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"Zeppelins, Again?" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Jun 2020 2:19 p.m. PST

The U.S. military is said to be once again evaluating the use of gas-filled airships, partially due to new technology which makes hydrogen safer to use.

Do you foresee military airships in the future?

* yes
* yes, but only as transports
* no

JMcCarroll17 Jun 2020 2:57 p.m. PST

Those that don't have humans on board can go to 100,000 feet.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2020 3:02 p.m. PST

Yes. There's a lot of utility there, as airships can go anywhere and land anywhere, not to mention stay in place at a very high altitude for an indeterminate amount of time. I can see that against comparatively low-tech opponents, they could even be a sustained attack platform which the enemy can't reach or respond to, launching drones, missiles, etc.., as well as providing surveillance and communication links over a broad area. Essentially a dedicated "satellite" that can alter its position anywhere in the world.
Would also be effective against drug operations, too.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2020 4:11 p.m. PST


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2020 4:55 p.m. PST

For sure – Parzival had it exactly right, long linger time, able to go pretty much anywhere and with drone/remote technology could have very little (or no) risk of personnel loss,

von Schwartz17 Jun 2020 5:40 p.m. PST

Interesting premise

Stryderg17 Jun 2020 6:05 p.m. PST

The day of the floating aircraft carrier is upon us!
Well, almost.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jun 2020 6:34 a.m. PST

LTA platforms, yes. Already got 'em, but I do see expanded use.

Zeppelins? Maybe not.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2020 11:30 a.m. PST

I still think a dirigible is a viable concept as a luxury liner for tourism, too. I'm surprised no one has done it.
Imagine a leisurely cruise over the Alps, or across the USA, or over India, the Amazon, etc., etc., with landing sites for day tours at the Grand Canyon, the Great Wall of China, Manku Pichu…
And no crowded airliner, but open lounge areas, a cafe, and even a state room, or at least a comfortable sleeping berth.
I'd love an opportunity like that.

The Hindenburg's passenger areas: link

Beats being crammed into a jet any day of the week!

Legion 420 Jun 2020 7:26 a.m. PST

LTA platforms, yes. Already got 'em,
but I do see expanded use.
Maybe …

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jun 2020 9:48 a.m. PST

Unmanned Aerial Systems are ideal for deploying ad hoc, short range (disposable) network nodes. LTA and near-LTA platforms give you significantly extended on station time.

I would suppose that non-critical, unopposed logistics and similar profile operations would also benefit.

Imagine a quadcopter augmented by a helium balloon. Slower and less maneuverable. But every bit of lift the LTA portion gives is less lift that needs to be generated by the quadcopter. That leads to lower power demand during flight, give you extended time(/range if you want that) for a given battery/fuel.

Depending on the UAS part and your payload, you might be able to get the power demand to carry out mission ops less than what you could recharge with a solar cell (which becomes part of the payload weight cost).

With an infrared biased solar cell, I could even do some pulse recharging from a high altitude vehicle borne laser.

Legion 421 Jun 2020 10:03 a.m. PST

IIRC a USN(?) Blimp called "Fat Albert" was tethered on FL Coast monitoring Cuban radio, etc.

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