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Overscan, is it allowed to create a thread regarding airships ;) ?

Around 1964 the US company Aereon built an interesting nameless(?) airship.

1. Did it ever fly?
2. Is the marked area (see arrow) the cabin for pilot and second person?
3. Has it a name/designation?
4. I'm still looking for a 3-view ...

Here are a few specs:

length : 25.90 m
width : 17.05 m
height : 6.40 m
empty weight (not inflated) : 1,270 kg
gross weight incl. two persons : 1,400 kg
maximum speed : 105 km/h
service ceiling : 2,600 m
flight endurance : 4 h


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I've forgotten to tell something about the engine - it was a 70 hp Solar Titan turbine.
The short answer to your question is no, it didn't fly.

The long answer is, from pages 49 & 50 of The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed by John McPhee (ISBN #0-374-51635-9)

On April 15, 1966, in a fifteen-knot crosswind, Monroe Drew's airship made a taxi run on a Mercer County runway, failed to slow down, tried to turn at the end, tilted on two wheels, and suddenly became a sail in the wind. "We can bring the nose of the ship down into an angle of attack that is negative, so that strong winds, rather than making the ship a kite, will simply cause it to hug the ground tighter," Fitzpatrick had said. "We have introduced tricycle-type landing gear of extremely wide tread and extremely long wheelbase to increase stability of the ship on the ground. This will be the first time that an airship has ever had three-axis control." In the Plexiglas-bubble cockpit at the forward end of the central hull were two airplane mechanics, one of whom was also a small-airplane flight instructor. These were the test pilots. Both developed panic. One jumped out the hatch, even though the drop was eighteen feet. The wind then blew the airship over- flat on it's back. The other pilot, who was still in the cockpit, jumped straight down, smashing through the Plexiglas and falling out onto the ground. The weight of the pilots was critical-three hundred and fifty pounds of ballast gone. The wind overturned the airship again. Damage done by the wind was considerable, but embarassment caused even more. Drew and Fitzpatrick decided to get the wreckage instantly out of sight, and the aluminum overcast* was virtually bulldozed back into the hangar, arriving more or less in flakes. One of it's nose cones is now in the collection of the Lighter-than-Air Society, in Akron, Ohio.

*Note: Earlier in the book it was established by the people involved in the program that's it's nic-name would be the Aluminum Overcast.

At their website, The Aereon Corporation, You can see pics of the vehicle they followed it up with, the Deltoid Pumpkin Seed Demonstrator, the Aereon 26, which was too small to gain any benefits from LTA technology, but was strictly an aerodynamic demonstrator for a full size LTA vehicle. It actually flew.
Thanks for the information, sundog.

It seems Aereon III was too light for this world (particularly without crew ;D).
Just came across a patent by accident...,M1

and then came across these as well.,M1,M1,M1,M1

For sure the most intriguing project was the Aereon 26, tested in 1971.
It was a "lifting body airship" roughly resembling a NASA X24

Enclosed you may find out one of the few photo available about this stuff.


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In 1964 the American firm Aereon by order of the U. S. Navy constructed an experimental model of a three-hull rigid airship, the
"Aereon" (Fig. 19).

The "Aereon" has three rigidly connected hulls. It is propelled by a two-blade heliconter-type propeller on the horizontal shaft of the engine on the stern of the middle hull.

The "Aereon" partially realizes the idea about controlling an airship in the vertical plane by heating the filler gas (carrier gas, with the heat of the engines as proposed by K. E. Tsiolkovskiy as early as 1892 in his work "The controlled all-metal balloon." By governing the degree of the heating the carrier gas it is possible to change the lift force of an airship without applying ballast.

As the firm proposes, the subsequent model of a three-hull airship will have a length of 240 m and lifting capacity of more than 1300 t. Although designed as a military transport vehicle, it can be used even for antisubmarine defense.

Source: AVIATION VERSUS SUBMARINES by I. M. Sotnikov and A. Brusentsev, 1970


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From "Der Flieger", July 1964, another photo of the prototype, which should be followed by a much larger one,
with 120 m length and a payload of 90 ts, powered by four 4000 hp Diesel engines.
For the prototype it is mentioned, that the nosewheel could be adjusted to a length between 1.65 m and 4.9 m
to change the angle of attack during take off and landing.


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1964 Aviation Magazine (France)


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