Aeroscraft shows off its giant airship

by
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.

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

by fnj@pipedot.org on 2015-10-13 23:19 (#QD45)

The cost of helium is not a critical factor. Even at a very generous $10/m^3, the cost to fill Hindenburg 100% with helium would be $2 million. But it would cost at least $45 million (simply tracking general inflation), and quite possible $100-200 million to build Hindenburg today. Operations are such as not to expend any gas. Diffusion and leakage could certainly be kept to less than the amount of one filling per year.

But yes, certainly hydrogen could technically be used if you could get your craft certified with it, and if you don't mind the hazard of flaming wreckage falling on your citizens.
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