Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Festo Air Jelly - Whitepaper in English

Festo was so kind to send us the English whitepaper on the flying jelly-fish called AirJelly. We had posted the German version of it in our first post which also included the great video of the Air Jelly which has been seen over 40.000 times now. Also check out our second post about where we link to the English press release which contains some great highres pictures of the project.

AirJelly An airborne jellyfish with electric drive unit Info Glides through the air by peristaltic motion A central electric drive unit with crank mechanism Can the jellyfish’s motion through water serve as a propulsion principle for an airborne object? In other words, is it possible to glide through the air as a jellyfish swims through water? These were the considerations that gave rise to the development of AirJelly. The history of aviation has been aware of the analogy between the media of water and air ever since the first gas balloon flights of Jacques Alexandre César Charles, who on 1st December 1783 set off from Paris on the first ever manned gas balloon journey together with Noel Robert. The gondola of the “Charlière” was designed in the form of a ship’s hull. The balloon of the French aviator Jean Pierre François Blanchard, who crossed the English Channel from Dover to Calais together with Dr. John Jeffries on 7 th January 1785, also used a gondola in the form of a ship’s hull. It is therefore all the more surprising that this analogy from a bygone era has not provided inspiration for adapting the propulsion mechanisms of marine creatures for drive units in the aviation sector. In 2005, the Swiss Materials Science & Technology Development (EMPA) in Dübendorf near Zurich presented a concept in which the balloon of an airship was to be covered with electro-active polymer foils. The airship was to float in the sea of air like a fish in water. This airship has since been fitted with elevators and rudders actuated with electro-active polymer foils. Seeking recourse to jellyfish as a source of inspiration for powering gas-filled balloons is an obvious thought; after all, a jellyfish consists of water to 99%. Its weight-to-volume ratio is approximately 1, and the figure is similar for a gas-filled balloon. Jellyfish fossil finds indicate an ability to survive dating back more than 500 million years. Jellyfish have thus repeatedly adapted to various environmental and living conditions and have become veritable survival artists; the diversity of jellyfish species suggests a high degree of adaptability. AirJelly is a remote radio-controlled airborne jellyfish with a central electric drive unit and an intelligent adaptive mechanism. AirJelly consists of a helium-filled ballonett with a diameter of 1.35 meters. This yields a filling volume of 1.3 cubic meters of helium. Since one cubic meter of helium provides buoyancy to lift approximately one kilogram, the total weight of AirJelly, comprising its ballonett and all ancillary components, must amount to no more than 1.3 kilograms. AirJelly houses two lithium-ion polymer accumulator batteries rated at 8 V and 400 mA, which can be completely charged in half an hour and are AirJelly’s sole source of power. A connected central electric drive unit transmits the force to a bevel gear wheel and 2 then to eight spur gears in sequence. These gears power eight shafts, each of which activates a crank; these in turn move the jellyfish’s eight tentacles. Each tentacle is designed as a structure with Fin Ray Effect ® – a construction derived from the functional anatomy of a fish’s fin. The actual structure consists of two alternating tension and pressure flanks movably connected by ribs. If a flank is subjected to pressure, the geometrical structure automatically bends in the direction of the applied force. Together, the tentacles produce a peristaltic forward motion similar to that of their biological model. Controlling AirJelly’s motion in three-dimensional space is effected by weight displacement. For this purpose, a pendulum is set in motion by two actuators in the X and Y directions. The actuators are positioned at the jellyfish’s “north pole” and are proportionally controlled. The pendulum is 55 centimetres long. AirJelly’s centre of mass is displaced in the direction of the pendulum’s motion; the jellyfish then moves in the same direction. By means of this peristaltic forward motion, AirJelly can move in any spatial direction. Propulsion of a ballonett by means of peristaltic motion is as yet unknown in the history of aviation. AirJelly is thus the first indoor flight object with peristaltic drive. Observation of models from nature gave rise to this new propulsion concept for the airborne jellyfish. With this exhibit, Festo is demonstrating that a central electric drive unit in combination with an intelligent mechanism opens up fascinating opportunities in propulsion systems for lighter-than-air flight. Both in automation and in didactics, Festo sets out to generate enthusiasm among its customers with innovative, fascinating and intelligent solutions; it therefore offers a wide range of electric, pneumatic and hybrid drive units, along with the appropriate sensor systems, control and regulating components. 3 Project partners Project initiator: Dr. Wilfried Stoll, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Festo AG Project team: Rainer and Günther Mugrauer, Effekt-Technik GmbH, Schlaitdorf, Germany Project manager: Markus Fischer, Corporate Design Festo AG & Co. KG Graphic design: Atelier Frank, Berlin, Germany Technical data Diameter: Height: Total weight: Propulsion: Reduction ratio: Power supply: 1.35 m 2.20 m 1.3 kg coreless motor, 3 V 262:1 lithium-ion polymer accumulator batteries; 8 V and 400 mA Festo AG & Co. KG Corporate Design Rechbergstraße 3 73770 Denkendorf Germany www.festo.com/de/bionic Phone +49/7 11/347-38 80 Fax +49/7 11/347-38 99 fish@de.festo.com Photos: Walter Fogel, Angelbachtal, Germany Brand designation: Fin Ray Effect ® is a brand of Evologics GmbH, Berlin, Germany 52938 EN

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Festo AirJelly - the flying jellyfish - now more information in English

On Tuesday we reported about the amazing AirJelly the jellyfish that gracefully flies through the air. Unfortunately there wasn't much information in English available. But that has changed now. We found the press release by Festo which you can access here or read the piece about the AirJelly right here and the fulyl release on Scribd. You can also go directly to Festo and get high resolution press pictures of the AirJelly here. Also check out the Video of the AirJelly on YouTube.
Air is the element of the AirJelly. Rather than swimming through water like the AquaJelly, it glides through the air with the aid of its central electric drive and an intelligent, adaptive mechanical system. The remote-controlled AirJelly is kept in the air by its helium-filled ballonet.

The AirJelly’s only energy source are two lithium-ion-polymer batteries, to which the central electric drive is attached. This transmits its power to a bevel gear and then to eight spur gears, which drive the eight tentacles of the jellyfish via their respective cranks. The structure of each tentacle is based on the Fin Ray Effect®. Using a peristaltic movement to drive a balloon was previously unknown in the history of aviation. The AirJelly is the first indoor flying object to use such a peristaltic propulsion system. The jellyfish glides gently through the air thanks to this new drive concept based on the reaction thrust principle.

The AirJelly steers through three-dimensional environments by shifting its weight. Its two servo motors are located at the “North pole” of the jellyfish and controlled proportionally. If the pendulum moves in one direction, the AirJelly’s centre of gravity shifts in this direction – the AirJelly is thus able to swim in any spatial direction. The propulsive force of the drive can be varied by moving the Fin Ray® tentacles more quickly or slowly.

Festo demonstrates with this exhibit that a central electric drive – combined with an intelligent mechanical system – can offer fascinating possibilities for “lighter-than-air” aviation. Festo aims to delight its customers with innovative, fascinating and intelligent solutions in both automation and didactics. It therefore offers a wide range of electric, pneumatic and hybrid drive systems, together with the respective sensors and control possibilities.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Let the Jelly Fish fly through the air

Last year Festo surprised everyone with their amazing prototype of the Air_ray a manta ray that swims through the air and the b-IONIC Airfish. We reported on it in a great post which was titled "Airships are just like fish in the sky" Festo is currently at the Hannover Messe 2008 and they brought an just as stunning new project with them. We present the Air Jelly, a jellyfish that swims through the air. Currently the information about the AirJelly is only available in German at the Festo Website but the pictures speak for them self, of course we also provide you with a direct link to the autotranslated Page in English about the AirJelly
The Video on the Website of Festo did not work for me so I uploaded it to YouTube just in case you can not see the "Flim" on the Festo website:

There is also a Whitepaper available as PDF which you can also read on Scribd it's also in German, an English version is not yet available to my knowledge:

AirJelly Eine Luftqualle mit elektrischem Antrieb Info Mit peristaltisch erzeugtem Vortrieb durch die Luft Zentraler elektrischer Antrieb mit Kurbelmechanik Gibt es eine Möglichkeit, die Fortbewegungsart der Quallen im Wasser auch in der Luft als Antrieb zu nutzen? Ist es also möglich, mit einer Qualle im Luftmeer zu „schwimmen“, wie dies eine Qualle im Wasser tut? Diese Fragen standen am Anfang der Entwicklungen von AirJelly. Die Geschichte der „Luft-Schiffahrt“ kennt die Analogie zwischen den Medien Wasser und Luft schon seit den ersten Gasballonfahrten durch Jacques Alexandre César Charles, der am 1. Dezember 1783 zusammen mit Noel Robert die erste bemannte Gasballonfahrt von Paris aus durchführte. Die Gondel der „Charlière“ war in der Form eines Schiffsrumpfes ausgebildet. Auch der Ballon des französischen Ballonfahrers Jean Pierre Francois Blanchard der zusammen mit Dr. John Jeffries am 7. Januar 1785 den Ärmelkanal von Dover nach Calais überquerte, nutze eine Gondel in Form eines Schiffsrumpfes. So ist es verwunderlich, dass diese Analogie in der Vergangenheit nicht dazu geführt hat, Antriebe, welche von Meeresbewohnern benutzt werden, auf Antriebe im Bereich der Luftfahrt zu übertragen. Die Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (EMPA) in Dübendorf bei Zürich hat im Jahr 2005 ein Konzept vorgestellt, bei dem die Hülle eines Luftschiffes mit elektroaktiven Polymer-Folien aktuiert werden soll. Das Luftschiff soll im Luftmeer schwimmen, analog zu einem Fisch im Wasser. Mittlerweile hat dieses Luftschiff aktiv durch elektroaktive Polymer-Folien betriebene Höhen- und Seitenruder. Quallen als Inspirationsquelle für neuartige Antriebe bei Gasballonen zu bemühen, ist naheliegend - besteht doch eine Qualle selbst zu 99% aus Wasser. Das Gewichts-/Volumenverhältnis liegt bei den Wasserquallen bei ca. 1:1. Das Gewichts-/Volumenverhältnis bei einem Gasballon liegt ebenfalls bei ca. 1:1 im Vergleich dazu. Fossilienfunde von Quallen deuten auf eine Überlebensfähigkeit seit über 500 Millionen Jahren hin. Die Quallen haben sich damit immer wieder an die unterschiedlichen Umwelt- und Lebensbedingungen angepasst und sind so wahre Überlebenskünstler geworden. Die Diversität der unterschiedlichen Quallenarten deuten auf einen hohen Grad der Anpassungsfähigkeit hin. AirJelly ist eine funkferngesteuerte Luftqualle mit einem zentralen elektrischen Antrieb und einer intelligenten, adaptiven Mechanik. AirJelly besteht aus einem mit Helium gefüllten Ballon mit einem Durchmesser von 1,35 Meter. Hieraus ergibt sich ein Befüllvolumen von 1,3 Kubikmeter Helium. Da ca. 1 cbm Helium ca. 1 Kilogramm Gewicht trägt, darf das Gesamtgewicht von AirJelly mit Hülle und allen Anbauten ca. 1,3 Kilogramm nicht überschreiten. 2 AirJelly enthält zwei Lithium-Ionen-Polymer-Akkus mit 8 Volt und 400 mA. Die Akkus können in 0,5 Stunden vollständig geladen werden und dienen AirJelly als einzige Energieversorgung. Ein daran angeschlossener zentraler elektrischer Antrieb überträgt die Kraft auf ein Kegelrad und anschließend nacheinander auf acht Stirnräder. Diese Stirnräder bewegen acht Wellen, die jeweils eine Kurbel in Gang setzt, welche die acht Tentakel der Qualle bewegen. Jedes Tentakel ist als Struktur mit Fin Ray Effect ® ausgebildet. Der Fin Ray Effect ® ist eine von der funktionellen Anatomie der Fischflosse abgeleitete Konstruktion. Die Struktur selbst besteht aus einer alternierenden Zug- und Druckflanke, die mit Spanten gelenkig verbunden ist. Wenn eine Flanke mit Druck beaufschlagt wird, wölbt sich die geometrische Struktur von selbst entgegen der einwirkenden Kraftrichtung. Zusammen sorgen die Tentakel für einen peristaltischen Vortrieb, ähnlich dem des biologischen Vorbildes. Die Steuerung im dreidimensionalen Raum von AirJelly erfolgt durch Gewichtsverlagerung. Hierzu wird ein Pendel über zwei Servomotoren in X und Y Richtung ausgelenkt. Die Servomotoren sitzen am „Nordpol“ der Qualle und werden proportional gesteuert. Das Pendel hat eine Länge von 0,55 Meter. Bewegt sich das Pendel in eine Richtung, verändert sich der Schwerpunkt von AirJelly in diese Richtung – AirJelly schwimmt nun in diese Richtung des ausgelenkten Pendels. So ist es AirJelly in Kombination mit dem peristaltischen Vortrieb möglich, in jede Raumrichtung zu schwimmen. Ebenfalls kann die Schubkraft des Antriebs durch schnelleres oder langsameres Bewegen der Fin Ray® Tentakel variiert werden. Den Vortrieb eines Ballons durch eine peristaltische Bewegung zu erzeugen, ist bis jetzt in der Luftfahrtgeschichte nicht bekannt. AirJelly ist aus diesem Grund das erste Indoor-Flugobjekt mit peristaltischem Antrieb. Die Auseinandersetzung mit Vorbildern in der Natur hat hier zu einem neuen Antriebskonzept für AirJelly geführt. Festo zeigt mit diesem Exponat, dass ein zentraler elektrischer Antrieb – kombiniert mit einer intelligenten Mechanik – faszinierende Möglichkeiten bei Antrieben in der „Leichter-als-Luft-Fahrt“ bietet. Sowohl in der Automation als auch in der Didactic möchte Festo seine Kunden mit innovativen, faszinierenden und intelligenten Lösungen begeistern. Hierfür hat Festo ein breites Angebot an elektrischen, pneumatischen und hybriden Antrieben sowie der dazugehörigen Sensorik und den Steuerungs- und Regelungsmöglichkeiten. 3 Projektbeteiligte Projektinitiator: Dr. Wilfried Stoll, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der Festo AG Projektteam: Rainer und Günther Mugrauer, Effekt-Technik GmbH, Schlaitdorf Projektleiter: Markus Fischer, Corporate Design Festo AG & Co. KG Grafik: Atelier Frank, Berlin Technische Daten Durchmesser: Höhe: Gesamtgewicht: Antrieb: Untersetzung: Energieversorgung: 1,35 Meter 2,20 Meter 1,3 Kilogramm Glockenankermotor, 3 Volt 262 : 1 Lithium-Ionen-Polymer-Akkus mit 8 Volt und 400 mA Festo AG & Co. KG Corporate Design Rechbergstraße 3 73770 Denkendorf Germany www.festo.com/de/bionic Telefon 07 11/347-38 80 Telefax 07 11/347-38 99 fish@de.festo.com Fotos: Walter Fogel, Angelbachtal Marken: Fin Ray Effect ® ist eine Marke der Evologics GmbH, Berlin 52863 GE

Brazil priest carried away by balloons

Daveg from the Airship-List pointed out a news story about a Brazilian priest that wanted to break a 19-hour record for the most hours flying with balloons to fund a spiritual rest stop for truckers in Paranagua, home to Brazil's largest grain port. The Associated Press reports in their story that the priest after 8 hours of flight and loosing contact to the authorities. He was equipped with GPS and a satellite phone and there is still hope to find him. He started his flight on Sunday April 20th. AP also featured this video on YouTube showing the priest flying away with hundreds of helium balloons.

To read more about the story go to Google News for the Full Coverage.

Follow up on the Desjardins Insurance ad

Monday we presented the Ad Campaign of Desjardins Insurance which features airships. As reader Sterling from the "the future soon" Blog pointed out the Ad Campaign is not really pro airships. Unfortunately since I live in europe I haven't seen the TV ad yet, but Sterling let's us know:
that they show airship travel as slow, uncomfortable and prone to leaking in rainstorms.
If someone could take a video of the ad and put it on YouTube that would be great. It is interesting that airships have this image. Airship travel is of course inherently slow and but it was once the fastest way to travel and thank god we can now hop on a plane to get somewhere fast. But even though ships are slower people still take a vacation on a cruise ship, so why wouldn't they take a vacation on a cruise airship? Airship travel has never been uncomfortable. And airships were never prone to leaking in rainstorms that's just fiction of the marketing agency. In fact airship travel was the most luxurious way to travel through air ever seen. Never again had people that much space and comfort on an aircraft. I often think I would rather take a day longer but have a comfortable ride than being crammed into a modern airliners economy class.

But if the public has this image of airships we need to do something. The Zeppelin NT shows what the first step is, and we have to continue developing great airships that are simply better than planes, less noise, more comfort, bigger windows and more space. Those are the qualities of an airship over a plane that we can use to show were our industry has an advantage. Airships wont solve all problems but they can be a great alternative.

Here are two press releases talking about the campaign:

Scott Westerfeld rides the Zeppelin NT airship

Scott Westerfeld a bestselling author of science fiction and young adult literature is currently researching for his new trilogy called Leviathan. In a interview with teenreads.com he gave a short description what Leviathan will be about:
It's a new trilogy called Leviathan, which is set in an alternate 1914, at the beginning of the Great War (what we call World War I). It features living airships, walking mechanical war machines, and loads of romance. Plus, it's going to be heavily illustrated by a brilliant artist I've found, almost halfway to graphic novel.
If you want to write about airships you must have experienced them, that's why he is currently on a research tour in Europe and visited Friedrichshafen a few days ago. Of course he took a ride in the Zeppelin NT and describes his experiences in a series of great to read Blog posts.
In his first post called Z-Day he takes us around Friedrichshafen and the omnipresent Zeppelins you see on every corner. His second post appropriately called Z-Day 2 invites us to follow Scott along on his trip, featuring pictures from the Hangar, the landing of the Zeppelin, some videos, aerial shots, pictures form inside the zeppelin and even a picture of the cockpit. It's a great read for every airship fan. And the second post was not the last one. Check out Scott Westerfelds Blog where he will post the third part of his report soon. Also check out his Website scottwesterfeld.com to find out more about him and his books. I am looking forward to the Leviathan trilogy it will be one more series of books that will inspire young readers to learn more about airships.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Advertising Campaign featuring Airships

The Desjardins General Insurance - Canadas 6th largest financial institution according to their website - is currently running an advertising campaing for their car insurance featuring airships. Here is the Link to the ad page. Their slogan is "Just because something's been invented, Do You Stop There ?"
I think this is a great slogan, because airships have in fact been invented a long time ago but there is a lot more to research and develop and we shouldn't stop at the Blimps we have today. The Zeppelin NT was a great step forward to modern hightech airships but we can do more. The Zeppelin NTs technology is now more than 10 years old and there have been quite a few technological advances, especially in Computers which should allow us to develop new ships faster with the help of computer aided design. So I end with the wise words of Desjardins. Just because something's been invented, Do You Stop There?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Sanyo Lightship Video

In reply to our post 20 Great new Airshipvideos tvnshack from YouTube compiled a really nice Video of the SANYO Airship passage at night during the 1997 Miramar Air Show "Twilight Show". The blimp is doing a touch and go at night. Check it out here

Do you have some great airship videos you want to share send us a message and let us know. Thanks again to tvnshack for his great video.

The need to return to hydrogen in airships

By roaming around the RC Groups Forum I stumbled over a post called Fire & Hydrogen, interesting excert which linked to the first page of an AIAA Paper called "The need to return to hydrogen in airships", I have attached the first page for you to read to the bottom of this post. The paper was written by BREDT, M. of Buz Airship Co., New Orleans, LA for the 6th Lighter-Than-Air Systems Conference Norfolk, VA, June 26-28, 1985. This seems quite old but reading just this first page of the Paper it seems very interesting to me, the proposals made do not seem to far of. I would be interested to learn more about the concepts and Buz Airships, especially I would like to know more about what happened to the concepts and if anything came out of them. So this one goes out to you do you know more about this ? Or do you even know M. Bredt ? Let us know. Put a comment on the Blogpost or write in the Forum or post to our Mailinglist. What do you think about using hydrogen in airships? Can we now so many years after the Hindenburg disaster handle the dangers of hydrogen ? Considering hydrogen fuel cells are making their way into cars and the first planes is it time that the airship industry reconsiders hydrogen usage in one way or the other? Send us your feedback.
Read this doc on Scribd: The need to return to hydrogen in airships
as for AIRSHIP sealed double Drawing example, one p a t t e r n e d a f t e r t h e B Z U - a pressure and r i g i d d e s i g n having d i a p h r a g m - t y p e compartments and a wall outer h u l l . (See accompanying of t h e p r o f i l e of a i r s h i p . ) i n a gondola o u t s i d e of t h e main h u l l , i.e. The g o n d o l a i s t h e f l o o r i s a t ground l e v e l . made of a K e v l a r s k i n o v e r a Nomex honeycomb c o r e . The gondola i s f a s t e n e d d i r e c t l y t o t h e bulkhead s e a l e d diaphragm. The c e i l i n g o f t h e gondola i s a l s o made of a f i r e r e s i s t a n t honeycomb c o r e o f "Fire-Lam". I t e x t e n d s o u t beyond t h e e n t i r e p e r i m e t e r of t h e g o n d o l a (see figure). B e c a u s e of i t s h i g h p h y s i c a l p r o p e r t i e s i n a l l directions, i t is a l s o a s t r u c t u r a l part b e t w e e n t h e h e a v y gondola and t h e l i f t i n g hull. I t s exceedingly high f i r e r e t a r d a n t p r o p e r t i e s a c t a s an umbrella holding out hydrogen f l a m e s l o n g e n o u g h f o r them t o b u r n out. The g e n e r a l p r a c t i c e of a n a i r s h i p i s t o f l y a t about 2,000 f e e t above ground l e v e l . I f f i r e b r e a k s o u t a t t h a t level, the descent need n o t be d i s a s t r o u s . There i s time t o dump f u e l and cargo. I n t h e f i n a l c r a s h , remember t h e It w i l l s t r u c t u r e a c t s much l i k e a b a s k e t . b o u n c e o n i m p a c t and n o t d i s i n t e g r a t e l i k e a n a i r p l a n e . At t h i s p o i n t t h e f i r e w i l l b e o u t and t h e r e w i l l no f u e l t o s p r a y over t h e survivors The v e n t i l a t e d d o u b l e e n v e l o p e c u t s down o n s u p e r h e a t i n g o f t h e l i f t i n g g a s , which p r o v i d e s f o r l e s s e x p a n s i o n and t h e r e f o r e a l l o w s a h i g h e r l i f t i n g g a s volume, which i n t u r n o f f s e t s t h e a d d e d w e i g h t of t h e second envelope. at I 11 I 11~ . A i r e n t e r s t h e d o u b l e e n v e l o p e space A11 ( s e e f i g u r e ) a n d l e a v e s t h e r e a r a t A t m o s p h e r i c p r e s s u r e a t "A" s t a r t s a i r movement r e a r w a r d l y , a n d a s e c o n d a r y s l i g h t s u c t i o n f r o m t h e r e a r a x i s p r o p e l l e r removes i t t o t h e atmosphere. The r e a r a x i s main p r o p e l l e r should be powered by a n h y d r a u l i c m o t o r , whose p r i m a r y e n e r g y s o u r c e i s a hydrogen f u e l e d combustion e n g i n e i n t h e gondola, which i n t u r n a c t i v a t e s t h e h y d r a u l i c pump. T h i s system removes any lingering hydrogen between t h e h u l l s . The r e a r a x i s m o t o r h a s no h o t e x h a u s t p i p e s t o i g n i t e any t r a c e hydrogen. The diaphragms a r e o f K e v l a r a n d s e a l e d t o t h e i n n e r envelope ( s e e f i g u r e ) . They have f i r e r e t a r d a n t p r o p e r t i e s . . TECTION ,SYSTEM Because of t h e hazardous n a t u r e of h y d r o g e n , p r o v i s i o n s c a n b e made f o r a g a s d e t e c t i o n system s i m i l a r t o t h a t used w i t h t h e Space S h u t t l e e x t e r n a l t a n k . During f l i g h t a m a s s s p e c t r o m e t e r i n t h e p i l o t a r e a w i l l be used i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h " s n i f f e r " l i n e s v i a 114" t u b e s and a vacuum pump. The system w i l l s e n s e t h e p a r t s - p e r - m i l l i o n p r e s e n c e of Hz and 02. T h e s e l i n e s w i l l f a n o u t from t h e gondola t o a l l c r i t i c a l areas. I t t a k e s f o u r p e r c e n t oxygen i n t h e hydrogen t o become dangerous. The s y s t e m w i l l be a b l e t o d e t e c t oxygen i n t h e hydrogen c e l l s , and t h e e n t i r e arrangement w i l l w e i g h a l i t t l e o v e r one hundred pounds. * GONDOLA * One o f t h e d e s i g n f a u l t s o f t h e Hindenburg was t h e l o c a t i o n of t h e p a s s e n g e r area. The f l o o r was a b o u t t w e l v e f e e t above t h e lower p e r i m e t e r of t h e a i r s h i p ; a l o n g way t o jump i f y o u a r e n o t s i x t e e n y e a r s o l d . S e p a r a t i n g o n e s head and t h e hydrogen c e l l was o n l y a t h i n f a b r i c membrane. In this a r r a n g e m e n t , e v e n o n t h e g r o u n d , f i r e would g e t t o you q u i c k l y . I n a r e c e n t e x p e r i m e n t by Ciba-Geigy o n Nomax honeycomb p a n e l s c a l l e d "Fire-Lam", cube. t h e p a n e l s were assembled i n a n 8'x8'x8' I n s i d e w e r e aluminum c o t s w i t h b e d d i n g a n d clothes. I t was s a t u r a t e d w i t h n a p h t h a and lighted. The r e s u l t i n g f i r e m e l t e d t h e aluminum i n t h r e e m i n u t e s , and t h e t e m p e r a t u r e was r e g i s t e r e d a t 2000°F. However, i t took 1 4 t o 23 m i n u t e s t o b u r n t h r o u g h t h e p a n e l s . All you n e e d i s f i v e m i n u t e s f o r t h e hydrogen a i r s h i p t o burn o u t , and t h e p e o p l e a r e s a f e from f i r e burns. I weighed a sample of t h e s e p a n e l s , a n d i t came o u t t o 1 2 o z . p e r s q . f t . The e x t r a l i f t o f h y d r o g e n o v e r helium would more t h a n o f f s e t t h i s e x t r a w e i g h t . B e s i d e s , Nomex honeycomb i s a g r e a t i n s u l a t o r a g a i n s t A r c t i c c o l d and Amazon h e a t . * HELIUM - COSTS * I n t h e U.S., h e l i u m c a n be p l a c e d o n t h e job s i t e f o r a n a v e r a g e of $50.00 p e r thousand cu. f t . T h i s c o s t includes a short term l e a s e o n p r e s s u r i z e d c o n t a i n e r s . When t h e s e c o n t a i n e r s a r e t r u c k e d t o a U.S. p o r t , t h e n loaded o n a f r e i g h t e r and s e n t t o a n o t h e r c o n t i n e n t , and a g a i n r e l o a d e d on a t r u c k t o f i n a l destination, the cost i s staggering. A f t e r t h e tanks a r e used, they a r e shipped empty a t t h e same c o s t back t o Texas. I n many p l a c e s t h e t o t a l c o s t of helium, t a n k r e n t a l a n d f r e i g h t comes t o $500.00 p e r t h o u s a n d c u . f t . To f i l l a n a i r s h i p t h e s i z e o f a Goodyear b l i m p c o s t s $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 a n n u a l l y , because t h e r e i s a l s o a g r e a t d e a l of h e l i u m l o s s j u s t t h r o u g h t h e I n t h e B U Z AIRSHIP, t h e p a s s e n g e r quarters, a s well a s t h e crew, a r e c o n t a i n e d

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Airship Surveillance - development continues

Airship Surveillance is continuing to make the news, since our last post on march 26th they have released two additional press releases. The first one called "Airship Surveillance Opens Its Doors for Client Inspection" and the second one called "Airship Surveillance Advances Test Flight Program". The first release really just talks about prospective Clients visiting the company. The latest press release about the test flight program is quite interesting and talks about new tests with ducted fans for precision handling. This can be seen in the latest video Airship Surveillance released on YouTube. The video does not seem unusal at first but notice the thrusters on the nose of the airship.

This is the key part of the press release:
The latest series of tests focused on the airship's flight handling characteristics. Using a combination of ducted fans coupled with improved aerodynamic surfaces, R&D1 demonstrated precise handling in a crosswind environment. These very positive results have enabled the Company to make significant progress in its goal to deliver the first production model airship (L2) by late spring 2008.

"The test flight program is focused on the development of several key, enabling technologies and the incorporation of these technologies into the airship's flight control system, ground control station, and autopilot. The speedy advance of the program means we are on schedule with key elements of the program and actually ahead of schedule overall," stated Sandy Mangold of Airship Surveillance. He continued, "Programming of the base control system is essentially complete and we are now preparing to concentrate on refining the autopilot system. This system will permit autonomous flight, once we have established operations within restricted airspace. Truly, these are exciting times."
It's great to see Airship Surveillance making constant progress and we wish them well so that they have continued success with their development.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Airship One Project from Poland

No we aren't talking about this AirshipOne we are talking about Airship One (notice the space) it's a Polish airship project from the Wrocław University in Poland. This is a short summary what the project is about:
AirShip One is a construction project of blimp with wireless piloting, that can transfer image from air in real time. Academic Aerial Club has made this project with thought about relating public events in big halls. Purpose of project is accustoming of new technical thought to life, introduction of innovative solutions and exploring of knowledge acquired on Wroclaw University of Technology in practice. Three scientific groups work over project AKL - Aerial Academic Club, DaVinci - Aerial Scientific Group, SP6PWT – Academic Club of Radio Control System also TV STYK - Student Television. AirShip One project has been made in order to cope with claims of media in range advanced relating 'on live' performances. AirShip One is an universal platform which will be capable to take up any optional equipment wanted for realization of intentional purpose. Due to big lateral surface, it can be taken advantage as flying advertising. Appliance construction without skeleton make transport easier and allows to move it in indoors by standard-sized entrances. Bearing capacity of ballast module unit totals 2 -kg. Weight without helium 10 -kg. length - 4; diameter - 2,2m; capacity – coverage 10m3 - 1000.
In our previous Video posts, here and here, we already featured the airship but here are the links to the YouTube videos again:
We got a whitepaper on the project from the main coordinator Princo, unfortunately it is in Polish, we will try to get an English translation but for now you can skim over the Polish version it contains some schematic drawings of the airship and formulas that can be understood even without knowing Polish.
Read this doc on Scribd: KNS- AirShip One
Sterowiec RC, AirShip One, video-sterowiec, sterowiec transmisyjny, obraz Przemysław TOMKÓW Politechnika Wrocławska Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 27 50-370 Wrocław Akademicki Klub Lotniczy opiekun naukowy Janusz Gogała AIRSHIP ONE – VIDEO-STEROWIEC RC AirShip One to projekt budowy sterowca pilotowanego bezprzewodowo, mogącego przekazywać obraz z powietrza na ziemię w czasie rzeczywistym. Akademicki Klub Lotniczy stworzył ten projekt z myślą o relacjonowaniu wydarzeń publicznych odbywających się w dużych pomieszczeniach zamkniętych. Celem projektu jest wdrożenie nowych myśli technicznych w życie, wprowadzenie innowacyjnych rozwiązań oraz wykorzystanie wiedzy nabytej na Politechnice Wrocławskiej w praktyce. Nad projektem pracują dwa koła naukowe: AKL - Akademicki Klub Lotniczy oraz Studencki Klub Krótkofalowców – Eter. W projekt włączyła się również TV Styk – Telewizja Studencka. AirShip One stworzono, aby sprostać wymaganiom mediów w zakresie zaawansowanego relacjonowania imprez „on live”. AirShip One to uniwersalna platforma mogąca wynieść dowolną aparaturę potrzebną do realizacji zamierzonego celu. Dzięki dużej powierzchni bocznej, może on być wykorzystywany jako latająca reklama. Zastosowanie konstrukcji bezszkieletowej ułatwia transport oraz pozwala na wprowadzenie sterowca przez wejścia standardowych rozmiarów. Nośność kasetowego modułu balastowego wynosi 3kg. waga bez helu wynosi 10kg. Długość – 4,35m; średnica- 2,2m; objętość – 10m3 zasięg - 1000m. 1.AirShip One – Video-sterowiec RC 1.KONSTRUKCJA Konstrukcja sterowca opiera się o zastosowanie najnowszych dostępnych materiałów. Kryteria, jakimi się kierowaliśmy to bezpieczeństwo, ergonomia, żywotność. Dzięki konstrukcji bezszkieletowej sterowiec będzie łatwy w transporcie i znacznie prostszy w przygotowaniu do lotu. Chcąc podnieść bezawaryjność zdecydowaliśmy o maksymalnym uproszczeniu systemu napędowego oraz systemu sterowania, który zapewnia 7 kanałowa aparatura. Ergonomiczne rozwiązanie kasetowego modułu balastowego znacznie upraszcza montaż oraz ułatwia eksploatację 1.1.PLATFORMA NOŚNA Nośność zapewnia powłoka z tworzywa poliuretanowego wypełniona helem balonowym. Tworzywa poliuretanowe otrzymane na bazie poliestrów liniowych są odporne na oleje, smary, wodę, benzynę i rozcieńczone kwasy i ługi. Hel jest gazem zupełnie bezpiecznym (gaz niepalny) i obojętnym dla środowiska naturalnego. Aby sterowiec wyniósł kamerę z modułem nadawczym ważącą 1,5kg oraz gondolę z silnikami i układem sterowania musi mieć odpowiednią objętość. Z równania Clapeyrona obliczyliśmy nośność 1m3 helu.[1] Sterowiec będzie pracował w obiektach zamkniętych, dlatego przyjęliśmy iż ciśnienie otoczenia wynosi 100kPa. Wysokość lotu ograniczona jest wysokością hali dla uproszczenia założyliśmy, iż wynosi ona 50m. Dla tak małej różnicy wysokości przyrost ciśnienia oraz temperatury możemy pominąć. Masa 1m3 powietrza atmosferycznego wynosi: pV = mRT m p= pV R pT (1) mp=nMp Rp= 8314,7 = 287,12 28,96 (2)  (1) (2) mp = Masa 1m3 czystego helu wynosi: pV = mRT 101325 ⋅ 1 = 1,383kg 287,12 ⋅ 298 mh = pV Rh T (1) mh=nMh Rh= 8314,7 = 2068,3 4,02 (2)  (1) (2) mh = 101325 ⋅ 1 = 0,165kg 2068,3 ⋅ 298 Mp – masa molowa powietrza 28.96g/mol Mh – masa molowa helu 4g/mol mp – masa powietrza mh – masa helu Rp - stała gazowa dla powietrza Rh – stała gazowa dla helu MR – uniwersalna stała gazowa 8315 P - ciśnienie 101,325 kPa V- objętość 1m3 J kg ⋅ K Nośność 1m3 czystego helu wynosi: mp- mh=1,38-0,17=1,21kg W rzeczywistości nośność 1m3 helu wynosi ok. 1kg. Dzieje się tak dlatego, że do napełniania sterowca używalmy helu balonowego o czystości 92-95% Całkowitej masa konstrukcji: Masa powłoki (3,7kg) + masa gondoli (1,2kg)+ masa kamery (0,4kg) + masa akumulatorów(0,7kg) +moduł operacyjny(3kg)+balast wyważający(0,5kg) = 9,5kg Wymiary powłoki: Aby wynieść ciężar 9,5kg potrzebujemy powłokę o objętości: 9,5m 3 na hel 4.0 + 0,5m3 wynikające z konieczności pozostawienia rezerwy na rozszerzalność cieplną helu. Zastosowany zawór bezpieczeństwa chroni korpus przed nadmiernym ciśnieniem gazu. Objętość powłoki powinna wynosić ok. 10m3. Założenia te spełnia elipsa obrotowa o średnicy D=4,35m d=2,2m. 2. Wymiary powłoki 1.2.NAPĘD ORAZ STREROWANIE Napęd stanowią trzy silniki. Dwa klasy SPEED 400 o ciągu 350g każdy odpowiedzialne za ruch; przódtył, góra-dół umieszczone na ruchomych pylonach z włókien węglowych sterowanych mikro serwomechanizmem. Trzeci silnik klasy SPEED 260 umieszczony w dolnym stateczniku pionowym stanowi część fenestronu i odpowiedzialny jest za obracanie sterowca prawo-lewo. Odbiornik oraz pakiet akumulatorów znajdować się będzie w gondoli. 1.3. PRZESYŁANIE OBRAZU Zestaw nadawczo odbiorczy stanowi nadajnik z wbudowaną anteną umożliwia bezprzewodową transmisję sygnału video i fonii w paśmie 5,8Ghz oraz odbiornik umożliwiający odbiór 4 kanałów w sekwencji z regulowanym czasem. Oba elementy zamknięte są w hermetycznej obudowie oraz zasilane są napięciem 12V. Dla zapewnienia ciągłości transmisji wizyjnej wykorzystywane są dwie baterie. Jedna zamontowana w zestawie będzie umożliwiała nieustanną transmisję przez co najmniej 6 godzin, natomiast druga będzie jej zamiennikiem. Ładowanie odbywać się będzie w stacji dokującej w celu umożliwienia jak najprostszej obsługi urządzenia. 2.WYKONANIE Nad budową sterowca pracują 2 koła naukowe Politechniki Wrocławskiej. o o Akademicki Klub Lotniczy – Międzywydziałowe Koło Naukowe Akademicki Klub Krótkofalarski - Eter AKL odpowiedzialny jest za budowę platformy latającej oraz wyposażenie jej w system napędowy oraz system sterowania. Prace prowadzone są w 6-cio osobowym zespole. SP6PWT odpowiada za budowę modułu przesyłu obrazu. Poszczególne etapy powstawiania sterowca: Etap rozpoznawczy – gromadzone są informacje na temat sterowców systemów przechwytu obrazu oraz przesyłu danych. Prowadzone jest badanie rynku w celu rozpoznania podaży oraz popytu na świadczenie usługi video-transmisji z powietrza. Etap konstrukcyjny – określane są kryteria konstrukcyjne, ustalane są pożądane charakterystyki sprzętowe. Następnie wyliczana jest masa podzespołów oraz żądana nośność sterowca. Z równania Clapeyrona otrzymujemy lotność 1m3 helu na podstawie czego dobierane są parametry gabarytowe powłoki. Obliczane są osiągi poszczególnych systemów. Etap ten kończy się utworzeniem listy podzespołów potrzebnych do budowy platformy latającej oraz modułu nadawczego. Etap montażowy – budowa gondoli, powłoki oraz modułu przesyłu obrazu. Prace montażowe prowadzone są w pracowni modelarskiej Młodzieżowego Domu Kultury, z którym zostało podpisane porozumienie na potrzeby realizacji projektu. Oblatywanie sterowca – próby w locie. W pierwszej fazie lot odbywa się bez modułu przesyłu obrazu, który zastępowany jest dodatkowym balastem. Sprawdzana jest sterowność oraz stateczność konstrukcji. Wyznaczane są charakterystyki graniczne tj. prędkość maksymalna, udźwig, zasięg, czas obrotu, czas pracy silników. W drugiej fazie testów sprawdzana jest funkcjonalność modułu video-transmisyjnego. 3.ZASTOSOWANIE Sterowiec będzie wykorzystywany do transmitowania obrazu na imprezach odbywających się w obiektach zamkniętych. Zastosowanie sterowca można rozszerzyć o zrzut ulotek lub pomiar poziomu hałasu. Elementy ruchome lepiej skupiają uwagę odbiorców niż ekspozycje statyczne. Na powierzchni bocznej nadrukowany zostanie baner z logo Politechniki Wrocławskiej, dzięki czemu sterowiec będzie również wykorzystywany w celach promocyjnych uczelni. 4.AirShip One w Auli bud. A1 Politechniki Wrocławskiej - symulacja Wersja rozwojowa przeznaczona będzie do użytku zewnętrznego, a jej zadaniem będzie pomiar poziomu hałasu oraz stworzenie akustycznej mapy miasta Wrocławia. LITERATURA [1] KALINOWSKI E, „Termodynamika Techniczna”, Wrocław, Politechnika Wrocławska, 1979, 14-18 TYTUŁ PRACY W JĘZYKU ANGIELSKIM AirShip One is a construction project of blimp with wireless piloting, that can transfer image from air in real time. Academic Aerial Club has made this project with thought about relating public events in big halls. Purpose of project is accustoming of new technical thought to life, introduction of innovative solutions and exploring of knowledge acquired on Wroclaw University of Technology in practice. Three scientific groups work over project AKL - Aerial Academic Club, DaVinci - Aerial Scientific Group, SP6PWT – Academic Club of Radio Control System also TV STYK - Student Television. AirShip One project has been made in order to cope with claims of media in range advanced relating 'on live' performances. AirShip One is an universal platform which will be capable to take up any optional equipment wanted for realization of intentional purpose. Due to big lateral surface, it can be taken advantage as flying advertising. Appliance construction without skeleton make transport easier and allows to move it in indoors by standard-sized entrances. Bearing capacity of ballast module unit totals 2 -kg. Weight without helium 10 -kg. length - 4; diameter - 2,2m; capacity – coverage 10m3 - 1000.
Do you know about any other airship projects on universities all over the world, tell us about them. Send us an email or present your project directly in our forum which can be used as a mailinglist too, you just have to sign up here. Also please subscribe to our feed either via RSS or you can even get the Blog delivered to you via Email. That way you always have the latest news as soon as we posted them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Airship-List is back up and running - for now

It has been a while since our last update on the status of the Colorado Airship-list but today there are some news. The list seems to be working again. There has not been an official announcement but we hope to hear more from John soon. But don't forget our own Forum & Mailinglist over this. We have a great online Forum which has a searchable archive so you can dig thought what has been said and if a topic has been addressed before.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

20 Great new Airshipvideos

Have you seen and enjoyed our last YouTube post where we featured 10 brand new airship videos. Well today we do it again but we double th numbers we now have 20 great airship videos for you. All watched and given the Airshipworld signature of approval for true airship videos. Some are shorter some longer all together it's a nice playlist, which can easily stack up to tonights prime time show.(at least for an airship enthusiast)

Do you like the format of the Playlist or would you rather have all the videos in one big post, or more often less videos let us know. Are 20 Videos to much, did you even watch all of them? Also have you found a video that we should do some further investigation on? Send us a mail, and we will try to dig out some more information.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Goodyear Blimp in pictures

I came across these great photographs of the Goodyear Blimp on Flickr. They are taken by p.csizmadia which I think stands for Paul Ciszmadia. Besides the great collage that you see in this blog post he also made the individual pictures available. Here are the links:
  1. Goodyear Airdock Hangar Fly-By!
  2. The Approach!
  3. Performance Climb!
  4. Goodyear Airdock!
  5. Goodyear Airdock Hangar!
  6. "Spirit of Goodyear"
  7. Upward Bound!
  8. How About a Ride?
  9. Blimp Attack!
  10. Double-Take Off!
  11. Airdock Roof!
  12. Goodyear!
  13. Hangar Doors!
Do you have some great airship pictures that you would like to share send them to us or give us the link we are more than happy to feature them on the blog.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

We have confirmation. Zeppelins over London this year

Coincidence or perfectly planned PR we don't know but it was exactly one year ago when we released an Article called Zeppelin over London in 2008 and today we got the confirmation that the Zeppelin will actually come to London this year. The Times online just released the following article: Zeppelins to make tourist flights over London. The article confirms everything that we had been reporting on last April. As stated in our article Airshipventures on the rise Rory Laing, a former contestant of The Apprentice is the promoter of the tours. So check out the current Times Online article for all the information.

Dark Roasted Airships

I stumbled last month across a really great article from the Blog Dark Roasted Blend, called Airship Dreams. It really wakes the dreamer in all of us and illustrates why Airships have and will always inspire and fascinate people. The article talks about the past the present and of course the future of airships. Mentioning the Festo Airray, the Aeroscraft and our friends from Airshipventures. It's worth a read even if it is just for all the great pictures of past concepts, the glory days of the Graf Zeppelin or the great rigid airships of the Navy. The article has been online for a while but I just wanted to share it because it is really great. Do you think the airship industry is on the right path to make a comeback? What does it take for airships to make the break through from niche to mainstream?

Zeppelin Pictures from Japan

Yuu Mihara a photographer from Japan has a really nice Blog called "Sky and Airship" where he regularly features pictures of the Zeppelin NT JA101Z which is flying in Japan. His Blog is as far as I know the only source about the Zeppelin NT from Japan besides the Website of the Nippon Airship Corporation itself. Yuu has some great shots of the Zeppelin and just recently also featured a gallery of the "nissen," "Happy Smile" airship.

So check out his Blog at http://sky-airship.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/ it is split into four categoires. Since the Blog is written in Japanese follow the "(translated)" links behind each of the categories listed here to get the translated version. He posts new pictures almost every day and recently featured two great galleries. The first on is a gallery of great zeppelin pictures titled Journey "Zeppelin NT the airship" and the other gallery features the previously mentioned nissen, airship and is called "Happy Smile!".
Yuu Miharas Blog is really a great source for everyone who wants to know how the Zeppelin is doing in Japan.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Taking a break till Saturday

No this ain't an April Fools joke I currently don't have internet in the evenings so I won't be able to blog. But I am going to do some development work, so if everything works as I hope it will Airshipworld might get some new features soon. In the meanwhile why don't you check out our 2007 Archives or dive into the 2008 Archives to check what we have done the last few months. Or start a new Topic in the Forum and discuss with other readers. More from me and the Airshipworld on Saturday.