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Revival of the airships?

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Carcharodon View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


Joined: 04 May 2007
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    Posted: 18 Nov 2009 at 18:35
Will airships ever be an important complement (or even replacement for) to aeroplanes and helicopters? Some enthusiasts foretell a come back for airships (modern ones, with helium, modern motors, and packed with modern electronics) because they are less energy demanding, more sustainable, more quiet and more friendly to the environment than ordinary flying vehicles. Big airships can also carry more goods than the largest helicopters and many times more for a lesser cost than helicopters and big airplanes.

So what do you belive, is it time for a revival of airships?




Pic from: http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/skycat/images/SkyCat_2.jpg



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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2009 at 19:02
The technology to make safe and huge airships has been there since the early 90s (I did a couple of reports on them some years ago) but the problem is investments, there are simply not enough money despite the fact that they can carry much more than the normal planes do and cost much less to operate since theyuse only a fraction of the fuel airplanes do.
 
The problem is building and developing them needs lots of infrastructure and costs alot (especially considering that Helium, the gas of choice, isn't cheap to get). Plus the massive aviation industry simply will not let them succeed.
 
Back in the early 90s, Texas tried to bring the TGV the aviation industry as well as the trucking companies killed it by overregulation, taxation and lawsuits. Same thing will happen for companies that try to invade the market of aviation with airships.
 
AL-Jassas
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Carcharodon View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2009 at 18:31
Maybe the future for airships will lie in countries that right now are developing their infrastructure and where the commercial and industrial giants has not had the time to accumulate so much power yet as they have in, for example, the US and Europe. Maybe airships will be something for China and many developing countries searching for good transport alternatives.

Edited by Carcharodon - 23 Nov 2009 at 18:49
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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2009 at 23:27
Helium is actually a major future resource problem. Nearly all of it is currently sourced from natural vents in the US - which are running out.

While airships are really cool, I don't really see them as a good transport alternative. They are too slow. What's the maximum turn of speed on one of these ships? Their drag would be huge.
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Carcharodon View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2010 at 22:20
What they loose in speed they gain in their ability to carry heavy loads, especially to places without good airfields and similar. They also crave less fuel than cargo helicopters or planes.

And for passenger traffic they are excellent if you are not in a hurry. For sightseeings and tourism they are splendid.

Also for surveillance their ability to stay airborne for prolonged periods is a clear advantage.
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