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New Gen AirShips - Hybrid Air Vehicles, UK

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New Gen AirShips - Hybrid Air Vehicles, UK

Old 8th Sep 2011, 07:57
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New Gen AirShips - Hybrid Air Vehicles, UK

A very interesting story about a UK company that's been given a US Military contract to build new generation air ships. They reckon they'll be able to carry 1000 tons in the not too distant future if all goes well:

Airships: Pioneering Brits heralding dawn of new Zeppelin age | Mail Online

I think they have huge potential for military use, air transport and eventually passengers but I can't get over how they'll cope with some of the weather I've certainly experienced around the world. They obviously got around this earlier last century but safety records were not what's expected these days in aviation.
I was after any more info or discussion on this topic from those interested or in the know.
I wouldn't mind a punt on HAV shares when they eventually float.. Parden the pun!
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 09:58
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Does anyone remember the airship trials by the AAC in NI?

How did that go?
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 10:42
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They reckon they'll be able to carry 1000 tons in the not too distant future if all goes well:
That was predicted 30 years ago when Airship Industries first started up.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 16:04
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Hybrid Air Vehicles

The latest little bit of news from them is here:

http://hybridairvehicles.com/pdf/HAV...e24Aug2011.pdf

The text of it is:

Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd today announced the commencement of its Commercial Heavy Lift
programme with its launch customer Discovery Air Innovations.

LONDON, United Kingdom and Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada – 12th August 2011 – Discovery Air
Innovations (DAI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Air Inc. and Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited
(HAV) have signed an agreement under which DAI will be the first customer for HAV’s Commercial
Heavy Lift programme.

Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd is a pioneer and world leader in the design, manufacture and support of
innovative Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) aircraft products, known as Hybrid Air Vehicles. The company has
brought together a long legacy of LTA design and delivery experience and combined it with modern
technologies to create a major new, cost effective, low carbon emission aerospace business,
focusing initially on the surveillance and heavy lift markets.

Based in Cranfield, UK, the HAV team has more than 1,000 years of combined aerospace experience
in building and certifying LTA aircraft. Recent improvements in technology, such as advanced
fabrics, control technology and simulation have enabled the team to build a hybrid air vehicle that
has significant advantages over the original airship concept. The “hybrid” principle utilizes both
aerodynamics and lighter-than-air technology to generate lift - about 60% of the lift is aerostatic
(from helium buoyancy) and the remaining 40% is aerodynamic, generated from the vehicle’s shape.
Additionally, powered lift is used during take-off and landing by vectoring the thrust from four
ducted propulsors.

The result is a range of revolutionary products with global market potential. In 2010, partnering
with Northrop Grumman, HAV Ltd. won a $517 million U.S. Army contract to develop the Long-
Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) for deployment into theatre in 2012. This vehicle is
able to operate above 20,000 feet (MSL) with up to 21-days endurance.

Discovery Air is a specialty aviation company based in Canada, with operations around the world.
Their service offering includes cargo transport, rotary wing, fire services, logistics and military
aviation services. DAI President, Paul Bouchard, has stated
“HAV’s heavy lift and cargo market will be
a tremendous addition to our range of aviation services. With a cargo capacity of 50 tonnes at
speeds up to 100 knots (185 km/h), we believe this capability will enable economic development of
remote, stranded resources with a low environmental impact. The ability to deliver cargo
point-to-point without the need for a runway, will mean the infrastructure costs of our clients are reduced
substantially.”
HAV’s heavy lift and cargo vehicles have a payload capacity ranging from 20 to 200 tonnes, with
future development potential of up to 1,000 tonnes. The helium-filled hull creates aerodynamic lift,
which when combined with the vectored thrust engines enables vertical takeoff / landing (VTOL), as
well as precision hover. The hovercraft landing system’s “suck down” allows for multi-surface
operation and load transfer - on land, water, ice and snow.
The hybrid air vehicle is also one of the most environmentally-friendly modes of transport. Its
flexibility reduces or eliminates transshipments and fuel consumption is equally impressive, saving
up to 75% on equivalent payload alternatives. The ability to launch, land and load from gravel
airstrips, water, snow or ice surfaces with no preparation or specialist handling equipment saves
end-users both time and investment in infrastructure. Ground loading offers roll-on-roll-off
capability, while the precision hover allows pick-up and delivery of cargo from ships or other austere
locations.

The Heavy Lift Programme is currently in its detailed design phase, with construction planned for
2012. The first vehicle is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2014.

For further details please visit Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd - For Persistent Surveillance and Heavy Lift Logistics
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 18:11
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Interested readers might like to use their Interweb Search Engine of Choice to see what a trawl for "shortage of helium" throws up. I remember reading not long ago (in New Scientist, story then picked up by the Independent) how many quids it would cost (dozens) for one of those fairground/party balloons if the US Govt didn't artificially fix the price of the gas (couldn't work a joke on 'inflation' there, sadly) so low.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 18:30
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Helium is the new gold in Afghanistan with lots of tethered balloons needing refilling (and emptying of lead!) every fortnight or so.

Anyway we discussed this last year at http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...istan-isr.html

Airships are 'snake oil' that get invested in every 10-20years and find they need too much infrastructure and can't deal with medium level winds. I await the cancellation of the program when they (re) discover this.

LJ
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 19:18
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How did that go?
Slowly.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 19:24
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LJ

What rubbish!!

Airships and UAV are the answer to everything. Maritime Patrol, Close Air Support, Airborne Early Warning, Heavy Lift, Global Warming, The Credit Crunch, Teenage Acne, Non Specific Urethritis....

I believe they have developed a UAV that can play left wing for England and an airship has been widely touted to win the next X Factor. Oh no...that already happened.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 22:09
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Nice one LJ - enough said in the thread in the link you posted. This says it all really from the ex-exec of what became Hybrid Air Vehicles:

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)
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Old 9th Sep 2011, 07:33
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I thought I'd read somewhere that the only supply of Helium was in yankeeland and it was running low.

If true, surely the Americans would either make it prohibitively expensive or simply keep it for themselves.

Hasn't technology advanced sufficiently since the R101 and Hindenburg era to allow safe usage of hydrogen with it's greater lifting power?

I wonder how much an aluminium piano would cost nowadays?
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Old 10th Sep 2011, 15:33
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Hasn't technology advanced sufficiently since the R101 and Hindenburg era to allow safe usage of hydrogen with it's greater lifting power?

Don't think so.

Furthermore, it's not only a question of safety. The need to refill, at least partially refill the gasbags with helium or hydrogen before each takeoff is a big drawback.

In regard to the helium problem: the only airship proposals I can take seriously are ones which don't require helium to be dumped in order to descend and land.

There have been proposals -- Russian, I think-- for airships that would chill and compress their helium to descend, so as to -reuse the helium.

Also, Lockheed and others have mooted hybrid large aircraft/airships which would not dump any helium and would remain somewhat heavier than air even when empty of cargo.

The “hybrid” principle utilizes both aerodynamics and lighter-than-air technology to generate lift - about 60% of the lift is aerostatic (from helium buoyancy) and the remaining 40% is aerodynamic, generated from the vehicle’s shape.

Make that about 65%-70% aerodynamic lift and 30%-35% aerostatic, and the proposal might be viable.


Last edited by Modern Elmo; 10th Sep 2011 at 15:44.
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Old 10th Sep 2011, 19:44
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Even Helium won't save you with a fire in an airship...



This sadly happened this year. Witnesses reported hearing the pilot screaming as it went in - horrific!

Airships? No thanks!

CPL Clott
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Old 10th Sep 2011, 19:51
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At least he got his pax out.

RIP Mike. A top bloke.
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Old 10th Sep 2011, 21:58
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500 above

I read that. That he swooped down whilst on fire to get his pax out, who duly jumped. Sadly, the loss of the pax's weight meant that the airship went up again with him in it. In my opinion the guy deserves a George Cross as he could have just bailed when close to the ground and left his pax to it.

I never new him but I do admire his courage.

CPL Clott
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Old 10th Sep 2011, 22:11
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Make that about 65%-70% aerodynamic lift and 30%-35% aerostatic, and the proposal might be viable.
Here ya go..



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Old 10th Sep 2011, 22:33
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Thunderbird 2 was a pure lifting body design, no lighter than air component at all.
The plans show that main thrust was from a nuclear reactor which used liquid sodium (or maybe Sodium-Potassium alloy) as a heat exchanger to superheat the air flow through the ramjets. Liquid fuel rockets were in the two tailpipes and provided extra/initial takeoff thrust, while there were four turbofans in the tail cross section for low speed cruise. (i.e. below 2000mph). Max speed was 5000mph

The VTOL lift was provided by another set of liquid fuel rockets

You may laugh, but its as credible as a functional LTA machine

Last edited by jamesdevice; 11th Sep 2011 at 16:19.
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Old 11th Sep 2011, 18:03
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Gakkg651

I thought I'd read somewhere that the only supply of Helium was in yankeeland and it was running low.

If true, surely the Americans would either make it prohibitively expensive or simply keep it for themselves.

Hasn't technology advanced sufficiently since the R101 and Hindenburg era to allow safe usage of hydrogen with it's greater lifting power?

I wonder how much an aluminium piano would cost nowadays?
A lot does come from the USA - it is actually a by product of oil exploration/production. At one time it came out of the ground so fast, it was necessary to fit silencers to the He vents.

However, we get most of our LHe - liquid Helium - via our suppliers who get it from Algeria. Even so, you are right, it isn't getting any more common and its price has risen steeply over the years I been using it.

LHe is weird stuff and even though I have used hundreds of thousands of litres, I have never seen it. It never comes out of the end of the pipe, only as vapour. It has incredibly high surface tension and will climb the walls of any container to an extraordinary degree. It can also boil locally, that is to say, unlike water where the whole volume of water must be raised to 100C before it will boil, Liquid helium can boil in one small part of its volume. This will usually cascade into a generalised state of boiling if the pressure is not maintained.

It goes without saying that if is incredibly cold - about 4K or -269 C.

Roger.
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Old 12th Sep 2011, 07:30
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Landroger.

Thanks for the interesting info.

Love to know what you use hundreds of thousands litres of He for.

You're not one of those saturation diver chaps per chance?
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Old 12th Sep 2011, 08:49
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From New scientist:

Sign in to read: Nobel prizewinner: We are running out of helium - opinion - 18 August 2010 - New Scientist

Nobel prizewinner: We are running out of helium Robert Richardson worked on the superfluid properties of helium – now he worries that we are squandering our supplies of the gas
Most of us think of helium as something to fill balloons with or that makes your voice go funny when you inhale it. Why does it matter that helium supplies are running low?
There are some substitutes, but it can't be replaced for cryogenics, where liquid helium cools superconducting magnets for MRI scanners. There is no other substance which has a lower boiling point than helium. It is also used in the manufacture of fibre optics and liquid crystal displays.
The use of helium in cryogenics is self-contained, in that the helium is recycled. The same could be done in other industries if helium was expensive enough that manufacturers thought recovering it was worthwhile.
Surely industry must be paying more and more for helium if it is in short supply.
No, the price is dictated by a calendar. The US government established a national helium reserve in 1925, and today a billion cubic metres of the gas are stored in a facility near Amarillo, Texas. In 1996 Congress passed an act requiring that this strategic reserve, which represents half the Earth's helium stocks, be sold off by 2015. As a result, helium is far too cheap and is not treated as a precious resource.
Oil companies such as Exxon have invested heavily in extracting fossil fuels from shale, which may also contain helium. Could this come to our rescue?
The so-called Eastern oil shale in Kentucky and Ohio, which is also a source of natural gas, contains only trace amounts of helium, not the relatively large 0.5 to 2 per cent found in natural gas reserves in the American West. The same is true of North Sea gas and wells in Europe.
Say we do run out of helium - can't we just make the stuff from something else or purify it from the air?
There is no chemical means to make helium. The supplies we have on Earth come from radioactive alpha decay in rocks. Right now it's not commercially viable to recover helium from the air, so we have to rely on extracting it from rocks. But if we do run out altogether, we will have to recover helium from the air and it will cost 10,000 times what it does today.
The shortage of helium has been talked about for a while. Are things really getting that urgent now?
Maybe in Europe there has been a conversation, but not in the US - and the US supplies nearly 80 per cent of the helium used in the world. The problem is that these supplies will run out in a mere 25 years, and the US government has a policy of selling helium at a ridiculously low price.
What should the US government do instead?
Get out of the business and let the free market prevail. The consequence will be a rise in prices. Unfortunately, party balloons will be $100 each rather than $3 but we'll have to live with that. We will have to live with those prices eventually anyway
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Old 15th Oct 2011, 12:43
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LEMV readied for November flight

LEMV readied for November flight

"LEMV is now running more than a month behind its scheduled first flight, which was revealed in June at the Paris Air Show. The delays have not been publicly explained.
The hybrid airship is now in a hangar, with all 19 sections inflated and sensors integrated, according to sources with knowledge of the programme."
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