Skip to comments.World’s largest aircraft unveiled and hailed ‘game changer’
Posted on 02/28/2014 11:18:27 PM PST by Olog-hai
The worlds largest aircraft, which can stay airborne for up to three weeks and will be vital in delivering several tonnes of humanitarian aid as well as transporting heavy freight across the world, has been unveiled.
The 300-ft (91-m) ship is part plane, airship and helicopter, and there are plans to eventually use it to transport hundreds of tonnes of freight across difficult terrain throughout the world as well as deliver aid to risky areas.
It is environmentally friendly, being part airship filled with inert helium, and will also be used for surveillance and communications. Developers hope to make more of the green vehicles, which they hope to make capable of taking off from land, water, desert, ice and fields.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Hell, I wrote a paper in high school proposing this very thing back in the 1960s.
That’s not even half the length of the hindenberg.
What makes it different is that it reach anywhere on earth with a day, whereas a traditional blimp might take a week. That makes all the difference in the world if you’re delivering humanitarian supplies to places that suffered an immense natural disaster.
what was ounce old is now claimed to be new. Reminds me of what W. C. Fields said about ‘suckers’.
I found this paragraph amusing.
“However he said he can’t see the ships replacing railways traditionally used to transport freight, but instead said the hybrid machines would be suitable for transporting very heavy loads in hard to reach areas like Canada and Africa.”
I didn’t think Toronto traffic got that bad.
Is that filled with Rino Republican gas or something else?
I suppose there are a few things this design could be well-suited for. The Soviets developed all sorts of wild helicopter designs to service the areas that couldn’t be reached by ground transport and didn’t have the landing facilities for fixed-wing aircraft. So, this isn’t that different in that sense.
As a game-changer...I dunno. I get that it’s high-endurance, but 100 mph top speed dampens my enthusiasm a bit. Cruise speed is likely a lot less than that (I’m betting no more than half, based on what I’ve read on other next-gen airship designs).
I’m not an aerospace engineer, certainly. But this just looks like a niche vehicle, rather than the future of air transport and travel.
Ahhh, more surveillance. Wherever the battery powered drones are impractical.
The first aircraft with cleavage. Game changer.
Trendy phrase I’d like to see permanently retired: “Game changer.”
It would be useful in delivering supplies to places like Ft. McMurray, Alberta. The could bypass Highway 63 altogether, which is the main highway from Edmonton.
Currently, when you get stuck behind a truck carrying some of the large equipment, you can find that this six hour trip becomes a 15 hour trip and there’s nothing you can do about it, if you value your life than your time.
I can tell you from personal experience that our traffic *is* that bad.
It could also be useful in opening up the “Ring of Fire” in Northern Ontario. There are no roads there at all, so this would probably be more cost-effective than building new roads to get at the minerals.
And every year or so “they” keep telling us that we are on the cusp of a major helium shortage and that we will run out of it in our lifetimes.
Now that I have reminded everyone of this, look at the picture of this thing and try to reconcile “helium shortage” with operating one or more of THOSE.
And let’s not pretend that once in a while there won’t be an accident that loses all of the helium in that thing.
“huge manatee” pic coming in 3, 2,...
500 miles an hour, NO NO NO. If it can please let me invest, it can not thus I will not invest. In reality there is a place for lighter than air heavy lift but they will be slow aircraft.
How did they ever get Rosie O’Donnell airborne? Shove propellers up her butt?
I clicked on that link and my computer virus scanner went NUTS! Don’t go there...
Unless they have a head wind.
Uh, Jonty30, can we check your math?
It can reach about 100mph and stay airborne for about three-and-a-half days.That's 2400 miles a day, approximately up to five days maximumwith good windsto reach anywhere in the world. . . But you gotta go to ground every three and a half to refuel. Call it six. Nothing new here. Everything old is new again.
Add a head wind and with that frontal area to say nothing of drag??? You'd be lucky to make 30MPH.
Say, the first line of the article says it can stay aloft for three weeks. . . but the it says three and a half days??? Who are they kidding??? Somebody’s making things up! I smell a hoax!
This has all the earmarks of that “announced” Boeing 797 that seated 1200 passengers hoax that looked like a flying wing.
That front end “cracks” me up. They could call it the Assenburg or the Hindenbutt.
blimp big deal
At 100 mph, it can travel 2400 miles in 24 hours. Pretty impressive.
But what about helium supplies? I thought we were running out?
I remember reading here about an old Soviet transport plane design that was designed to fly very low. It used the "ground effect" to save on fuel.
I wonder if it will go anywhere. It seems like they'd have military use, at least. Check out this neat looking rendering:
I don't know how they'd do on heavy seas.
Staying aloft, going nowhere, for three weeks may have some reconnaissance value to it. Actually traveling somewhere is going to burn a lot more fuel than just loitering in one spot.
Nasa is the country's largest user of helium. Guess who the second is?
The Macy's Day Parade.
“Trendy phrase Id like to see permanently retired: Game changer.”
YES! Along with “unexpected.”
DARPA, NASA, and, the DOD have been studying airship technology for years as rapid military transports. There are benefits (faster than ships, not bound by waterways, less crew intensive) and liabilities (vulnerable to wind and weather, vulnerable in general to enemy fire, and, able to carry less for their size than a comparable ship.)
It is a neo-novel concept. The would fill a niche somewhere between sea-going vessels and transport aircraft but that niche and how important it is is the question.
Oh, it's green. Well ok, just keep reverting the country back to the early 1900's,
then call it progress.
It wouldn’t have much military use, because it is too slow. Where I could see it being used is one could probably unload a ship and load a blimp within a few hours and get it to wherever it needs to be in a minimal number of steps.
They keep trying to do it with electric cars, after all. They read the stories of the time when electric cars once outsold internal and external combustion cars, and wonder what stopped the technology.
"... and it looks like a giant penis."
Like the Segway. I actually saw one recently - at the Target store in Mountain View.
Something else. Sitting duck s**t.
And less than 1/10th the explosive power.
The article states that the max speed is "maybe 100 mph".
That's not even coast-to-coast in a day.
And haven't fancy blimps been on at least one Popular Science magazine cover a year for the past 30 years?
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