digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Hot air airship made by Gefa-Flug

A thermal airship is an airship that generates its lift via the difference in density due to a temperature differential between the gas inside its envelope and the ambient air. (This is in contrast to using a gas that is lighter than air at ambient temperature, such as helium.) Currently most thermal airships use hot air, as used in a hot air balloon, as their lifting gas.

Some airship designs that use a lighter-than-air lifting gas heat a portion of the gas, which is usually maintained in enclosed cells to gain additional lift. Heating the lifting gas causes expansion of the gas in order to further lower the density of the lifting gas, which results in greater lift.

Also, an airship that uses steam would qualify as a thermal airship.[1]

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]

Thermal airships have the advantage of being much less expensive than helium-based airships. They are also routinely deflated after each flight and can be readily packed for storage and/or transport.

Hot air craft produce much less uplift per unit volume than helium- or hydrogen-filled craft (about 30% depending on air conditions). This necessitates lighter construction, with fewer controls and hence more difficulty in manoeuvring. This leads to:

  • lower airspeeds
  • difficulty in handling on the ground if the ground wind is above 5 knots
  • difficulty in steering, particularly at low airspeeds
  • lack of elevator (pitch) control, causing the airship to pitch up or down in response to changes in the throttle setting (a motion called 'porpoising').

In recent years, the steering of these ships has improved somewhat. The most successful approach has been to use higher pressure in the tail fin structures than in the rest of the envelope, or to use an internal structure (see below).

History[edit]

Skyacht Personal Blimp - another type of thermal airship

The first public flight of a hot air airship was made by Don Cameron (UK) in a Cameron D-96 at the Icicle Meet in January 1973. The aircraft reportedly took 3 years to develop.

Envelope structures[edit]

Most thermal airships are non-rigid. Some are pressurized. In some cases, the pressurized air is taken from a duct located behind the propeller. In other cases, the pressurized air comes from a separate fan.

In 2006, a new type of envelope employing a tensile membrane structure was developed by Skyacht Aircraft. This design uses an unpressurized envelope and an internal structure that uses ribs made of aluminium to keep the envelope in shape. When not in use, the structure folds up in a manner similar to an umbrella. The structure also permits the mounting of a steerable engine/propeller on the tail of the aircraft. The tail-mounted propeller provides for vectored thrust steering, allowing tight turns.[2]

Operation[edit]

Like hot air balloons, thermal airships are first inflated partially with cold (ambient temperature) air. Once the envelopes are sufficiently full, a propane burner is ignited and the inflation is completed using heated air.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steam Balloon JBFA Article
  2. ^ Youtube video of Skyacht

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_airship — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
7763 videos foundNext > 

Gefa Flug AS105GD Thermal Airship

Test Flights in the German Alps.

A Tour of the Gondola

Pilot Crispin Williams gives us a tour of Greenpeace's newest campaign tool - the thermal airship.

Alb Balloon Fiesta-Thermal Airship

Thermal Airship at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

Airship Over ATL FEB 2013

Third Flight on Atlanta's newest aircraft! This thermal airship is quite the sight. Keep checking, new videos of the airship are posted regularly. Still play...

Greenpeace Airship Flies Over Beautiful Juneau, Alaska to Protect the Bering Sea

Greenpeace's 105-foot thermal airship, A.E. Bates, flew over Juneau, Alaska while the North Pacific Fishery Management Council was meeting to decide whether ...

Airship launches from Billings West End

Five balloons launched from Centennial Park for the Magic City Hot Air Balloon Rally. One of the aircraft is a thermal airship flown by a pilot for Greenpeac...

Russian airship (UFO) ALA-40 (1992) - Project "Thermal Plane"

ufo,ufos Footage of a UFO-like airship manufactured in Russia, which was developed from 1988 to 1992 in the Aviastor aircraft works of the Russian city of Ul...

Secret History of Airships [FULL DOCUMENTARY]

An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or lighter-than-air aircraft that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or ...

Secret History of Airships [FULL VIDEO]

An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or lighter-than-air aircraft that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or ...

Minecraft: FLYING WITCH AIRSHIP!!! - Attack of the B-Team Ep. 51 (HD)

Introducing, mobile evil from above! Attack of the B-Team is a brand NEW Technic Mod Pack full of insane mods and lots to discover! Hit that LIKE button to s...

7763 videos foundNext > 

1 news items

 
Billings Gazette
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:48:47 -0700

Five balloons launched from Centennial Park for the Magic City Hot Air Balloon Rally. One of the aircraft is a thermal airship flown by a pilot for Greenpeace with anti coal messages on the sides. Airship launches from Billings West End ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Thermal airship

You can talk about Thermal airship with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!