Skip to comments.Construction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned
Posted on 01/05/2013 10:39:18 AM PST by iowamark
A massive cargo-carrying airship has taken shape inside one of the 17-story wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin.
According to aircraft maker Worldwide Aeros Corp., construction is complete on a 36,000-pound blimp-like aircraft designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world.
The Montebello company hopes to have a first flight in the coming months and to demonstrate cargo-carrying capability shortly thereafter...
The Aeroscraft is a zeppelin with a 230-foot rigid skeleton made of aluminum and carbon fiber. It's a new type of hybrid aircraft that combines airplane and airship technologies and doesn't need a long runway to take off or land because it has piston engines that allow it to move vertically and a new high-tech buoyancy control system...
"This will land in Africa, Afghanistan," Pasternak told The Times in September, "a Wal-Mart parking lot -- wherever."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
I dunno. I can se this being useful in extremely unique operations. It lifts 66 tons...half of what a C-5 can lift. Sure, it needs no runway, but neither to helicopters...and the Chinook lifts 14 tons...so 5 helicopters can do the job of this blimp.
I imagine the advantage this blimp has is a very long range, compared to a helicopter. So, in theory, it can go to very remote areas, or altitudes that helicopters can’t easily reach. The article didn’t list speed; but, I bet its slow. So I don’t think it would be used to insert a SEAL team for example. Rather, it would get a self propelled howitzer placed up on top of a mountaintop if Afghanistan, for example...where this would have previously been impossible due to a Chinook’s altitude restrictions.
So, I see some uses...but I don’t think they would ever, in a million years, fly this thing where there was a good probability of getting shot at. Even if the blimp is resilent and compartmentalized, the enemy could just fire rockets at the cargo, and get it ignited.
Just don’t name it after a German Field Marshall.
That’s perfect symbology for what 0bama has done to America. A perfectly good hangar that got demolished because people who hate the concept of American superiority used ‘the environment’ as an excuse to take it down.
from an article in blimpinfo.com....
Another Air Force airship, filled with 420,000 cubic feet of helium and air and costing $8.2 million, floated away and exploded last year when a tropical storm blew in during a test flight in Puerto Rico. Army aerostats have also been lost in high winds.
Exactly right...they didn’t plan the project to completion, they didn’t secure necessary funding to complete the project, and they got the destruction only half-done. On the bright side, maybe Obama will “succeed” in the same fashion by demolishing only half of America, not the whole thing.
An our enemies will say...
Hate to burst your balloon, but.....
That is not the purpose. It can haul up to 66 tons at 1/3 the fuel cost of a large cargo plane. And it can take-off and land without a significant runway.
We have silverfish bigger than that in Texas...
As for those FReepers concerned about it being shot down, there's no way it'll be used in any combat situation. Think of it as the air version of a cargo truck, not a tank or other battle vehicle. It can hover with payload for a lot longer than a helicopter without burning nearly the same amount of fuel. Limited purpose, but still valuable and appropriate for a number of situations.
That’s funny, I could have sworn the article itself stated that it was for military payloads and Afghanistan as well as Africa were mentioned as being destinations.
Am I mistaken?
My father never forgot seeing the Graf Zeppelin--named for a German nobleman--that was older and somewhat smaller than the one named for the field marshal. The airship stopped at Los Angeles International Airport in 1929 as part of its round-the-world flight.
I was looking at the corporation web site:
The Aeroscraft is designed to offer new capabilities to the warfighter by deploying composite loads of personnel and equipment from fort to fight. The vehicles design would allow supporting a multitude of missions including search and rescue, emergency relief, airborne hospital and many others. It would also offer significant benefits to oil and gas exploration and wind energy industries amongst many others that operate in remote and ecologically sensitive areas by allowing a constant access to operating sites with a minimum environmental impact.
But I see where you are right about it mentioned in the article. They referenced a previous article where that was originally said:
There I find they have:
Currently, there are more than 100 aerostats being used in Afghanistan, up from fewer than 10 in 2004.
Resembling small blimps, these aerostats are tethered to the ground and float thousands of feet above military bases and important roadways. They are big enough that gunfire below won’t take them down.
Pasternak’s Aeroscraft being built in Tustin is a zeppelin with a rigid skeleton made of aluminum and carbon fiber. A new type of hybrid aircraft that combines airplane and airship technologies, the Aeroscraft doesn’t need a long runway to take off or land because it has piston engines that allow it to move vertically and a new high-tech buoyancy control system.
Pasternak runs a hand through his mop of salt-and-pepper hair and points to the spiny monstrosity, boasting of its versatility.
“This will land in Africa, Afghanistan,” he says, “a Wal-Mart parking lot wherever.”
- - - -
So it sounds like they will be used there, just as smaller ones are used there now.
Thanks a lot,now I`ve got that stupid song
playing in my head :)
^^^ And it can take-off and land without a significant runway. ^^^
As long as the wind is not blowing too hard.
I wonder if the mooring mast is still operational on top of the Empire State bldg.........
Was that thing ever actually used with a passenger dirigible?
I just can’t imagine too many people being able to walk across whatever sort of ramp or stairway there might have been, subject to instability in wind, over a hundred stories up.
The pucker factor must’ve been something else, even for trained personnel, let alone passengers, if it ever occurred.
I recall seeing that it was never used. There should be a full set of plans archived with the building blueprints detailing the equipment.
I agree, pucker factor would be way up there.
Unfortunately, not much research was done as to whether or not a dirigible could anchor to the top of a building in the middle of a city. Usually, dirigibles were anchored by many ropes in the middle of an airfield, purposely away from the center of cities.
Only once did a dirigible dock at the mast. In September 1931, a small, privately owned dirigible made contact with the top of the Empire State Building. Dropping a long rope, a ground crew of three were able to catch the rope and hold onto it. Though it took the small dirigible over half an hour to accomplish this, it was only able to stay moored for three minutes.
It was determined that the air drafts from the height of the building, the danger of explosions over a city, as well as the infeasibility of tying up a dirigible by a single rope caused the mooring mast on top of the Empire State Building to be unusable.
I'm not sure that zeppelins are as easy to destroy on purpose as one might think. Because the gas is close to ambient pressure it doesn't just rush out when there is a hole. And normally it would be kept in multiple cells. Of course the engines and control compartments could be attacked, but maybe that wouldn't crash it either (unlike a plane). And of course it would probably be escorted.
As I recall a lot of the famous zeppelin crashes were due to the weather. So that is a major liability, as is the fact that the lifting capacity diminishes with altitude.
It is NOT a blimp but a rigid airship. A series of helium filled bags enclosed inside a framework, which is then covered with an outer skin to provide an airworthy shape.
Any dirigible flying today, also rigid, has very impressive control systems based on engine nacelles that pivot to give vertical control and may be able to provide for sideways/directional control as well.
Since you can put anywhere from two to hundreds of gas bags inside the frame, gunfire and most missiles aren't likely to take one down. Of course, controls and power are vulnerable in any aircraft.
The idea of such a cargo handler is not even new and, yes, proper applications are either not military or military only under quite secure conditions...not jumping troops over hostile territory or hauling supplies to some isolated fire base.
Most apt use is a niche between sea borne and existing fixed wing airlifters; faster than the former and cheaper than the latter.
think of bypassing all those ports and port workers.
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