Worlds largest aircraft takes flight

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Thorlifter, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Airlander: The world’s largest aircraft has just completed its maiden flight


    The mighty Airlander 10 finally took to the skies on Wednesday evening, marking the maiden flight of the world’s biggest aircraft.

    The massive blimp-shaped machine, which at 302 feet (92 meters) makes it 50 feet (15 meters) longer than a jumbo jet, sailed into the air over the English county of Bedfordshire, about 40 miles north of London. Watched by hundreds of locals, the Airlander performed a 30-minute circuit of the airfield before returning safely to terra firma, ABC reported.

    “Extraordinary” is a label easily applied to the Airlander 10. It’s also been called a “flying bum” for its butt-shaped front end, but we won’t dwell on that right now.

    So why so special? Well, if its size alone isn’t enough to impress, consider its ability to stay airborne for up to two weeks at a time. Without a crew.

    Combining design elements of airplanes, airships, helicopters, and hovercrafts, the Airlander, which is lifted by helium and powered by four turbocharged diesel engines, is capable of carrying cargo weighing as much as 10 tons, though future designs should boost that to 50 tons.

    The ginormous contraption, which can reach heights of 16,000 feet (4,900 meters), could one day travel to all corners of the planet, capable as it is of landing on not just solid ground, but also water, desert, and ice.

    Its laminated-fabric hull is strong enough to withstand gunfire, pretty important when you learn the machine was originally headed for use by the U.S. military. However, the plan to use it in surveillance work was scrapped three years ago when the American government withdrew development funding, leaving small British aviation firm Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) to keep the ambitious project alive. A similar design took to the skies in 2012, though so many changes have been made to it since then that Wednesday’s outing has been deemed a maiden flight.

    While HAV says the Airlander could still be used for surveillance, it also sees other possibilities such as cargo transportation, aid delivery, pleasure trips, and even passenger travel, though with a top speed of 80 knots (90 mph), don’t expect to get anywhere fast.
     
  2. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Humongous tech. Funny that people still invest in zeppelin-like ships, I suppose it depends a lot on the weather to fly safely.
     
  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    It certainly is big. Will be interesting to see what comes of it.
     
  4. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    ...And the first crash already.... fortunately it was in slow motion...

     
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  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Damn! And I was going to say load it up with construction equipment and fly it to Italy...
     
  6. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    No one injured, I would say the must be one of the worst places in the world to develop such a vehicle, calm days are rare and sudden squalls can start in minutes.
     
  7. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Squall ? new word for me.
     
  8. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    I guess they're still working out how to fly the thing - new concept and all that.
     
  9. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    #9 pbehn, Aug 24, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
    from wiki
    A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed that is usually associated with active weather, such as rain showers, thunderstorms, or heavy snow.[1] Squalls refer to an increase in the sustained winds over a short time interval, as there may be higher gusts during a squall event.[2] They usually occur in a region of strong mid-level height falls,[clarification needed] or mid-level tropospheric cooling, which force strong localized upward motions at the leading edge of the region of cooling, which then enhances local downward motions just in its wake."

    The USA is famous for its Tornados and the UK isnt however by land area and a lower degree of severity the UK has more. The fore runner of a Tornado is a funnel cloud.
    Funnel cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I have seen these six times around my home in Northern England, like a big black finger sticking out below a thunder cloud, when they are above you you cannot see them but many times I have been sat in my garden or in other places when the weather is "thundery" and suddenly a wind from no particular direction just swirling around strats suddenly and then stops, no problem in normal life but a big problem for an airship. On the rare occasions a Tornado does touch down in the UK it is almost always at night and a lot of roof tiles get thrown about, nowhere near the energy of those in the USA.

    Having worked in many countries around the world I was always amazed how benign the weather was most of the time, people in Japan and China routinely play badminton and table tennis outside for much of the year. Inland in China I was staggered that the people I worked with could tell me exactly when the weather would change for better or worse two weeks in advance.
     
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  10. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, at first glance the word sounds like a bird name.
     
  11. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Yes it does CB. Squall is similar sounding to Squab, which is a fancy word for pigeon.
     
  12. Zipper730

    Zipper730 Member

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    The butt blimp?
     
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