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Old 05-13-2018, 05:53 PM   #51
Extrarius
 
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

What if space-related technology was retarded such that rockets capable of making it to any kind of orbit are not available or are much more resource-intensive to construct. Instead of "spy satellites", might you get an approximate replacement with high-altitude rigid air ships? Obviously some kinds of satellites would be replaced with unmanned blimps (ex to bounce TV signals county-wide), but leaving sensitive military surveillance systems unattended in less-than-friendly airspaces is probably not a good idea. In this scenario, the benefit over planes is low fuel consumption, but you still need a reason planes don't easily shoot them down with lead, air-to-air missiles, or simply flying drones into them.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:21 PM   #52
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

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Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post

If airships had developed in parallel with heavier than air craft, they would be equally advanced.
Is this instead of airships getting a 3 year head start?

In our timeline airships did develop in parallel with HTAs until they were hopelessly out-competed. Hindenburg didn't even really compare that well with the large flying boats.

The Navy blimps sailed on in that last historical role of long duration oceanic patrol and radar picket for about 25 years after Hindenburg. Then they were out-competed even for that.

Now that I think of it there might be another possible role. Contrary to another post jet airplanes actually did do away with one type of ship the long distance utilitarian passenger liner. However what are essentially floating resort hotels do remain. Hindenburg was even closer to one of these than utilitarian transportation in its' time. You might see purely luxury aerial cruises to nowhere in some possible futures.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:15 PM   #53
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

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Originally Posted by Extrarius View Post
What if space-related technology was retarded such that rockets capable of making it to any kind of orbit are not available or are much more resource-intensive to construct. Instead of "spy satellites", might you get an approximate replacement with high-altitude rigid air ships?
No, you get high altitude balloons. Which most certainly exist and are used today for various purposes, including military continuous monitoring from an altitude lower than satellites.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:06 PM   #54
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

Dirigibles are a weapons platform in World War Z because they are easy to shoot from, can carry a lot and are invulnerable to zombies.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:11 AM   #55
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

If the issue is that dirigibles are inferior to planes, trains, and auto.. I mean ships. Doesn't that mean we need to buff Dirigibles and not neff the other stuff?

This seems as easy as just making up a gas with a higher lifting potental then hydrogen, preferably non flammable, and less prone to leakage.

What if by a principal of wired science Helium atoms enlarged when exposed to a particular radiation. They maintained the same weight, but were bigger so took up more space within the balloon and of course couldn't leak as easily.

I'm just spitballing of course and not even attempting to remain scientifically plausible, but I don't think there would be too many unintended side effects.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:20 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
If the issue is that dirigibles are inferior to planes, trains, and auto.. I mean ships. Doesn't that mean we need to buff Dirigibles and not neff the other stuff?

This seems as easy as just making up a gas with a higher lifting potental then hydrogen, preferably non flammable, and less prone to leakage.
Space 1889 did have such a thing, but the real problem is always the furshlugginer wind.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:31 AM   #57
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

Could we change the dynamic by retarding the transition from coal to oil? Possibly by reducing access to oil reserves? (This also has the advantage of moare steampunkz!!!!!) A dirigible should be far more tolerant of alternate fuels (like diesel oil) than an aero engine.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:57 AM   #58
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Could we change the dynamic by retarding the transition from coal to oil? Possibly by reducing access to oil reserves? (This also has the advantage of moare steampunkz!!!!!) A dirigible should be far more tolerant of alternate fuels (like diesel oil) than an aero engine.
Many people seem to believe this but historically it wasn't true. Count Zeppelin's LZ-1 took off in 1900 with an absolutely state of the art set of internal combustion engines as well as an aluminum superstructure and turned out to be overweight and under-powered.

The more I look at these matters power-to-weight ratio is important for all vehicles but for anything that wants to be VTOL it is probably the most important factor.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:31 AM   #59
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minuteman37 View Post
If the issue is that dirigibles are inferior to planes, trains, and auto.. I mean ships. Doesn't that mean we need to buff Dirigibles and not neff the other stuff?

This seems as easy as just making up a gas with a higher lifting potental then hydrogen, preferably non flammable, and less prone to leakage.
The absolute best you can do, without breaking physics, is gasbags full of vacuum. (To keep things simple, let's say you have a zero-weight gas that still provides pressure, because actual vacuum needs much more solid (= heavy) containers to avoid collapse.

This gives you a lift (at standard sea level temperature and pressure) of 1.3 kg/m. That's as distinct from the 1.2 kg/m that you get from hydrogen.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:01 PM   #60
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Default Re: Why Dirigibles?

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This gives you a lift (at standard sea level temperature and pressure) of 1.3 kg/m. That's as distinct from the 1.2 kg/m that you get from hydrogen.
You could heat the gas, which will get you closer to the vacuum ideal with much less mass dedicated to containment. Hotter gas produces more pressure, so it takes less gas to fill a bag to equilibrium.

It should be obvious why a hot hydrogen balloon is a really bad idea in an oxygen rich atmosphere, but it has been proposed for Jupiter atmospheric probes (though, there a non-heated hydrogen balloon would sink).

One thing that is interesting is that, in Venus' dense CO2 atmosphere, oxygen and nitrogen are lifting gases. A floating city above the clouds at 1 atm is awesomely steampunk but plausible, with outside work done in shirtsleeves and a face mask (and perhaps an acid resistant umbrella).
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