Saturday, August 25, 2007
But this is not the only fish in the sky. Prospective Concepts another Company from Switzerland developed the Flying Stingray an ultralight lifting body in the shape of a stingray but still using propellers as propulsion. You can read some more background info at MyAirship.com
But wait isn't there more? Of course there is. We proudly present the Festo Air Ray, a manta ray shaped helium filled rc airship that flies by flapping it's wings rather than using a propeller. Watch the stunning video of the Air Ray literally swimming through the air. A really innovative new concept that actually works. You can also check out the animation and a PDF with more detailed information and contact info. But the story about new and revolutionary concepts doesn't stop here. Last but by no means least, the Festo b-IONIC Airfish a remote controlled airship that uses an ion beam propulsion system. Yes you read correct those ion beam drives that are used in space missions are now applied to propulsion systems or aircraft. But besides using this just for propulsion the engineers at Festo also discovered that the effect created could also be used to reduce and even eliminate drag if the whole vessel would be enclosed by a ionized plasma bubble. When one thinks about airships and their huge surface area and the aerodynamic drag they produce this might be a solution that could change how we look at airships. Check out the video of the Airfish and the PDF going into detail and also containing some more pictures. We will continue to look at Festo in the future, since they are an active supporter of the Lighter-Than-Air community, right now also supporting GEFA-Flug in the development of the new 6 seater Hot Airship by donating their Envelope for tests. But more about that in a different post.
Do you know of any other revolutionary concepts, and research projects that try to copy nature or just try to go new ways in Airship design? Please send us a link or write a comment we are eager to hear what is currently developed out there. I have to thank Paul Bloch a friend of Airshipworld at openartist.net who send me the links about the Festo Air Ray and the b-IONIC Airfish, he is also involved in the Airship League activities, so expect to hear more from him and the League soon. Additional credits also go to Paul for his comment on the Aeroplume post who inspired the title.
Airships that «swim» through the atmosphere
About the Empa
The ETH Switzerland
The Airship League
Airship and Blimp Resources
Festo Air Ray
Air Ray Video
Air Ray Animation
Air Ray PDF
Festo b-IONIC Airfish
Friday, August 24, 2007
Also watch parts one to three:
Airship Parade Video - part 1
Airship Parade Video - part 2
Airship Parade Video - part 3
If you liked the videos, and would like to publish them on your website, please contact us, we will assist you in doing so. You can share them completely free but we ask you to provide proper credit to Airshipworld.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Video Part 3
Also watch parts one and two:
Airship Parade Video - part 1
Airship Parade Video - part 2
After a day of contemplation, I realized that I should look into donating the WD to a museum.If you have any help to offer Reed Gleason please send us an email we will forward it to him. If a Museum could preserve the White Dwarf for generations to come it would be great. To learn more about the White Dwarf check out our older posts with additional links to the Homepage and pictures.
It was great to be able to fly, and to allow other people to fly, such a unique part of aviation history. However, it was designed to be flown indoors, and we were severely limited as to when and where we could fly it. I felt privileged to have ownership of the WD and obligated to have it out where people could appreciate it, but it was a big money and time sink. And sometimes a little scary.
We could patch the envelope to give it enough strength to be inflated with air and hung in a museum. I could take a tax write off that could offset some or all of the expenses of the last few years, depending on the perceived value of the WD. And a lot more people would be able to see it.
Much thanks to those who replied to my question of where to get a new envelope, but now I have a new question: What museum would like to have the WD, and how do you arrive at value for the WD?
Urgent News - White Dwarf envelope burst
The White Dwarf - pedal powered personal blimp - will be flying again
Monday, August 20, 2007
5th Airship Parade - part 2
If you would like to put those videos onto your website please go ahead, share them. If you don't know how just send us a quick mail. We can also get you the full original version of the video if you want to. We also have much more pictures of the parade than the 100 we shared if you are interested please contact us.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The White Dwarf envelope burst during an overpressure test at the end of the process of refilling it. The envelope ruptured over most of its length. The envelope was made in 1984, so it's way past its expiration date and the only way to have any faith in it is to test it to a much higher pressure than you would allow when flying it. We filled it to 0.3" inside the hangar, then took it out into the sun so that the urethane-nylon would be heated similarly to when we'd be flying it, and also to decrease the amount of helium it would take to bring the pressure up. There was some wind, and Gabe was holding the nose rope to stabilize it. One more tank of helium took it to 2", which is the nominal maximum pressure to allow while flying. Adding more helium brought the pressure past 4" and then it burst. The failure appeared to initiate at top of the nose load patch, probably due to the added stress of pulling on the nose rope (part of a realistic test.) There was a loud noise and the envelope draped over us. Pretty disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.If you can help Reed Gleason getting his White Dwarf back into the air please contact us we will forward it or write a comment in the blog.
Any suggestions on where to get a new envelope?
Airship Parade Video Part 1
The Individual Airship
Friday, August 17, 2007
But what if there where an organization that would try to a) make airships exciting and b) educate more people about the possibilities and technologies behind airships. And that's where tonights headline starts making sense. The Idea is to create an "Airship League" an open and free (as in beer) organization that helps organizing races and contests around airships, that also hosts educational material about how to construct a remote controlled blimp what to look out for. The Airship League could showcase good successful designs, help educating and connecting children, students, universities, companies and the general public. This is of course some how far fetched and visionary but the idea is to aim high and then see what is realistic. So to gather Ideas we created a page in our Wiki called The Airship League it would be great to get the ideas and the brainstorming going. Please sign up for the Airshipworld Wiki if you haven't done so, yet. We believe that such an organization might help the industry as a whole and get more people interested in airships. Please feel free to add to the Article in the Wiki, add new pages link to existing projects. We believe that just by combining our efforts and joining forces, we can change a lot without having to invest much more than our time that we spend on our own efforts already.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
=FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 1
=FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 2
=FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 3
=FUTURE>FLIGHTInstallment Four: Renaissance
©2007 by Paul Boldt
I clicked on information about the Boldt Airship Company, or as the advertising went, “They’re BAC(k)”. Some of the info was about how this type of transportation came back into existence, after a long hiatus in mothballs. Nobody had been successful in creating a large commercial airship program for the longest time. Some even argued that DELAG, (DEutsche Luftschiffahrts Aktien Gesellschaft), the German Zeppelin Airshiplines wasn’t even considered independently financially successful as it had to be government backed in its early development of early zeppelins. But if you look at it, seemed like every type of transportation down the years had been government backed, from the early sailing ships from Columbus’ time, the railroads that conquered various parts of the globe, (some unsuccessfully like the ill fated railway that tried to traverse the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, initially beaten back by the native Indians, till the foreign government backed rail company electrified the rails, killing Indians to teach them a lesson. This rail line was eventually stopped dead in its tracks after actually operating for a number years, by a revengeful mother nature. Heavier than air, had major government back from it’s inception throughout its rapid development through the war years and even to this day with multi-company bailouts.
B.A.C. was no exception. Government backing initially came about with the deployment of the Military Disaster Relief Enforcements Program (MD.Rep or aka Dr.Rep), designed many years after the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which brought together commercial, military, and humanitarian interests for a faster (leased) government relief turnaround for natural catastrophe victims in the US and around the globe, as well as a band aid if ever a nuclear devastation were to occur.
No direct financial backing was given initially, but in exchange for free lease of land for 30 years (well a $1.00 changed hands- at least on paper), and some infrastructure just east but still within Miramar MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego , CA. USA) an exchange of an airship for a set period of time each year to be used in military integration exercises, along with the 13th airship being built that would be manufactured to military specs and leased by the military.
The military exercises tried everything from strapping five previously retired MV-22 Osspreys along the rigid airship’s upper haul for stress and lifting capacity experiments, to three monster Ch-53E Super Stallions that could lift a capacity of 16 tons each without being supported by an airship, but with their weight being supported by the lift of the airship, they could almost double the amount lifted!
The new airship harbor and manufacturing plant at Miramar is at the north end of the previous military training grounds of Camp Elliot. Canyons at Camp Elliot created a perfect cradle for the partially open top airship hangar.
The weather in San Diego, California created one of the best places for to build without a fully covered hangar. Average year round temperature of 70 F degrees/ 21 C , with a yearly rainfall of only 9.45 inches/ 24cm, most of the rain in the months of Dec/Jan/Feb when all of the construction of the outer hull was already completed.
I clicked on the live link to the camera on the bottom of the helicopter showing the airship coming into view just as millions of schoolchildren and adults all over the world were also watching the live cam, as the frenzy of passenger carrying airships traversing the sky was still as new and fresh as the first Space Shuttle missions once were… (Another government backed transportation and exploration program --commercial interest coming into play now with the first moon base being habited).... to be continued
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Lockheed Martin is currently seeking a business development lead that investigates, identifies, leads the creation of proposals, and captures new Lighter Than Air Systems business – primarily from military and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) customers.Eventhough this is in the military and defence sector, it's a very interesting job offering, where you will be able to work on something that has never been done before in the lighter than air business. Since the jobs in the lighter-than-air industry are still quite sparse we will continue to point out any job posting we can find. If you have a job posting for your company in the airship or lighter-than-air industry please don't hesitate to send it to us.
This person would Bring intimate knowledge of key technical disciplines including: system engineering, material science knowledge, laser & sensor performance and trade offs, and airframe operations.
The successful candidate understands Department of Defense (DoD) requirements from to execution to delivery, works well with tri-service customers, is familiar with the DoD procurement process, and has demonstrated the ability to win key new business initiatives.
This person will be located in Akron, OH
About Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin in 1996 bought Loral Corp, formerly Goodyear Aerospace, and got the Akron Airdock and related buildings. The airdock was later acquired by the Summit County Port Authority and leased back to Lockheed Martin.
- Akron operations are part of Lockheed Martin's MS2 Defense and Surveillance Systems, which is in its Electronic Systems division.
- Akron work includes the High Altitude Airship program; an un-tethered, pilot-less airship that will fly at 65,000 feet and be capable of performing reconnaissance surveillance and communication missions; as well as aerostats; jet fighter simulations; weapons development; laser-based communications and sensor systems.
- About 500 people work at the local facilities.
If interested, please go to www.lockheedjobs.com and apply for position 19872BR
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Make sure to subscribe to our Blog with your feed reader or subscribe via email so that you don't miss the time we post more of the Airship parade.
Have you read all the posts about the event? Take a look at our special label to get an overview of all the posts regarding the 5th Airship parade Bad Homburg
A-150+ model blimp, which is 165 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 55 feet tall – with a gondola that can accommodate the pilot plus nine passengers. The blimp is significantly larger than Snoopy One and Snoopy Two which are A-60+ models, with a passenger capacity of three passengers plus one pilot.The new blimp will fly throughout August until October 2007 handeling the extended blimp schedule and supporting the other two blimps "Snoopy One" and "Snoopy Two" during the celebration of the 20-year anniversary of the MetLife Blimp Program.
- Yesterdays Post with a video of the Metlife Blimp
- Post about the Metlife Blimp with links to the Website and background information
- Buiness Wire Article about the Metlife Blimp No. 3
Monday, August 13, 2007
This video reminded me of our coverage of the RC-Airship regatta back in July and Daniel Geerys Hyperblimp. I think it would be cool to have something like a world league of rc-airship races, competing in different classes and styles of races. If you have an idea, or would like to get some people together for a race, post in the comments or send us an email, maybe we can work something out and help organizing such an event. If you want to you can add a page to the Airshipworld Wiki about RC airship races.
The Second Video is a video of the Met Life Blimp flying over Coney Island in 1996
If you want to know more, read our post about the Metlife Blimp with links to their website and detailed informations about the blimp program.
- Homepage of the Airshiparade
- The Graf Zeppelin Brewery in Bad Homburg
- The Schirmherr(Patron) of the Event: Constantin von Brandenstein-Zeppelin
- Zeppi Rotnase - Childrens Book by airship pilot and singer Pia Marie Witt
- Zeppelin Museum Zeppelinheim (Frankfurt)
Sunday, August 12, 2007
To make sure to receive all updates subscribe to our feed with your feed reader or if you like subscribe via Email and have updates delivered directly to your home so that you don't miss our great coverage about the airship parade.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
During the event Aeros will make an official announcement for the launch of the Aeroscraft ML866 program.We also do not know of any prototypes of the Aeroscraft ML866 so far. Other sources in the community even go as far as calling the Aeroscraft a hoax. It's speculated that the flight performance of the Aeros 40D Sky Dragon, their FAA certified Blimp, is sub par, meaning that those who own such a ship fly it only very few hours, and are more or less ashamed to have bought it. Since we can neither confirm nor deny these claims, we are further investigating it by contacting Worldwide Aeros directly and we hope to get more informations on the Aeroscraft ML866 soon. To make sure that you get the latest updates on the Aeroscraft, subscribe to our feed with your feed reader or if you like subscribe via Email and have updates delivered directly to your home.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Here is a little teaser:
... The airship has some very unique qualities that enable it to probably be the most fuel efficient (and environmentally friendly) air transport system possible. The large surface area of the airship causes the high aerodynamic drag that limits its airspeed, but that surface area can be used to carry thousands of square feet of solar cells to provide electric power for the ship’s propulsive needs. The non-flammable helium inside the ship also provides a perfect environment in which to store hydrogen fuel containers that can provide hydrogen not as a lifting gas (as was used in the Hindenburg) but as a fuel for either a fuel cell propulsion system or simply to burn in conventional internal combustion propulsion engines. These technologies could be used to produce “zero emissions” transport airships with the ability to carry hundreds of tons of cargo or people over distances of hundreds or even thousands of miles. ...
This is the Specification as found on the website:
|Maximum Speed||155 mph||250 kmh|
|Cruise Speed||0-120 mph||0-193 kph|
|Operating Altitude||0-12,000 ft||0-3,657 m|
|Maximum Range||3,100 mi||5,000 km|
|Overall Length||210 ft||64 m|
|Overall Width||95.1 ft||29 m|
|Overall Height||44.9 ft||13.7 m|
|Floor Area||5,382 ft²||500 m²|
This is the full text of the press release:
Today Worldwide Aeros Corp. officially confirmed participation at the NBAA 60th Annual Meeting & Convention, September 25-27, 2007 in Atlanta, GA. The National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. During the event Aeros will make an official announcement for the launch of the Aeroscraft ML866 program.
The Aeroscraft is a new paradigm in air transport, an aircraft that utilizes a combination of buoyant and dynamic lift creating unique operational capabilities beyond what is available from any other air platform today.
The Aeroscraft is designed and built on the basis of a new concept in flight. The remarkable idea grew out of the belief that there is a more comfortable way to fly than simply applying luxury to an existing airframe and re-naming it.
The versatility of the Aeroscraft allows it to be transformed from elegant to a workhorse or anywhere in between. It can be utilized as a private air yacht, corporate air vehicle or commercial commuter, providing its passengers with far more space than any existing business jet.
Aeros VP Fred Edworthy said “We are coming to the NBAA show because we have reached a level where we can solicit an input from the customer community to ensure the Aeroscraft will change the way executives travel and do business outside of the office.” He added, “One of the offered Aeroscraft ML866 configurations is the Business Office in the Sky. Equipped with the state-of-the-art technology package, the Aeroscraft ML866 becomes a high-tech airborne business center. Business amenities include a computerized office, videoconferencing capability, communications package, and a conference room that while on the ground will accommodate up to one hundred people, transformable interior and personal state room. Independence from large or medium airports will keep travelers away from clogged airports and congested highways, and getting the passengers underway quicker. Additionally, the helicopter like vertical takeoff and landing capability and ability to operate from unprepared fields enhances usefulness of the Aeroscraft by providing the access to remote areas anywhere in the world.”
The Aeroscraft ML866 offers 120 knots top speed and over 5,000 square feet of interior compartment. The company officials said that the Aeroscraft would offer a new level of service and provide an ultimate comfort to satisfy business travel needs of the top notch executives.
At the NBAA Convention Worldwide Aeros Corp. will be located at the booth number 7359.
For more information please visit Aeros website
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The second video is a short amateur video of a flight in a hot-air blimp, showing start and landing, in flight inside and from the ground.
In our third video we are going the historic route again with a short clip from Curly's Airships a Project about the British R101 airship.
Number four takes us back to New York and the arrival of the Hindenburg, after the fastest Atlantic crossing ever made by a commercial passenger aircraft.
Last but not least we come back to current times and come full circle with this last Video of the Goodyear blimp landing. Why full circle, you might think, well because it was Paul Boldt who started this by posting on the Airshiplist and he won, a flight in the Goodyear blimp, and has captured his experience in a Photo gallery. Check them out here, you have to register to see it, but it's painless and only takes a few seconds.
That's it those are the videos we wanted to share with you tonight, are there videos you like to share? Send them to us or post them in the comments. Do you have your own videos on YouTube and we haven't found them yet, tell us write us an email. We love to see what you have, even if it's not videos if you have pictures of airships or a website that you would like us to mention, drop us a line and we can work something out. Oh and in case you have not read the previous post here is a link to it.
YouTube Airship stuff - part 1
Also remember to subscribe to the feed if you haven't already, and come to the Airship Parade in Bad Homburg if you are in the area, if you send us an email ahead of time we might be able to meet.
=FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 1
=FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 2
=FUTURE>FLIGHT - an airship story - Part 3
Now on to the Videos, the first one is a Video of a test Flight of the USS Macon.
Video number two is a CG animated flyby of the USS Akron.
Video three shows the Zeppelin NT starting, notice the zero ground crew during the start and compare that to a start of the Goodyear blimp. This video really showcases the Zeppelins manoeuvrability.
The fourth Video is a collection of clips of the Zeppelin Hindenburg flying over Manhattan, let's all hope we will see this happen soon with a new cross Atlantic passenger Airship line.
The fifth and last video for this post is a clip of what I think is a Skyship 600 on it's mast.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Then come to the 5th Airship Parade in Bad Homburg, Germany and you will be able to see 9 airships, yes nine at once flying over your head. On August 11th you will be able to see 9 hot air airships competing in the first ever airship bowling. It's a first in the world and this is not the only thing happening. Check out our previous post about the Airship Parade to read what exactly the parade is and why it's happening in Bad Homburg.
If you don't know how to get there read on to find out. Bad Homburg is located just 15 minutes north of Frankfurt and easily reachable from Frankfurt Airport. If you travel from around mainland Europe, use the route planner it will help you to find your way.We will continue to report ahead of the event and we will be having extensive coverage after it. With videos, pictures interview and lots and lots of information. If you have questions that you would like us to ask the pilots email us or write in the comments section. Also make sure you are subscribed to the Blog via this link, so that you don't miss important updates. And if you haven't yet then read our announcement of the Airship Parade.