AIRLANDER

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AIRLANDER

Post by Fred Moletrousers on Thu May 11, 2017 6:36 pm

Anyone remember the crash of the giant airship Airlander at Cardington, near Bedford last year? My last sight of it was from about 100 yards away, nose down, crew gondola smashed and looking very, very sorry for itself.

My house is only a few miles from the airfield and hangars where the beast was built and is based, and while I was gardening yesterday evening I heard the distinctive drone of engines and looked up...and there she was, approaching above the trees just a few hundred yards away and at low altitude.

Press and TV photographs don't do it justice to the thing...it's gigantic and about three times the size of the Goodyear blimp that featured in the James Bond film. (I got a flight in the first one built back in the 1970s because as a journo on the local paper I knew the Goodyear PR man).
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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by Fred Moletrousers on Thu May 11, 2017 6:41 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg-RPTiVa_Q

I saw it from the same spot half an hour after the crash while I was on my way home from shopping.

It had taken from last summer to repair the damage and complete all the ground tests before its first flight yesterday.
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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by eddie on Fri May 12, 2017 3:48 am

I thought it was going to blow up! Pfffff. I wanted to hear a bang and see some explosions and fire and men running in slow motion with their shirts ripped open.

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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by Fred Moletrousers on Fri May 12, 2017 4:03 am

eddie wrote:I thought it was going to blow up! Pfffff. I wanted to hear a bang and see some explosions and fire and men running in slow motion with their shirts ripped open.

You bloodthirsty person!

Actually Airlander is very slow, even in the air, because that is what airships do.

Back in the early 1970s when Goodyear built their first airship (blimp) in the UK (like the one that appeared in the James Bond film) I was a passenger on an early proving flight and the pilot let me fly her for about five minutes (under his strict supervision of course!) One of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Airlander, which is more than three times the size of the Goodyear blimp, is absolutely gigantic...one really has to see it to believe just how big it is.

The crash at Cardington actually did a hell of a lot of damage to the crew gondola, but fortunately the pilot and co-pilot escaped injury because everything happened in slow motion.
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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by eddie on Fri May 12, 2017 4:09 am

How does one drive a blimp?

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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by Original Quill on Fri May 12, 2017 4:12 am

eddie wrote:How does one drive a blimp?

Up, down...left, right.

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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by Lord Foul on Fri May 12, 2017 4:22 am

eddie wrote:How does one drive a blimp?

slowly

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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by eddie on Fri May 12, 2017 5:26 am

Okay. Point taken. Razz

No wonder there was no explosion or fire and ripped shirts.

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Re: AIRLANDER

Post by Fred Moletrousers on Fri May 12, 2017 7:15 am

Original Quill wrote:
eddie wrote:How does one drive a blimp?

Up, down...left, right.

Basically, that's it.

I haven't. unfortunately, seen inside the control gondola of the Airlander, but it will no doubt be a far cry from that of the early Goodyear blimp which didn't have all the benefits of modern electronics and technology.

In the Goodyear there were two large control wheels, one either side of the pilot, from which the angle of ascent and decent and the port/starboard steering were managed, with simple co-ordination governing whether you went up/left, down/left, up/right/down right or level flight or whatever. The power from the two Porche outboard engines could also be manipulated in controlling direction.

Landing was simply a shallow descent to the field with mooring lines dropped to the ground crew on final approach, just like those old films of the Hindenburg's fatal landing...though without having a bagful of fire and explosion-prone hydrogen on top of you!

The Airlander should really have been yours, Quill. It was apparently built to a US Department of Defence specification but the project was cancelled.

It is now being developed as a potential freighter capable of carrying huge cargo loads, picking up and depositing without the need for airfields and being able to stay airborne for days.

Cargo containers will be raised and lowered in and out of the main body using built-in cranes, and although I don't know whether any actual work has progressed beyond R&D, scuttlebutt is that the successor craft is much, much bigger than even Airlander.
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