Why did so many airship projects fail?

A place to generally discuss airships and anything related to LTA-aviation.
Sean
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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby Sean » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:20 pm

pyronaught wrote:One scenario where rigids could return is if someone with a lot of money were to have one built. Some of the yachts they currently have built are within the same price range.


Are you saying...
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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby flyhigh » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:13 am

I think one of the keys to success in the airship industry is designing an airship that is as small as possible while still carrying as much as possible passenger and cargo space. The ratio envelope size : passenger cabin should be as small as possible. This would also give a fair impression to investors and reduce hangar costs.

The LZ 120 Bodensee ( The more I read about this airship, the More I love it ) was a great example of this. It was much more compact than its contemporaries, yet carried more passengers and a larger payload due to its great ratio of length to diameter.

The Airlander 10, while still a hybrid airship, has 18000 cubic m^3 more lifting gas then the LZ 120 Bodensee, but the Airlander only has 400 kg more payload and its passenger and cargo cabin are EVEN smaller then that of the LZ 120 Bodensee. Something is very wrong here...
Last edited by flyhigh on Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby pyronaught » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:06 pm

I agree the Bodensee was a very elegant and successful airship that doesn't get much mention in the history books. Personally it is my favorite airship and I think it is an ideal size for just carrying people around on joy rides.

Keep in mind that there are actually two versions of the Bodensee, as it was later lengthened and sometimes you see stats for the original smaller size. The final volume was 20K cubic meters .

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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby pyronaught » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:08 pm

Sean wrote:Are you saying...


Commercial ventures are just to ham-strung by the need to make money. It's a tough gig.
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flyhigh
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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby flyhigh » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:20 pm

pyronaught wrote:I agree the Bodensee was a very elegant and successful airship that doesn't get much mention in the history books. Personally it is my favorite airship and I think it is an ideal size for just carrying people around on joy rides.

Keep in mind that there are actually two versions of the Bodensee, as it was later lengthened and sometimes you see stats for the original smaller size. The final volume was 20K cubic meters .


Yep and I used the 20k m^3 number as a comparison the the 38k m^3 of the Airlander.
The Nordstern is another underrated beauty.

I think the Airlander is too big for what it (supposedly) can offer.

Of course the Zeppelins used hydrogen and the Airlander helium, but the payloads shouldn't be that close together when the Airlander has 18k m^3 more lifting gas than the Bodensee (and the Airlander isn't even LTA!)

What makes the Airlander so much heavier that it needs 18k cubic meter more lifting gas than the Bodensee, only to result in a small extra 500 kg payload in comparison? The Bodensee could carry 9.5 tonnes...Heck, the Nordstern had 22.5k cubic meters of lifting gas and could carry 11.5 tonnes (useful lift) while the Airlander, with it's 38k cubic metres of lifting gas, can only carry 10 tonnes. We're 100 years in the future and we seem to be downgrading !
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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby pyronaught » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:40 pm

I think blimp volumes are rated as the total envelope volume, which would also include the volume of the balloonettes inside. The air filled balloonettes can be as high as 30% of the total volume if completely filled. Since Airlander is a blimp, it would also have very large balloonettes inside and these are probably getting included in the volume specification. Rigids have no balloonettes, although they do underfill their gas cells to allow for expansion without having to vent gas.

The numbers still don't add up though, Airlander has almost 70% more volume, which is still 40% more if you remove 30% to account for balloonettes. Consider the Bodensee/Nordstern had much heavier engines and had all that framework and rigging to carry around, plus multiple gas cells are heavier than one single outer envelope too... and you have an outer cover on top of that. The difference between lift with hydrogen and helium is really not that much-- and certainly nowhere near enough to account for the missing lift on the Airlander.

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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby Sean » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:49 am

flyhigh wrote:I think one of the keys to success in the airship industry is designing an airship that is as small as possible while still carrying as much as possible passenger and cargo space. The ratio envelope size : passenger cabin should be as small as possible. This would also give a fair impression to investors and reduce hangar costs.

The LZ 120 Bodensee ( The more I read about this airship, the More I love it ) was a great example of this. It was much more compact than its contemporaries, yet carried more passengers and a larger payload due to its great ratio of length to diameter.


Here's an interesting image:
Image

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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby pyronaught » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:44 pm

Is there a way to upload images from your own computer to a post? The image attachment thing seems to only allow images with a url.

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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby pyronaught » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:52 pm

Here's a rare image of the Bodensee after it had been confiscated and given to Italy (just one of many slaps to the face of Germans responsible for the rise of Hitler). It was renamed Esperia

Image

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Re: Why did so many airship projects fail?

Postby Airshipcenter » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:45 pm

pyronaught wrote:Is there a way to upload images from your own computer to a post? The image attachment thing seems to only allow images with a url.


Uploading images directly from your computer should work now.
You do have to click on the ''Full Editor" button when you want to access it to post.
Then next to ''Options'' click on ''Attachments'" > "Add files''.


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