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Northstar1989

Giant Airships. Awesome!

32 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

So how are those mines moving ore now?

They are in the planning stages still. Part of the planning is how to get people, equipment, and ore to and from the sites. Using airships will make them more viable than building roads on permafrost.

Google "northern canada mines airships" for a list of articles about these plans.

For example: http://fortune.com/2016/11/16/lockheeds-hybrid-airships-launch-customer/

Edited by StrandedonEarth

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8 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

They are in the planning stages still.

Yeah.   A mining company with no mines plans to lease airships from an aviation company which doesn't own any airships but which plans to buy them from a company which hasn't built anything but a subscale demonstrator...    No offense, but I've heard that story before.  (Or it's equivalent, many times over the last forty years.)   Let's wait and see if anything actually pans out.

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10 hours ago, DerekL1963 said:

Which claim you should address by simply googling "balloon borne telescope".

I now did even better: took a look at wiki.
12 balloonoscopes since 1950s?

"Sunrise". 1 meter telescope at 30 altitude. Two missions: 6 and 5 days long, 4 years between,

"PoGOLite". 2011, 5 hours in the air, flight cancelled due to helium leak. The second mission was planned to 2012, but cancelled.

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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

I now did even better: took a look at wiki.

No, you didn't do better.  You did worse.   The link I provided was to a google search - hundreds and thousands of resources.  You looked at one resource.
 

1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

12 balloonoscopes since 1950s?

Twelve scopes listed on Wikipedia.  Let's look at just some of the ones not listed on Wikipedia.  SuperBIT, SPIDER, STO, EBEX, PILOT, TIGRE, GRAINE, FIRBE...(All of these were found on the first few pages of the Google search I linked.)   Then there's EUSO and GRIPS....  That's ten projects not listed on Wikipedia.  

I suppose I could keep looking and make it an even twelve or more, but I'm done here.  You're wrong, and that's that.
 

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On 17/3/2017 at 7:00 AM, kerbiloid said:

Btw how would they send a repair team? Airplane can't, rocket can't. Only on lesser zeppelins. The docking of two zeppelines 40 km above the Earth would be a magnificent show.

The "idea" is to just land the zeppelin, and the atmosphere above the stratosphere IIRC is not that turbulent.

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One thing I'd always thought about cargo airships is that they can carry large pieces of cargo that can't be broken down into smaller things, and can also act as stable aerial platforms. This enables us, for instance, to carry fully-assembled wind turbines slung underneath right to their installation point, and lower it into position using airship-mounted winches, essentially using it as a gigantic aircrane.

The other thing I can think about is that a cargo airship can be incredibly useful if we have a launch pad on a mountain. This vehicle can lift entire rocket stages, fully-assembled, right on top of the pad, and stack them into position.

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On 16.3.2017 at 5:32 PM, DerekL1963 said:


Only among people with the memory of a goldfish, the rest of us remember the last fifteen times companies were working on "new, modern" cargo airships of various kinds and how they went precisely nowhere.  Every five to eight years since (roughly) the mid 60's, somebody with more money than sense discovers airships...  With great fanfare they announce a new designs and there's tons of cool concept art of lovely silvery whales cruising serenely through the sky.  Many of the even get so far as producing flying hardware...  and then reality sets in.

There's no market for them.  They're a solution in search of a problem.

Though they're compared to aircraft (because they fly), they're not actually competing in the same market.   Aircraft handle cargos that are speed sensitive, a market segment airships cannot compete in.   Cargos that aren't speed sensitive (and all bulk cargos) go via ships, trains, and trucks - and airships aren't particularly competitive in that market.   There's significant capital investment plus considerable infrastructure investment...  and airships are vulnerable to weather conditions that do no more than require the crews of competing modes to don a light jacket.

They could compete in underdeveloped parts of the world, but those parts of the world have insufficient demand for cargo in the amounts airships carry to offset the entry costs.  They could compete with heavy lift aircraft, but that market is pretty small and well served by existing vehicles.  The low speed of the airship also means you'd need more of them to service the existing demand - running smack into the same entry cost wall.  The DoD keeps looking at them, but they keep running into the same problems as commercial operators, they're insufficient replacements for existing modes while having significant vulnerabilities and a high entry cost.

Yes, heavy lift of oversize parts and lift to remote areas is the only two marked who are really interesting for airships. 

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