Huge Rigid Cargo Airship

January 30, 2013 Leave a comment
AerosCraft Cargo Airship

AerosCraft Cargo Airship

A huge rigid cargo airship is being built in a WWII era hanger in Montebello, California by Worldwide Aeros. Once development has been completely the craft should be able to haul up to 66 tons of cargo all over the world for the U.S. military.

It would be really incredible if they built one for passenger service. With a payload capacity of 66 tons I would think they could outfit a ship with accommodations something like the old Graf Zeppelin, but more modern and slightly larger. Would really be a hell of a way to travel, eh?

Links:

» http://news.cnet.com/2300-11386_3-10015616.html

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

Categories: News

New Discovery Channel show, “What Destroyed the Hindenburg?”

December 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Hindenburg Model Burning

Hindenburg Model Burning [Airships.net]

I just noticed a post on one of my favorite blogs that the Discovery Channel will be airing a new show “What Destroyed the Hindenburg?” on December 16th at 9:00pm. This is good timing since the 75th anniversary of the accident was earlier this year in May.

Dan Grossman, of Airships.net, participated in the project as a technical advisor and has posted  a lot of cool photos on his site you should go check out! They used three large 80′ models, filled with actual hydrogen, for their testing. I can’t wait to check it out.

Links:

» http://www.airships.net/blog/discovery-channel-what-destroyed-the-hindenburg

» http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/what-destroyed-the-hindenburg-episode10-faq.htm

Categories: History, News

Rear Motor Gimbal Idea

May 26, 2012 2 comments
Mounted Airship Engines (Close Up)

Mounted Airship Engines (Close Up)

Recently someone suggested the model airship’s rear control surfaces would not work very well without any prop wash flowing over them. I had thought about that before, and have been wanting to design a system to gimbal the motors to provide some thrust vectoring and better control.

So I have begun working with ideas to move the two rear engines to help control the ship. The two forward engines will remain stationary and will only provide forward propulsion.

This is proving to be quite a challenge. I want to move both rear engines up/down and left/right, using only one actuator for up/down and one actuator for left/right, and keep the whole system extremely light weight. I’m not sure if I will be able to make it work using only two actuators, but that’s the plan for now. I’ll post some drawings once I come up with a workable idea, hopefully soon!

Categories: Control, Design, Propulsion

Hidenburg Disaster – 75 Years Ago Today

May 6, 2012 1 comment
Hindenburg over New York City (1937)

Hindenburg over New York City (1937)

The giant airship Hindenburg was destroyed in a landing accident at Lakehurst, New Jersey 75 years ago today.

Sometimes I wonder what might have been had the U.S. shared it’s helium resources with the Zeppelin Company. The ship was originally designed to use helium as it’s lifting gas, but at the time helium was rare and the main source of it came from the United States, but the U.S. would not export any to Germany.

It’s such a shame that this disaster pretty much halted any future large rigid airship design. It must have been such an incredible way to travel, almost like a fine hotel, but with a much better view! Air travel has went downhill ever since the giant airships stopped flying.

Links:

» http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ_129_Hindenburg

» http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster

Categories: History

I haven’t forgotten about the Airship project

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Just wanted to make a quick post to say that I have not forgotten about the R/C model airship project! Due to a recent move, the Mac (where I run Sketchup) dying, and some other stuff going on it has just been delayed. But I will be getting back to it soon, I promise! 🙂

Add my feed to your blog reader (Google Reader is the one I use and recommend) and you will see new posts show up automatically.

Oh, and Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is an incredible year for all of you.

Categories: Announcements

Flying U.S.S. Macon model airship! [video]

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Upon visiting the AirshipModeler.com forums tonight I noticed that someone had posted a link to a video of Jack Clemens’ flying model of the U.S.S. Macon airship! It’s just so incredible to see it actually fly. It boggles my mind how much work he must have put in to design and build it. This is not an easy thing, as I have learned while working on my own flying model airship project.

Categories: News, Video

Rudder/Elevator Control Surfaces

June 19, 2011 1 comment
Rudder/Elevator Control Surface

Rudder/Elevator Control Surface

I finally got around to cutting out the parts to assemble one of the rudder/elevator control surfaces today. The whole thing is built from 1/32″ balsa sheet material and some super glue.

Each rudder/elevator control surface is 8″ x 2″ and 1/2″ thick at the base, with 7 ribs.

The finished piece weighs in at around ~2 grams, and it feels as light as a feather. It’s so light that I now have no doubt that the tiny magnetic actuator will have any trouble moving it at all.

This turned out to be quite a challenge. I’m going to need more practice to get up to the level of quality I want for the finished airship. Although fairly rigid and strong once assembled, the balsa material is pretty fragile while working with it.

It would be great if I could find someone or someplace that could laser cut the material from my drawings. Just out of curiosity I think I will look around and see if anyone does work like this on a very small scale for a reasonable price. If not, I will just suck it up and get better at cutting out and assembling the parts myself! We’ll see..

Rudder/Elevator Control Surface on Scale Rudder/Elevator Control Surface (Close Up)

Categories: Build, Frame