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Droogs

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Zeppilin NT uses ducted fans although the newer lift body dirigibles being designed such as the Airlander 10 and Lockheed Martin Hybrid are it is hope able to use all electric drive trains in the near future.

For those interested in modern British ingenuity, here is Bedford HAV's website for the Airlander 10. Brought to you curtesy of Iron Maiden lol

 

JBaz

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Although airships are generally written off as historical beasts, I think their time may come again.

Using Helium negates the "Hindenburg" issue and modern materials can overcome most of the technical challenges of containing the lifting gas.

There are a number of companies (including Zeppelin) working on airship projects for heavy lifting and "sightseeing" flights, but with the world focus on reducing carbon emissions I can see a place for commercial flights for passengers and cargo.

Whilst airships will never match the speed of an aeroplane, they don't need a runway, so for short-haul they can compete with the city-centre to city-centre total journey time, and the on-board passenger experience could be much better. Think of an ocean liner travelling at 100mph.

Then there is the potential of using solar energy to power them, as it's always sunny above the clouds.

I don't suggest that they could replace aircraft, but I think there is definitely a market for a slower and more environmentally friendly means of flying.
 

Inspector

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Don't sweat the oil questions. I was just yanking your chain since I know how obscure the question really is. The manuals for a Sunbeam engine that were produced in such limited numbers are long gone to history. I found specs on the engines and they were dry sump so it would all have been in a tank for each engine (possibly with a way of heating the oil if the engine was shut down for a while) and as the DC-6s I used to work on had 29 gallon tanks for each engine plus a 26 gallon auxiliary in the left wing root fairing (mixed 50/50 with avgas to keep it from congealing altitude) to top up high time engines I would imagine they had similar tanks and carried extra drums of oil for each engine too. The oil was likely 50 or 60 weight like the radials I worked on. Incidentally along the same lines of the auxiliary oil, the DC-6 pilots had the option of adding fuel to the oil just before shutdown in cold conditions to make it easier to start next day, the fuel thinning the oil. They did have to run them for a while on the ground to get the engines good and hot so the fuel evaporated off. The Sunbeam would have been similar to their contemporaries like the Zeppelins which there might be better records for in your museum. Thanks and enjoy yourself talking about the gas bags. 😉
Pete
 

AES

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Zeppilin NT uses ducted fans although the newer lift body dirigibles being designed such as the Airlander 10 and Lockheed Martin Hybrid are it is hope able to use all electric drive trains in the near future.

For those interested in modern British ingenuity, here is Bedford HAV's website for the Airlander 10. Brought to you curtesy of Iron Maiden lol



Thanks Droogs. A PM follows this (as soon as I get time)!!

Cheers mate
 

AES

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Don't sweat the oil questions. I was just yanking your chain since I know how obscure the question really is. The manuals for a Sunbeam engine that were produced in such limited numbers are long gone to history. I found specs on the engines and they were dry sump so it would all have been in a tank for each engine (possibly with a way of heating the oil if the engine was shut down for a while) and as the DC-6s I used to work on had 29 gallon tanks for each engine plus a 26 gallon auxiliary in the left wing root fairing (mixed 50/50 with avgas to keep it from congealing altitude) to top up high time engines I would imagine they had similar tanks and carried extra drums of oil for each engine too. The oil was likely 50 or 60 weight like the radials I worked on. Incidentally along the same lines of the auxiliary oil, the DC-6 pilots had the option of adding fuel to the oil just before shutdown in cold conditions to make it easier to start next day, the fuel thinning the oil. They did have to run them for a while on the ground to get the engines good and hot so the fuel evaporated off. The Sunbeam would have been similar to their contemporaries like the Zeppelins which there might be better records for in your museum. Thanks and enjoy yourself talking about the gas bags. 😉
Pete


Thanks Pete, I won't "sweat" those Qs but you've piqued my interest so I'll do some more searching around and come back to you - but don't hold yer breath.

I have heard about the mixing with avgas trick before (vaguely) but doubt that would apply in the case of Zepps. For one thing they didn't normally fly much higher than about 1,500 ft (apart from short periods), and they tried to avoid weather as much as possible - e.g. very rarely into icing if they could possibly avoid it (too much weight build up on that huge "fuselage"). But yeah, I cam image fairly large extra drums being carried aboard, as well as large integral tanks (no doubt within the power gondolas). More later ......
 

Keith 66

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I will have a look & see what photos are around, my wifes grandfather Reg lived to 97 & died 20 odd years ago.
For his 90th birthday my wifes sister pulled some strings with a friend from Uni & got him a guided tour of Airship industries giant sheds at Cardington, in one corner of the vast hangar was the Goodyear blimp. Reg talked to the engineers & said it was surprising how the language & procedures had not changed one bit, everyone weighed before they stepped on the blimp & the equivalent weight in lead shot let down , reverse when you step off! Funny thing was that the weights & measures were always in metric Kilos & grams even in the RNAS back when he had flown them, apparently they had always worked this way as metric was easier to calculate!
 

AES

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Thanks for that Keith. Very interesting. Do you happen to know if your good lady's grandad spoke about a thing called a "crab pot"?? It's mentioned in the 2 Andrew Wareham books I mentioned above, and it seems it was a sort of wicker work "basket" with a big wide open mouth. Apparently you had to set the angle "just so" to ensure that the ballonet (???) could "ventilate" properly (???). That's about the extent of my "knowledge" that I remember reading about in Wareham's (fictional) books, and I didn't really understand it then, and certainly don't now! AND I've not heard of such a device being used on "blimps" so just wondered on the off chance if her grandad had mentioned such things (yup, 20 years ago, I realise!) or better yet, had left any pix.

It's a bit like the question above that came up re engine oils (if you've been following this thread). Even with internet some info is hard to find (AND I'm not very good with search engine phraseology anyway)!

Cheers
 

Keith 66

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My wife was just given an envelope full of family stuff, wills, family trees, photos etc.
In there we have found some of the airship photos & other memorabilia.
It turns out that her grandfather Reg initially trained at RNAS Kingsnorth on the Hoo peninsula in Kent, we have sailed past this place hundreds of times over the years but never knew the airship base existed.
Subsequently he was based at Lenabo, Longside base in Aberdeenshire (not scapa flow as i had thought) The longside site was cleared & is now a forest though there are said to be some remains of buildings if you know where to look.
There are some photos of Dirigible NS11 in flight & she was the holder of a flight endurance record. Also some photos of a sister airship on the ground showing the forward car. I will be attempting to scan or copy them in near future!
 

Richard_C

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Vaguely relevant: anyone read books by Neville Shute? On the Beach, A Town like Alice.... some were made into films. His full name was Neville Shute Norway, and he worked as an engineer at Cardington in R100 days. I think he became chief engineer after Barnes Wallace. Autobiography is "Slide Rule", I remember reading it about 40 years ago and I'm pretty sure there is a section about airships.
 

AES

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My wife was just given an envelope full of family stuff, wills, family trees, photos etc.
In there we have found some of the airship photos & other memorabilia.
It turns out that her grandfather Reg initially trained at RNAS Kingsnorth on the Hoo peninsula in Kent, we have sailed past this place hundreds of times over the years but never knew the airship base existed.
Subsequently he was based at Lenabo, Longside base in Aberdeenshire (not scapa flow as i had thought) The longside site was cleared & is now a forest though there are said to be some remains of buildings if you know where to look.
There are some photos of Dirigible NS11 in flight & she was the holder of a flight endurance record. Also some photos of a sister airship on the ground showing the forward car. I will be attempting to scan or copy them in near future!


That sounds great Keith, no rush, but anything you could scan and send as an E-mail attach file would be very interesting.
 

AES

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Vaguely relevant: anyone read books by Neville Shute? On the Beach, A Town like Alice.... some were made into films. His full name was Neville Shute Norway, and he worked as an engineer at Cardington in R100 days. I think he became chief engineer after Barnes Wallace. Autobiography is "Slide Rule", I remember reading it about 40 years ago and I'm pretty sure there is a section about airships.


More than "vaguely relevant" IMHO:
"Slide Rule" was not only a good read but had loads of other useful info re aviation in those days, inc. as you say R100 (and also, some about the "competitor" R101). However on the airship/s theme he did agree years later that he may have been "somewhat harsh". However, what few real facts have come out about the R101 debacle - and it was, exactly that by any reasonable measure - show that when Sir John Masefield rather sniffily described Shute/Norway as a "minor functionary" in describing some of the goings on at Cardington re the R101 in "Slide Rule", he (Masefield) was actually himself acting as "typical not really knowing what's going on stiff-necked management hierachy" (that's also IMHO BTW).

If you're interested in Shute/Norway Richard, try "Parallel Motion" by John Anderson. Also throws some interesting light on the airship comments by Shute/Norway.
 

Cabinetman

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Saw two humongous hangers in Orange County California last month, just looked it up, a place called Tustin, as Mike said the size of airship hangers is something that is really deceptive. 17 stories high and a 1000ft long and made from wood in 1942.
 

gmgmgm

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The anchor mast is still there on top of the Empire State Building in New York, waiting for passing traffic.
 

Flynnwood

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I stumbled upon this in July on a four day break 2021. So much history, that many will not be taught about.

vulcan.JPG
 
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AES

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@Richard_C (and anyone else interested). In my post above (#31) I referred to a book by John Anderson called "Parallel Motion". Although that does indeed refer to the R100/R101, it also covers a lot of other ground about Shute's novels & family life.

But Anderson also wrote a book called "Airship on a shoestring" which looks in great detail at the R100 and Norway's part in it, and of course mentions also R101. Along with "The Millionth Chance" (by I think James Leasor) which covers the R101 in detail, personally for anyone who is interested on the R100 particularly, I should have recommended "Airship on a shoestring" in post 31. Sorry, a/nother) "senior moment.
 

clogs

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just lovin this subject......
AES
often wondered why the Photo of the Air Ship above ur name.....thanks.....

I have a great interest in old engines of all types....pre 1920's......
as for oils it was a black art and I would sugest that each engine would use at least 1x 45 gallon (205ltr) drum of engine oil on the Atlantic flight.....
I had a couple of large stationary engines in the distant past and the cost of oil used was similar to the fuel.....hahaha...great days.....
mine ended up in Holland.....
 

AES

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just lovin this subject......
AES
often wondered why the Photo of the Air Ship above ur name.....thanks.....

I have a great interest in old engines of all types....pre 1920's......
as for oils it was a black art and I would sugest that each engine would use at least 1x 45 gallon (205ltr) drum of engine oil on the Atlantic flight.....
I had a couple of large stationary engines in the distant past and the cost of oil used was similar to the fuel.....hahaha...great days.....
mine ended up in Holland.....


Hullo clogs. Glad you're enjoying the thread. I may have started it but many others have contributed too. All viewpoints & other info adds to the enjoyment IMO.

Why the "Hindenburg" pic? 2 reasons: 1. It fits with my "new" strap line "Success has many fathers ............ etc. 2. I'm a tour guide at the Zeppelin Museum in Germany, and if there's ONE thing that almost ALL visitors know at the start of my tours is that "Hindenburg" burst into flames at Lakehurst (just outside NY) for "no apparent reason" in May 1937. (Hopefully, by the end of my tours the visitors know a bit more than that)!

ALSO, if you're into rock music, when Jimmy Page started the group "Led Zeppelin" back in to 70's, he chose that pic for the cover of their first album.

Oil? Yes, obviously LOTS of it! And BTW, that remained true well into the piston-engined airliner era too. LOTS of it per trip. I hate to think what the cost of oils was for the highly complex compound, multi row, supercharged radial engines of the 1950's and 60's like the Wrights and Pratts, not to mention the UK's sleeve-valved Bristol "Hercules" and "Centaurus". "Inspector" (Pete) UKW member in Canada used to work on those "big round engines" apparently)

Actually someone has already asked me that Q about airship oils and I'm still trying to find out the proper answer. I'm quite a way away by road from the Zepp Museum and it's archives (and they don't send an airship to pick me up!), so not all that much chance to go delving. I normally only go there when I have tour groups to lead. But I WILL find out!

As a matter of interest, most airships of all nationalities used petrol engines, including many Zeppelins and the British R34, R38, R80 and R100. But the British R101 and the above-mentioned "Hindenburg" both used diesels (The Hindenburg's" engines were DB 603 railway engines converted/lightened - if you're interested. The R101 had Beardmores).

The crash and total destruction of the R101 in 1931 followed by "Hindenburg" in 1937 made a final/total end to commercial airships BTW, though now and again, "modern" versions do raise their heads.

Cheers
 
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Kittyhawk

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I be a visitor to that museum tomorrow if i could...
Most annoyingly, we passed through Friedrichshaven whilst on a cycle tour of europe a few years back and didn't know the museum was there.
 

MikeK

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I be a visitor to that museum tomorrow if i could...
Most annoyingly, we passed through Friedrichshaven whilst on a cycle tour of europe a few years back and didn't know the museum was there.

You can be a virtual visitor. AES guided me through several online tours and I enjoyed each of them. I still want to visit the museum, but I don't think I missed anything by taking the online tour with my personal guide.
 

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