Pros and cons of airships

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Shangorilla, Dec 14, 2007.

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  1. Shangorilla Registered Member

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    I love the idea of zeppelins. It started when I saw Blade Runner and I saw the add blimp. I want to know, is their a possibility for zeppelin travel to return? Could modern technology be used to make economical and safe airship travel?
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    High winds are a very difficult thing for them. Finding a shelter is always

    going to be difficult. Building and Maintaining them is a problem. They are

    very very slow in getting from place to place. They can't hold to many

    people. Those are just a few of the problems with them.
     
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  5. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    I personally think this is a very untapped market. They could make them sooo safe nowadays. Some people are in no particular hurry and wouldn't mind traveling this way.


    They might be a necessity someday, as they could probably be powered from solar energy alone.

    I can think of quite few military applications I won't go into.
     
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  7. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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  8. Shangorilla Registered Member

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    Elaborate please…you have peaked my interest!
     
  9. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    These things can operate above cloud cover and have a lot of surface area, that screams solar energy.

    Military, off the top of my head and non-terroristic:

    Awacs
    Refuel
    Retaliation strike Platform
    Supply drop
    Naval search(and long range engagement - bring back the phoenix)

    Considering modern asymmetrical warfare(including complete air supremacy for one side), just about anything a jet can do, an airship can do..cheaper.
     
  10. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Especially of the 'thin film' variety.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    An airship can handle fair wind, and match light planes for speed (far outpacing cars, ships, or most trains).

    They probably need to be hydrogen filled, to become prevalent. Helium is too expensive and too heavy, as well as being a non-renewable resource. Hydrogen is not as dangerous as advertised.

    The big German Zepps carried over a hundred people, and in style - grand pianos, wine bars, etc - at over 70 mph in 1932. They were probably the safest means of long distance travel ever invented. And serious technological advances ahve been made since.

    I'm surprised no South American country has looked into them. Road and track building is hell on that continent.
     
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Actually ships were far better and safer as well. Ships could also carry

    thousadnds of people. Todays aircraft hold up to 500 people with over 800

    people that are going to be carried by new designs in the future. Airships or

    blimps don't have any place in the skies today. They are like dinosaurs,

    obsolete. Helicoptors can carry people fasrer short distances as well.
     
  13. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Advantages :

    -Almost no energy expended to stay aloft
    -VERY high altitude potential

    Disadvantages :

    -Price of buoyant gases
    -Speed limit, due to aerodynamic cross-sectional area

    Feel free to add to the pros/cons list.
     
  14. Roman Banned Banned

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    I saw a design for airships that lift horizontally, and could lift A LOT. A suggested use was using them to move stuff from, say, the pier to your factory a short distance away, since it wouldn't matter on the size of the roads, etc.
     
  15. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    Airships are generally bulky, slow, expensive to maintain, expensive to refuel, and make easy targets for pretty much anything that is moving in its general direction.

    The good things are that they are capable of being steady and make good platforms for moving very large quantities of cargo or people. Basically an airship can be a floating cruise ship.
     
  16. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Too bad engineers cant figure out how to use perfects vacuums to provide lift. I imagine that would be lighter than hydrogen...too many structural problems I guess.
     
  17. Roman Banned Banned

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    How... how would that even work?
     
  18. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    Would nothing float to the top or sink to the bottom?
     
  19. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Probably wouldnt work. I just recall there was a science fiction novel back in the 50s-60s about a futuristic city where folks flew around in ships kept aloft by large vacuum capsules.

    Zero air is lighter than hydrogen...but probably not by much.
     
  20. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe airships would be better off shaped like frisbees. If something goes wrong they can just float gently to the ground.

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  21. kmguru Staff Member

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    Airships generally are designed to go 30 to 50 MPH. They can be designed to go 70 MPH at a higher altitude (less drag). So they can be a good solution to Cargo transport by sea.

    Flying Casino anyone?
     
  22. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Better to have a supertanker converted to a casino with launches from

    shore to it.
     
  23. USS Exeter unamerican american Registered Senior Member

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    Flying Casinos, hotels, RVs? That would be interesting and a big buisness if it was ever created.
     
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