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New Gen AirShips - Hybrid Air Vehicles, UK

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New Gen AirShips - Hybrid Air Vehicles, UK

Old 23rd Oct 2014, 21:23
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Tourist

The Israelis certainly seem to understand the benefits of persistent surveillance. What is surprising is how their 'white pumpkins with an underslung seaside windbreak' appear to fly in the face of all previous development of kite balloons. They are in constant evidence around the northern part of Gaza though and seemed to cope with wind pretty well. A very tall tower would be needed to give a camera the same field of view that they have.

Historically, British UAVs and airships have both suffered from a lack of investment, underdeveloped engines (for the application) and a lack of continuous improvement. Some Israeli UAV companies hire their systems out to provide a 'intel by the hour' service, so they get continuous feedback from their in-house operators (not to mention a front line under 100km from the factory) and make sure their products are as reliable and effective as possible. Maybe HAV will consider a similar approach?
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Old 23rd Oct 2014, 21:34
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry for going back so many posts, but what shortage of helium? Loads of It out there and, depending on your site, 10-15% of the gas that comes out of the ground is helium. It doesn't burn so you might as well keep it. Shortage? No.
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Old 23rd Oct 2014, 22:23
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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Helium shortage:

Helium Shortage: Situation Update One Year Later
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 05:34
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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This is about the USAF Blue Devil II airship:

USAF Punishes Former Top General Over Defunct Airship Project | Defense content from Aviation Week
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 07:13
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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There's a brilliant quote on that link:

I think Nevil Chute's autobiography "Slide Rule" should be required reading before embarking on another airship project.
Second verse same as first, should be better, but only getting worse...
There is a a Very Senior Officer who used to be high up in the MOD's capability area for ISTAR who now works for the Cardington gang - what is so different to him compared to the US General? Also, there are countless ex-Service individuals in a British Aerospace company that pull in their contacts within the UK military for contract bidding. I also know that this happens with the massive US Aerospace companies. So what has Gen Deptula done that others have been deemed not to have done?

LJ
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 17:14
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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Nevil SHUTE actually..............
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 10:49
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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HAV receives UK funding to bring airship back to flight - 2/12/2015 - Flight Global

Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) has received additional funding from the UK government to further develop its Airlander hybrid airship, as it moves towards an anticipated return to flight.
Under the government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), some £297 million ($455 million) was awarded to 63 projects, including HAV’s Airlander development.
“The RGF funding will enable a truly groundbreaking, entirely new type of aircraft to return to flight,” HAV says.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 11:08
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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Does any professional in the aviation business really believe that these things are a viable proposition? Every few years we get the same overhyped project involving airships being the next big thing,then after expenditure of millions it all fades away.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 11:20
  #209 (permalink)  
 
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Does any professional in the aviation business really believe that these things are a viable proposition?
Yes, some do!
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 11:40
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Once the first UK-based flight test has been conducted, the aircraft will carry out some 200 flight hours over one to two months to prove its capabilities, after which customer demonstrations are planned to take place, HAV says.
...then we'll fold up for a few years until we rebrand our snake oil once again to some poor gullible investors!

Big airships = Big bucks = Big losses

Even small ones are a handful in the lightest of winds, need big infrastructure to protect them from the elements and can't compete financially, or in capability, with sea-freight or conventional RW/FW air transport.

LJ
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 11:44
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“The commitment of the UK government to our business is vital, and this will ensure we fly our innovative Airlander aircraft and enter the commercial market,” HAV chief executive Stephen McGlennan says of the grant.

“To achieve this we need to create jobs, and the RGF grant immediately helps us to do this. We know the demand for Airlander is enormous, and we relish creating exports and further jobs as we lead the field globally.”
Is there really? There must be more gullible people in the world than I ever imagined...
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 13:01
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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Leon,
There are a number of Requirements and markets that could be serviced by the HAV. That doesn't mean that the HAV is the only way of fulfilling the need, but remains an option. In a mil context, for example, PWAS could be manned aircraft, MALE/HALE UAVs, the HAV or a satellite; the discrimiators will be sensor payload, endurance and Whole Life Costs - HAV has the right to be in the mix, but may not be the right solution. In the civ context, building roads/airstrips to access remote areas for mineral extraction is very expensive, the bigger Airlander would, again, be an option. Nobody's saying that HAV has the right to win any of this business, but they have a right to compete.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 13:09
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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We know the demand for Airlander is enormous.....
Oh really? Or do you mean that you hope that the demand for this wretched windbag is enormous?

Rearrange the following into a well-known saying: Oil, snake, man, sales.....
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 13:43
  #214 (permalink)  
 
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The way some people talk, you'd think that a relative of theirs had gone down on the R.101.

Had a reasonably large-scale, modern LTA/hybrid been built, tested and flopped operationally or technically, the case would be easier to make. However, a lot of reasonably sensible people and large companies have taken an interest in the topic, studied the problems and started to build hardware.

Most of the flops have either been due to fiscal exhaustion, or the customer walking away - and a big reason for the latter is that for the customer, the LTA is always a new area that competes for money with core activities, and consequently perishes as soon as money gets tight.

In the case of YEZ-2A, the Pentagon decided to give cruise missile defense to the Army, which favored aerostats - and that's how we got JLENS, which has the huge weakness of being very hard to relocate (lots of C-17s). LEMV could have been the best technology in the world but had a management structure that was ed-up at the outset.

There are many ideas in the history of aviation that have been given much more money and allowed to prove whether they worked or not.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 14:29
  #215 (permalink)  
 
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We've been ballooning for nearly 200 years and the latest lot have been at it for nearly 50 years (same people with different company names). How much of a chance do they get? See below.

Oh, and the Yanks aren't stupid and they would have thrown money at it to make it work if it was viable, both financially or technically. They saw the writing on the wall and were licky to recover £301,000 of their millions by selling it back to the snake oil salesmen.

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Old 13th Feb 2015, 17:13
  #216 (permalink)  
 
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What I see in that chart is a company supporting itself with small conventional airships (which everyone agrees are niche devices, no arguments there) while it tries, mostly with very little outside funding, to develop big airships and, later, hybrids.

The various hybrids, by the way, are all aimed at addressing the speed and ground handling issues that are recognized LTA problems.

LEMV was overweight, for sure, but the GAO's explanation that it was 12,500 lb overweight because of the tail fins sounds simplistic. It was more a case of having an airframe designer in the UK, making the envelope in a U.S. textile mill and then making the radar guys do the integration under Army management. And the whole thing cost one-tenth as much as JLENS.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 17:16
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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You have to agree though, if airships are a scam on the scale of the 'Nigerian diamond mine' email, then there are some pretty dumb high ranking military officers and multi-millionaire investors out there!!!

Maybe the critics are jealous because they are neither of the above!
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 17:29
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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Here we go again, can we look at this please...

The tired old carousel of Lighter-than-air (LTA) continues to revolve, on average once every twenty years or so. Is that an Aereon or a Megalifter? In a poor light a Skyship looks much like a Dynairship. Whatever virtues LTA once possessed have now been overtaken by the enrmous reduction in payload size and power consumption and the ready availability of uav's of all sizes, from Globalstar downwards, with which to deploy them. Time on station has been a red herring for years, the area to focus on being "on station" LTA has never been any good at this, a twenty knot headwind reduces your speed of advance by 40%, and is likely to result, if prolonged for anytime, in the vehicle being as likely to be found in Alabama as Afghanistan. In the trophosphere the situation gets worse! The main attraction of LTA lies in the fact that those seeking investment in such crackpot schemes know that investors have no reliable database of what the build or r&d costs for such turkeys ought to be, it's rich picking time for the snake oil salesmen when an air ship project hits town. Luckily, the tired old carousel at DARPA and similar institutions revolves at about the same speed, whenever anybody at such government offices wants a little extra cash for themselves, why not flag up a new "Walrus" or "Skycat"? It like goldfish, a short attention span means you can re-introduce the same nonsense time and again and wait hopefully for the cheques to drop through the letterbox! It is just possible that a conventional blimp of about 100 metres, approximately similar to a "K" class but with advanced glass cockpit and lightweight diesels, could make headway in the coastal surveillance/anti piracy field, but its a small r&d task, no money in it for the speculators you see. I know what I am talking about, invest at your peril! John Wood (Ex Chief Exec and co-founder of Airship Industries)
I would say he is amply qualified to comment!

LJ
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 18:08
  #219 (permalink)  
 
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Generally speaking, when someone goes from "co-founder" to firing off vitriolic attacks (I should add "allegedly" since I can't trace this back any farther than a comment on an Air & Space article), one suspects that personal feelings and emotions enter the scene.

Besides, anyone who became CEO of an airship company and was then surprised and shocked to find that such vehicles cruise at <100 knots and that there is an atmospheric phenomenon known as "wind" has to be as thick as two short planks.
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Old 13th Feb 2015, 18:57
  #220 (permalink)  
 
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Have you 2 bought shares in the 'snake oil'?
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