Aeroscraft shows off its giant airship

in space on (#Q6XQ)
Lighter than air vehicles are, for the most part, relics of a distant past. Despite the past century of flight mostly belonging to airplanes and helicopters, there’s been a slight resurgence of dirigibles this century. Not least among them is the Dragon Dream, by the Aeroscraft Corporation. This is only half the size of their planned airship...

Rather than the slow-moving luxury cruisers of old, the Aeroscraft is a working vehicle designed to carry 66 tons of cargo reliably to parts of the world without runways. The 555-foot-long craft is at a design freeze. Aeroscraft thinks they have the vehicle they want, and to meet deadlines on time, they’re going to stop tinkering with the design and just make the dang thing.

The Aeroscraft is just one of a small new world of gigantic lumbering dirigibles. In 2013, the U.S. Army canceled its LEMV surveillance zeppelin, but the project has since been revived in the United Kingdom as a working machine, and Goodyear is looking at replacing its soft-bodied blimps with more durable rigid airframes.

Could you use hydrogen for permanent-installation balloons? (Score: 1)

by on 2015-10-13 15:02 (#QBMZ)

As I understand it, the high price of helium is one of the major issues with airships. Could you use (yes, flammable) hydrogen instead, especially for unmanned floating-installation type applications?

If you want to bounce radio signals off something a mile up in the sky, would a hydrogen-filled balloon do the job? The safety issue is surely not a big one if it's not designed to regularly land: a Hindenburg situation seems unlikely if it's neither carrying people nor intended to land.
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