May
28
2017
0

One boy’s memory of the Hindenburg

It was 80 years ago this month that the LZ 129 Hindenburg exploded as it was attempting to dock at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey.

Miraculously, 62 of the 97 passengers and crew survived. However, now there is only one remaining who escaped the disaster: 88-year-old Werner Doehner.

He was 8 years old on that fateful day, traveling home with his family from a vacation in Germany. His father and sister died in the crash. Werner, a brother and his mother escaped by jumping about 20 feet out a window of the airship.

“Suddenly the air was on fire,” Doehner said in an interview with The Associated Press.

This is a story about a 7-year-old boy who also saw the “air on fire.” He was watching from the attic of his house, six miles away.

It’s a memory that has stayed with Ed Frankman, 87, seared on his mind all these years later. I was talking on the phone with him on May 6, the anniversary of the tragedy.

Link to full article

Written by admin in: Airship News,General |
May
22
2017
0

Russia’s First Missile Defense Airship to Be Produced in Three Years

Russia’s experimental airship Atlant is scheduled to make its first flight somewhere in late-2020, NSN news service reported, citing Augur-RosAeroSystems CEO Gennady Verba.

Gennady Verba said that the final version of the Atlant airship would  take about 3.5 years to build at the cost of several billion rubles.

He added, however, that the other modifications would cost less.

During a news conference at the National News Service headquarters on Tuesday, Verba thanked the Skolkovo Fund for helping develop the airship’s autonomous ballast system, which allows the airship to float freely in a horizontal position and, whenever necessary, to lose its lift and descend.

Here’s link to the full post

 

Written by admin in: Airship News,General |
May
15
2017
0

Can Giant Airships Accelerate To Orbit (JP Aerospace’s Idea)?

JP Aerospace is an interesting company – in the city of Rancho Cordova, CA., California, JP Aerospace, America’s OTHER Space Program. Their aim is to develop ways to send airships up into the stratosphere – and more controversially, all the way to orbit with their “Orbital Airships” vision. The airships would accelerate very slowly, at a rate of perhaps a few centimeters per second increase n speed every second, over several days, until they reach orbital velocity. Can they, or can’t they, or how far can they go?

If you do it the other way, build airships to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere from orbit, then this is much more widely accepted to be possible, with many scientists exploring plans such as the VAMP proposal for atmospheric re-entry for Venus, Titan and Earth by an airship that inflates as it re-enters, and slows down because it presents such a large surface area to the atmosphere. Also there was a 1964 test of a small inflated paraglider that achieved hypersonic speeds of over Mach 3 at a height of 400,000 feet, though only for minutes. So hypersonic flight by airships seems to be feasible in principle at those heights, but how fast and for how long? It is also definitely possible to have an inflatable in orbit, from the Echo project, which used inflated balloons as satellites for communications purposes.

Here is John Powell outlining his idea

Throughout this article, page numbers refer to John Powell’s book “Floating to Space, the Airship to Orbit Program”.

 

Follow this link to entire article.

Written by admin in: Airship News,General |
May
02
2017
0

Google Co-Founder Building Secret Airship Inside Former NASA Hangar

As the executives at most technology companies are preparing for the future of flying vehicles, Google co-founder Sergey Brin apparently is exploring modes of transportation from the past. Brin, according to unnamed Bloomberg sources close to him, is building a large airship inside Hangar 2 at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. While the vessel isn’t an official Alphabet project, it isn’t clear whether Brin is building it as a hobby or in the hopes of starting a business. “Sorry, I don’t have anything to say about this topic right now,” Brin told Bloomberg.

Ames, which once housed the USS Macon, is located near Alphabet’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. By visiting the facility and looking at archived photographs of the Macon, Brin reportedly became extremely interested in airships, and decided three years ago to build one of his own. Google took over the hangars at Ames in 2015, and one of them currently houses the metal framework for Brin’s ship. Alan Weston, who formerly was the director of programs at Ames, reportedly has been brought in to head the project.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2017/04/google-co-founder-building-secret-airship-inside-former-nasa-hanger/

 

Here’s link to full post.

Written by admin in: Airship News,General |
Apr
24
2015
0

HAV receives UK funding to bring airship back to flight

From Flightglobal.com: 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.

The premise behind the RGF is that government investment in small and medium programmes in the UK will stimulate further investment by private financiers.

“The government backing immediately unlocks equity investment from private individuals and will ultimately lead to commercial agreements with customers, who will continue the funding of the business through a series of trials and demonstrations taking place during 2016,” the company says, suggesting also that this will subsequently lead to future orders.

asset image

Beth Stevenson/Flightglobal

This is the second large government grant that HAV has received, it says, following an Innovate UK grant award in 2014 that funded engine and windtunnel work currently under way. See full article here.

Written by admin in: Airship News,General |
Dec
31
2014
0

NASA ponders airship city above Venus

airships-above-venus NASA is floating the idea of a permanent human city above the surface of Venus using blimps so astronauts can study one of the most hostile environments in the solar system.

Called HAVOC – High Altitude Venus Operational Concept — engineers and scientists at the space agency have been studying ways in which a Venus mission would be possible.

“The atmosphere of Venus is an exciting destination for both further scientific study and future human exploration,” aerospace engineer Christopher A. Jones told CNN.

See full post from CBC: here

Written by admin in: Airship News |
Mar
18
2013
0

Don’t mention the Hindenburg

For years they’ve been associated with disaster, but now airships may be poised to take up a vital role in war and commerce. Horatia Harrod reports.

AT CARDINGTON Airfield, just south of Bedford, two vast corrugated steel hangers tower over the surrounding area. More than 244 metres long – the length of almost three soccer pitches – and 58 metres high, they are the heroic relics of the once great British airship industry.

Eighty years ago, two mighty vessels, the R100 and the R101, were housed in these great metal behemoths; incredible ”lighter-than-air aircraft”, with customised silver and crockery, Axminster carpeted smoking rooms and portholed cabins, that were designed to sail noiselessly across the Atlantic like aeronautical cruise ships.

Further down the road in this part of East England, housed in a far less spectacular stack of Portakabins, is a group of engineers who are convinced such airships can take to our skies once more. Hybrid Air Vehicles has built a scale prototype of what will soon be the largest flying vessel in the world, a huge balloon made of ultra-lightweight, super-strong polyester on top of a hovercraft landing system. If it works, it could change the future of flight. (more…)

Written by admin in: General |
Mar
15
2013
1

Military eyes resurrecting airships for cargo transport

The Army and the U.S. Transportation Command are looking into using updated versions of the ill-fated German Hindenburg airship and the Navy’s USS Macon dirigible to transport cargo in support of combat and humanitarian operations.

Development of a logistics airship — an aerial vehicle that gets its lift from a gas lighter than air, such as helium — “is urgently needed to enhance the capabilities of the Department of Defense in transporting personnel, supplies, equipment and other materials to increasingly numerous and dispersed locations around the world to respond to any crisis,” the Army Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Ala., said in a request for industry help that closed on Oct. 29.

Additionally, in a request for information released Nov. 8, TRANSCOM sought help from industry, academic researchers and commercial transportation companies to conduct economic analysis, modeling, simulation and experimentation for development of airships for worldwide Defense supply missions. See full article here

Written by admin in: Airship News,General | Tags: , , ,
Aug
07
2011
0

New Russian airship for Arctic research

Russian engineers have designed an innovative dirigible for the exploration of the Arctic.

Thanks to unique know-how, its pressure on ice during landing will be extremely weak, thus enabling it to deliver people and cargo even to half-melted ice floes. (more…)

Written by admin in: Airship News,General |
May
08
2011
0

Floating into the future

A safer generation of airships is trying to usher in a low-carbon future for air cargo. The initial target: Developing markets – China, Africa, northern Canada – where transportation infrastructure is nonexistent.


The notion that airships represent the future of air cargo is being revived by a new generation of entrepreneurs some 75 years after a catastrophic fireball brought the industry to a screeching halt.

We may always carry freight in the bellies of passenger jets. But in a fully mature hybrid market, airships should replace the rest of the fixed-wing cargo fleet.

– Barry Prentice, University of Manitoba

Far safer than the Hindenburg, whose tragic 1937 docking remains an icon of aerospace gone wrong, these modern airships are a hybrid of lighter-than-air and fixed-wing aircraft. They can loft enormous payloads without requiring the acres of tarmac or miles of roadway necessary for conventional air and truck transport. And they do so at a fraction of the fuel and cost of aircraft.

Airships “give you access and much larger payloads at much lower costs,” said Peter DeRobertis, project leader for commercial hybrid air vehicles at Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics and Skunk Works division in Fort Worth, Texas. “It’s also a green aircraft; you’re not polluting.”

Today’s airships could conceivably be used to transport everything from ripe pineapples to heavy industrial equipment direct to the customer. Shippers, for example, could roll tractors, backhoes, and road graders onto a 50-ton hybrid vehicle at a factory and roll them off at the job site, easing logistics and cost. Link to full post on The Daily Climate

Written by admin in: General |
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