Sunday, June 25, 2006

New Hot Air Airship

Something new, once more!

The new Hot Air Airship from the GEFA Company made a few flights after its trials in Southern Germany, late last April.
It was noticed during the test flights, first that the center of gravity was too much forward (the pilot had to use almost only the forward burner) and second that it might be necessary to stiffen the vertical stabilizer a bit. Moreover, the airship had a tendency for some reverse roll during turns (it would roll a bit toward the outside of the turn, instead of rolling toward the inside of it).

This being said, it seems an excellent hot air airship, calm and easy to fly.
It can carry one pilot and three passengers.

OK, let's see some pictures now!!!

First, the two burners in action over the gondola.

Then, the forward fan for maintening the pressure inside the envelope.

Now, a view of the transverse "Thermal Curtain" that divides the top of the envelope in the middle, in order to prevent the pitch movements due to the displacement of the hot air in it when the airship changes attitude (moves the nose up or down)

Here it is at take-off

and in flight, of course

on landing

The dismantling

The instrument panel (The pilot sits on the right hand side)

The engine and the four bladed propeller

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Former Cargolifter Huge Airship Hangar

Hi there!

So, let's have a look at Cargolifter's ex-hangar.
It's now used as a "Tropical Paradise" experience, with lakes, villages, huge trees, all in a tropical climate.
I wonder how long it will stand up before all this dampness corrodes it all.
Anyway, it's a great experience to have.
Do you make out the big trucks to the right hand side?

And now, how it looked like from the last airship leaving the area...
Workers and machines were already tearing up everything inside the hangar.
No more airship may ever come back to rest in this enormous place...
Broken dreams are replaced by other ones.

Giant "dinosaurs" and huge machines that will never exist here are replaced by the laughter of children playing in the warmth of this micro-world, the dream of a tropical paradise bubble in the cold winters of Central Europe....

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

And What About Some Modern Airship Cockpit Pictures?

Well, as if you were a VIP passenger, flying during an extended cross-country...

That's how it looks to be just behind the pilot in the Zeppelin NT-07

And here it is, in a Skyship 600B...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Airship News" or "What's Going On With The Only Zeppelin And The Only Skyship Left In Europe?"

The DZR (Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei) Zeppelin . With the tail number D-LZZR, the last of the NT-07 series is touring Germany for BMW.

As for Skycruise Switzerland's Skyship, it will most probably not keep its nice green colour, the contract for Nigeria having been postponed.

You can see it here still hibernating in ZLT-DZR's hangar in Friedrichshafen, Zeppelin's base on the shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee in German)

So You Do Fly Airships?


1. Always check the actual and the forecast WEATHER, especially “upstream of the weather”. (chances are that the weather here later will be similar to the one there now) Be prepared and do not get caught.Remember that an airship cannot avoid the weather easily. Better stay on the mast when in doubt. And beware of inversions, especially on take-off.

2. Always think about your landing when computing your take-off STATIC Weight and Balance. Better to do an intermediate landing to reballast than to valve helium....or attempt a too heavy landing.

3. Always be aware of your TRIM.(this obviously applies only to larger airships with more than one ballonet, or any other means to trim)-a wrong trim on take off can result in a tail impact...or in an inability to clear obstacles, especially if you loose an engine! - a “properly” trimed airship flying fast will be much too much nose heavy when you slow down. Beware if you are also low!!! - a ship trimmed nose heavy for a light landing on a windy day will be pushed down by a wind gust and may impact the ground!

4. Never EVER add power to GO AROUND when your nose is pointing down. If you are light, just select full reverse and the ship will not only rise but will also stop going forward.And if you are heavy, get light immediately, or at least trim the nose light right away (but beware of loss of pressure), as trying to lift the nose aerodynamically at low airspeed will only result in pulling the tail down, and the whole airship with it...

5. Never turn DOWNWIND just after take-off with a heavy airship.You will have problems to immediately gain height and clear obstacles, even if you don’t loose an engine!! Always turn into the wind if you need to gain height quickly.

6. And remember that the most effective way to loose AIRSPEED is to make a sudden tight turn.This can be a plus.It can also lead to a sudden loss of aerodynamic lift. Do not get caught at low height with a heavy airship at low airspeed!(Airships with vectors have different problems here)