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Frame for lighter-than-air aircraft.

  1. Sep 6, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone.

    I have been trying to think of some practical and cheap airship designs. I have done some calculating, and if you were to have an airship's envelope in a cylindrical shape that is 300' long and 75' in diameter, it would be able to lift approximately around 45 tons if filled with hydrogen as a lifting gas (Not factoring in the atmospheric affects on the hydrogen's density) (Not including the weight of the envelope nor gonadal).

    Question: If you were to have an envelope of this design, would it require a frame, and if so, what would be the best material to make it out of (Factoring in the weight and cost of said material)?

    *Note* I do not actually intend on constructing a lighter-than-air aircraft. This is just an interest of mine.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2012 #2
    Check out blimps/Hindenburg/hydrogen.

    Are you proposing something fundamentally different?
  4. Sep 7, 2012 #3


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    Any vessel that relies on internal pressure for rigidity will try to turn itself into a sphere. How do you stop the flat ends becoming domed? Anyway you want them domed so it goes through the air more easily. See also what jehake12 said.
  5. Sep 7, 2012 #4
    Thank you for the replies!

    I have actually done some debugging to my design, it would appear that a semi-rigid frame would be the logical choice, holding the general shape of the envelope and allowing the gas pressure to do the rest.

    I would plan on crafting the frame of aluminum rods. My only concern is that if I made the frame of aluminum rods, it would weight the craft down too much, but if I use hollowed out aluminum piping, it would lose it's shape. Do any of you have any thoughts on a possible solution?
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