Construction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned

  • metta

    Posts: 39105

    Jan 12, 2013 7:07 AM GMT
    Construction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned

    http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-aeros-airship-tustin-20130104,0,799208.story
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    Jan 12, 2013 7:27 AM GMT
    metta8 saidConstruction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned

    http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-aeros-airship-tustin-20130104,0,799208.story


    I like this story too, U2 spy plane is lead landings by 400hp SS Camero

    600
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    Jan 12, 2013 1:03 PM GMT
    I could see it being feasible for moving civilian cargo, depending on the economics. But wouldn't a big, fat, slow balloon be pathetically easy to shoot down in a military role? Back when the Navy was using them in the early days-primarily for reconnaissance- the missile technology was not as much of a factor.
  • MercuryMax

    Posts: 713

    Jan 12, 2013 1:08 PM GMT
    That's a horrible idea, just as u say, plus it doesn't even look very big....Hindenburg bigger?
  • calibro

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    Jan 12, 2013 1:45 PM GMT
    Sungod17 saidI could see it being feasible for moving civilian cargo, depending on the economics. But wouldn't a big, fat, slow balloon be pathetically easy to shoot down in a military role? Back when the Navy was using them in the early days-primarily for reconnaissance- the missile technology was not as much of a factor.


    it never says it's being used for a war capacity.
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    Jan 12, 2013 1:56 PM GMT
    Just write "Goodyear" on the side of it icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 12, 2013 1:56 PM GMT
    There are a lot of viable potential uses for an airship like this. It would be a reasonable substitute for rail transit. Adding new rail lines is extremely costly and time consuming. This ship would allow the movement of products without that major infrustructure investment. It likely wouldn't do much people-moving, unless it featured more of a lifestyle experience like a cruise and time speed wasn't a major requirement.
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    Jan 12, 2013 4:04 PM GMT
    calibro said
    Sungod17 saidI could see it being feasible for moving civilian cargo, depending on the economics. But wouldn't a big, fat, slow balloon be pathetically easy to shoot down in a military role? Back when the Navy was using them in the early days-primarily for reconnaissance- the missile technology was not as much of a factor.


    it never says it's being used for a war capacity.


    It's being designed for the military. If it is carrying military cargo into or out of hostile territory it is therefore a legitimate target.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14348

    Jan 12, 2013 5:08 PM GMT
    They should design a cargo airship similar to this military airship for commercial transport of manufactured goods and get some of those noisy, road destroying 18 wheelers off of our roads. This would greatly help reduce the wear and tear on our roads and bridges and save money on road/bridge repairs.
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    Jan 12, 2013 5:23 PM GMT
    This idea keeps coming back every ten or twenty years. So far, it has never worked very well.




    I actually own the control van for one of the previous failures. (Drunken ebay accident. I got it for $50.) Anybody have a use for a 250-foot spool of 200 conductor computer cable?
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    Jan 12, 2013 5:45 PM GMT
    Sungod17 saidI could see it being feasible for moving civilian cargo, depending on the economics. But wouldn't a big, fat, slow balloon be pathetically easy to shoot down in a military role? Back when the Navy was using them in the early days-primarily for reconnaissance- the missile technology was not as much of a factor.


    The surface to air missile threat is definitely a concern; however, there a quite a few ways in which it is mitigated in theatre:

    1) Man portable surface to air missiles (MANPADs) typically have a range of around 5 km. The better MANPADs are made by western countries, especially our own Stinger, so the majority of whatever the Taliban might be armed with are more than likely poorer performing, older Soviet bloc weapons, such as the SA-7. During the campaign, 70% of the time a Stinger was fired, a Soviet aircraft went down; the SA-7 had an approximately 30% success rate.

    While we did fund and arm the mujahideen's insurgency to the Soviet invasion of the 1980's with billions of dollars of weaponry, the guidance sysetms for all of the MANPADs we provided have degraded beyond use. Guidance and target acquisition systems naturally deteriorate over time. Every 5-10 years they need to be maintenanced in order for the missile to be able to lock on to a target and guide itself towards it. It's been over 20 years since the last shipment of US funded weaponry to the Taliban, so all of those MANPADs which were delivered have either already been used or are degraded beyond use. Additionally, for a missile to have even that long of a life before needing to be maintained, it would need to be stored in a cliate controlled environment. The caves of southern and eastern Afghanistan are hardly an ideal location.

    Soviet bloc nations and their black market arms dealers would have little to no interest in smuggling weapons to the Taliban. The Taliban leadership are the same people who over 20 years ago killed around 28,000 Russian soldiers. The black market is run by a lot of ex-military guys who after the collapse of the Soviet Union were out of a job. All of them undoubtedly lost friends to the mujahideen.

    2) Surface to Air Missile sites (SAMs) are much larger missiles that are typically vehicle mounted. These are non-existent in Afghanistan for a multitude of reasons. They are too technical for the Taliban to operate, they are not mobile enough to be used in an insurgency, and they are very expensive.

    3) Heavy machine guns typically have a range of around 1-2km. The airfields would be well beyond their effective range, provided the military bases in Afghanistan have an effective security posture and a manned perimeter (they do). Even if this weren't the case, the airships would just land at night.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 12, 2013 5:56 PM GMT
    Sungod17 said
    calibro said
    Sungod17 saidI could see it being feasible for moving civilian cargo, depending on the economics. But wouldn't a big, fat, slow balloon be pathetically easy to shoot down in a military role? Back when the Navy was using them in the early days-primarily for reconnaissance- the missile technology was not as much of a factor.


    it never says it's being used for a war capacity.


    It's being designed for the military. If it is carrying military cargo into or out of hostile territory it is therefore a legitimate target.


    the military transfers supplies to non-hostile areas, too.
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Jan 12, 2013 6:15 PM GMT
    A couple of years ago I read about a similar project, and it was suggested that it could be used to transport really bulky equipment by air; the kind of cargo that is diffuclt to transport on ordinary roads because you have to lift power lines, move lamp posts, etc., like when they moved the space shuttle through the streets of L.A. to a museum. Going through the air would be much easier, and if this can carry heavier loads than helicopters, it might do the trick. I would assume that the military has plenty of bulky equipment that is difficult to move, in particular in areas where the roads aren't that good. Setting up a radar station on a mountain top in Afghanistan, maybe. Just bring it by sea to the next port, and have the blimp do the rest.
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    Jan 12, 2013 7:22 PM GMT
    I'm not going to quote everybody, but yes, you do make some valid points.

    Yes, the military does transfer cargo to non-hostile areas. And yes, Afghans don't have the most up-to-date SAM tech.

    My only point is that is if you're transferring 66 tons of cargo into a hostile environment, then that is one hell of a big, fat slow, juicy target!
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    Jan 12, 2013 7:36 PM GMT
    "This is truly the beginning of a vertical global transportation solution for perhaps the next 100 years,” Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said in a statement.

    Where have we heard that one before?

    260px-Hindenburg_burning.jpg

    Yes, I know it won't be full of explosive gas and It does look very promising, if it works.