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Thread: Zeppelin Transports?

  1. #1 Zeppelin Transports? 
    Time Lord
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    One of tne of the biggest problems right now in Afghanistan is getting supplies in and out of the country. It's land locked, and the roads into it are either located somewhere we're not allowed, or they go through territory mostly controlled by people who aren't very friendly.

    So our options seem to lie mostly in the air. And.... I'm wondering.... wouldn't this be a great time to bring back zeppelins?

    The Hindenburg supposedly had a gross lift capacity of 511,000 lb. The Gross Vehicle Weight for most semi trucks is 80,000 (33,000 of which is the truck's own weight). I wonder how much it would cost in today's world, to build a small fleet of zeppelins of that size?


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  3. #2  
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    What's the capacity of a Hindenburg sized blimp filled with He?


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  4. #3  
    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
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    Yes. One imortant thing to remember is that hydrogen is more bouyant than helium and, for safety reasons, we should not use hydrogen filled blimps as the Hindenberg disaster so clearly demonstrated. Of course the fact that they had coated the ship with what amounts to thermite did not help much either.
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    Forum Freshman efbjr's Avatar
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    Be sure to paint a bullseye on them so the insurgents can lock on to the big, slow moving targets in the sky.
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  6. #5  
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    with what? there's already completely stationary huge balloon observatories floating over Iraq and Afghan what for the most part don't get touched. I rather liked their capabilities until I found out some insurgents were using them as aiming stakes to hit our bases.
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  7. #6  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    What's the capacity of a Hindenburg sized blimp filled with He?
    I forgot to give a link for that value.

    The Hindenburg: Size, Length, Speed, and other specifications

    I'm pretty sure the 511,000 lb number is for Hydrogn. However, according to Wiki, the difference in buoyancy between Hydrogen and Helium is only 7%

    I know that doesn't appear to make sense when one considers their relative density, but you have remember that density isn't the only issue when dealing with a gas.

    Helium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    I read that it is costing us $400/gallon of gasoline in Afghanistan.

    And cargo going through Pakistan is heavily taxed by the local tribes people
    A supply and logistics person said that if you wanted the cargo to go through, you had to hire local "drivers"

    What, exactly are we hoping to accomplish there?
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  9. #8  
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    I think the idea has pros and cons.

    Pros: Transport capacity capability currently not available by other means
    Less fuel costs for cargo transport
    Ability for total automation, unmanned capability means cargo could be moved without putting pilots at risk.

    Cons: Expensive to design whole new airship
    Extremely large size means makes it an easy to hit target
    Slow moving, restrictive to transporting supplies in a hurry + makes it a target
    Poor maneuverability meaning more susceptible to high winds and storms.
    Alternatives of high altitude cargo parachute drops could move more cargo in less time.
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    It might be more practical to invent time travel and go back to prevent the initial invasion.
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  11. #10  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Extremely large size means makes it an easy to hit target
    Slow moving, restrictive to transporting supplies in a hurry + makes it a target
    They're tougher than you might think.

    Airship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Because the helium is at a pressure only slightly higher than the air outside the balloon, you can poke holes in it and the helium will just seep out very slowly, giving plenty of time to finish the mission.

    And there's no reason we can't arm the zeppelin so it has the ability to shoot back, or send an escort of drones and/or fighters and/or helicopters to back it up. They'd have to be able to shoot it down in one shot, because they wouldn't get a second shot.



    Poor maneuverability meaning more susceptible to high winds and storms.
    Alternatives of high altitude cargo parachute drops could move more cargo in less time.
    Yeah. It would have to be mostly specialized on bulk loads. For anything time sensitive, or in really really really hostile territory, I think you're right that air drops would be best.

    Ideally we'd just be moving as much freight as possible into a few key distribution centers, which are set up to dock the zeppelin. From there it would still have to be distributed to the forces in the surrounding area by normal means.
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  12. #11  
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    Yes it would, and dozens of airship companies are out there fighting to get their designs up in the battlefield.
    Theirs lots of new advanced airships coming from the dark, new technologies that make the airship one step closer to being the decisive vehicle for today's operations.
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