everybody else thought was stupid/impossible, and then everybody piles in once it works.

Think iPhone.

Think going to space.

Think aeroplanes.

p.s. Which particular law of physics does airlander conflict with?

p.p.s Can't believe I forgot the jet engine!!! It was "totally unrealistic"

Last edited by Tourist; 22nd Aug 2016 at 15:47.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 16:09
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Originally Posted by Tourist View Post
The problem is that pretty much all new successes are pie in the sky stupidity until suddenly they aren't.

If that was not the case then science would not move in surges like it does.
One company/man/country does something that everybody else thought was stupid/impossible, and then everybody piles in once it works.

Think iPhone.

Think going to space.

Think aeroplanes.

p.s. Which particular law of physics does airlander conflict with?

p.p.s Can't believe I forgot the jet engine!!! It was "totally unrealistic"
none of them break the laws of physics, they are a product of continual innovation and engineering advancements.

Airships/Blimps/etc are constrained by the density of air, ie, you have to displace X M3 of air for every Y g of lift, and unless you can maintain a vacuum where the displaced air was, your then adding weight of Helium or whatever other element you use to displace the air.

Then we get to using thrust to lift (ala helicopters etc), the amount of power requires is MASSIVE, to then fantasize that this can be powered by solar is just laughable.

Back in the land of reality, this will just end up as yet another one-off white elephant without a genuine application.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 16:18
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Originally Posted by Scuffers View Post
Airships/Blimps/etc are constrained by the density of air, ie, you have to displace X M3 of air for every Y g of lift, and unless you can maintain a vacuum where the displaced air was, your then adding weight of Helium or whatever other element you use to displace the air.

What exactly is your point?
They work.
Helium/hydrogen ballons lift things.
Whether they lift things more usefully than heavier than air aircraft is a valid argument, but I think we can all agree that the basic idea works.
Whether Airlander have done their numbers correctly is another valid question and only time will tell.

Originally Posted by Scuffers View Post
Then we get to using thrust to lift (ala helicopters etc), the amount of power requires is MASSIVE, to then fantasize that this can be powered by solar is just laughable.

Back in the land of reality, this will just end up as yet another one-off white elephant without a genuine application.
As far as I'm aware, the idea is that thrust would only be used for lift during the take-off and landing.
Batteries which can be solar charged are in fact excellent at putting out large amounts of stored power in a small amount of time.

At other times thrust would be used for speed which would give aerodynamic lift.
I hope that is a configuration we can agree works?

Originally Posted by Scuffers View Post
Back in the land of reality, this will just end up as yet another one-off white elephant without a genuine application.
Time will tell.

Personally I believe that they have a chance.
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 16:19
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Uplinker:

You've just redefined boredom !

"... top shot of a cricket match at Lords. We stayed right over the pitch for a couple of hours"
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 16:54
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AFAICT, thrust is required to create forward motion so that the shape can generate 40% of the required lift (buoyancy only provides 60% of the stated lift).
Vectored thrust adds 25%.

How it works.

Whether these figures are based on unladen or laden performance I do not know.

So what forward speed is needed to generate the 40% required to stop the aircraft from sinking and what power (and fuel consumption) does that require in still air (with more required against a headwind)?
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Old 22nd Aug 2016, 19:17
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The Airship Industries 500 and 600 used Porsche flat 6 engines which drove vectored, ducted fans. The engines were in-board, (in the rear section of the gondola) and each ducted fan swivelled around the drive shaft from its engine. So the engines themselves remained static and fixed.
UPLINKER, you are correct. The gearboxes were Westland Lynx tail rotor gearboxes, and from what I recall reading at the time, they were the most expensive components in the Skyship 500. HAV would probably want to avoid the upfront costs of manufacture and certification of bespoke gearboxes and the hazards of being tied to potential competitors (i.e. helicopter manufacturers) for off the shelf units.

Last edited by Mechta; 23rd Aug 2016 at 11:21.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 02:37
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Originally Posted by Scuffers View Post
Another totally pointless comparison.

or are you going to suggest that the next SpaceX Falcon booster will be solar-powered? (and please don't start go on about ion engines).

Just for clarity, I have no issue with people developing new tech, what I do have a beef with is pie-in-the-sky stupidity that's totally impractical without rewriting the laws of physics.
You certainly have a bee in your bonnet, if you cannot see the relevance of my statement ergo old ideas being revitalised with alternative thinking then you have just pigeon-holed yourself.
SpaceX is in the process of revolutionising space travel by out thinking, out engeneering and out performing legacy industries where it counts the most, in the customers wallet.
Airlander is possibly going to do the same, just because there aren't any markets just now doesn't mean there won't be in the future..
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 03:13
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OK, so letís have a look at the potential uses for this thing.

1) tourist trips over remote / noise sensitive areas (Serengeti, Grand Canyon)
Fine, but already exists in the form of hot air balloons. Might work well for extended Ďair cruisesí, though. Could be great for that.

2) delivery of relief supplies to conflict / disaster zones.
I have no idea if the hull of Airlander can withstand AK47 bullets, but having worked in aforementioned zones for years, I know that it would make a great target for some crazed kid with an AK. Better rule that one - largely - out.

3) delivery of heavy/outsize equipment to remote locations.
This one might work, although many / most remote locations also experience inclement wx to which this machine seems to be quite vulnerable.

4) military
Sure, there will be some use, but as stated above, the thing appears to be very, very vulnerable.

5) SAR in remote areas (MH370 anyone?)
Could work, although again not so sure about the wx effects

Iím not trying to slag it off, but if you leave the engineering feat aside, the potential uses appear rather limited. Not saying itís not viable, but I can see this filling a niche in the AN 225 kind of way. Weíll see.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 07:38
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Originally Posted by 172driver View Post
1) tourist trips over remote / noise sensitive areas (Serengeti, Grand Canyon)
Fine, but already exists in the form of hot air balloons. Might work well for extended ‘air cruises’, though. Could be great for that.
I'm sorry, but the fact that hot air balloons have a limited market in these things suggests a huge market for blimps in this area rather than the opposite.

A hot air balloon is incredibly constrained in it's use. It is impossible to guarantee consistent flights or the ability to visit any particular site on any particular day. You can never know where you are going to land. The weather range is tiny. A blimp is a different proposition.

Originally Posted by 172driver View Post
2) delivery of relief supplies to conflict / disaster zones.
I have no idea if the hull of Airlander can withstand AK47 bullets, but having worked in aforementioned zones for years, I know that it would make a great target for some crazed kid with an AK. Better rule that one - largely - out.
No.
Ruling something out because you have no idea of vulnerability and can't be @rsed to take 1 minute to google it does not make sense.
As it happens, the evidence shows the exact opposite.

https://books.google.com.sa/books?id...20fire&f=false

Airships are far less vulnerable to small arms fire than normal aircraft, and if electric would be very hard to hit with the classic single digit SAMs which have proliferated.

Added to this, if you fly above 2000ft most of the risk has disappeared anyway.

Lets rule it firmly in.

Originally Posted by 172driver View Post
.
3) delivery of heavy/outsize equipment to remote locations.
This one might work, although many / most remote locations also experience inclement wx to which this machine seems to be quite vulnerable.
Evidence for this claim?

Originally Posted by 172driver View Post
4) military
Sure, there will be some use, but as stated above, the thing appears to be very, very vulnerable.
As discussed above, less vulnerable than other aircraft.

Originally Posted by 172driver View Post

5) SAR in remote areas (MH370 anyone?)
Could work, although again not so sure about the wx effects
Again, not sure because you have idly surmised from a position of zero knowledge is not a reasonable reason to discount. I have never ever even seen a blimp, so have little knowledge of them but I am ex SAR pilot and I can see huge potential if the physics work as advertised.

Originally Posted by 172driver View Post
I’m not trying to slag it off, but if you leave the engineering feat aside, the potential uses appear rather limited. Not saying it’s not viable, but I can see this filling a niche in the AN 225 kind of way. We’ll see.
Yes, we will.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 08:14
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Originally Posted by glad rag View Post
You certainly have a bee in your bonnet, if you cannot see the relevance of my statement ergo old ideas being revitalised with alternative thinking then you have just pigeon-holed yourself.
SpaceX is in the process of revolutionising space travel by out thinking, out engeneering and out performing legacy industries where it counts the most, in the customers wallet.
Airlander is possibly going to do the same, just because there aren't any markets just now doesn't mean there won't be in the future..
you're kind of missing the point here, SpaceX have not attempted to re-write the laws of physics.

what they have done is take 50+ year old tech and re-package it, refine it, and most importantly, do it in a way that dramatically cut's the costs thus making the whole space launch business more accessible.

There always is/was an application for space launch services, the more they bring the costs down, and increasing the payloads, the more demand there will be.

To then try and use the same argument for this blimp is laughable, again, where is the killer application crying out for a blimp?

can you see it replacing the EC225's on oil rig transport?

can you see it replacing V22's?

can you see it replacing Skycranes?

about the only use I can envisage is tourist trips, but is there really a market big/rich enough to support this? Helo charters are pretty cheap and much more personal.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 08:21
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Originally Posted by Scuffers View Post

can you see it replacing the EC225's on oil rig transport?

can you see it replacing V22's?

can you see it replacing Skycranes?

about the only use I can envisage is tourist trips, but is there really a market big/rich enough to support this? Helo charters are pretty cheap and much more personal.
EC225s are dead.

Nobody has suggested replacing V22 except you a couple of times.

V22 is incredibly niche and incredibly expensive hence zero civil versions.

Skycrane role maybe.

Helo charters are never going to get cleared into the same areas as a blimp.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 12:19
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2) delivery of relief supplies to conflict / disaster zones.
I have no idea if the hull of Airlander can withstand AK47 bullets, but having worked in aforementioned zones for years, I know that it would make a great target for some crazed kid with an AK. Better rule that one - largely - out.
Not all disaster zones are full of AK47 wielding hooligans. Just look at the size of the UN operation in Africa alone, I can easily see the AirLander fitting in there - For example based at Entebbe, capable of providing relief flights to Sudan, Congo etc where runways are extremely limited and of very poor quality. An AirLander full of aid pondering across Uganda over into Congo would be ideal.

3) delivery of heavy/outsize equipment to remote locations.
This one might work, although many / most remote locations also experience inclement wx to which this machine seems to be quite vulnerable.
Delivery of equipment to remote locations in Africa, oil field in the Middle East, the mines and oil/gas fields of Siberia/Russia. A perfect candidate IMO.
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Old 23rd Aug 2016, 13:04
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Delivery of equipment to remote locations in Africa, oil field in the Middle East, the mines and oil/gas fields of Siberia/Russia. A perfect candidate IMO.
I understand that the limited ice road truckers season, already quite short, is getting shorter.
A large part of the rest of the year could be served by Airlander.

Delivery of very large wind farm components to remote locations like the north of Sweden ?
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