Hybrid air vehicles questions

nopeda

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The concept seems great and I'm convinced that it will in the not too distant future begin to have a significant impact on societies. I would like to invest what little I can, but in what exactly?

World Aeros Corporation seems like the leader in the field to me. I've seen several articles saying the ML866 will be completed soon and will make a world tour etc, but those articles are from 2007 ???. I haven't seen anything showing good pics of the thing landing in London and New York etc though, so did it ever get built and tour the planet? In those same articles it said they expected to have a full sized Aeroscraft in operation sometime in 2010 which is getting pretty close to over. But I couldn't find pics of it under construction or anything even at the manufacturer's website:

http://www.aerosml.com/

It doesn't seem like total bullshit, but what's the deal?

I did find some info about Lockheed Martin:

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/p-791/index.html

and some companies working with the military:

http://www.hybridairvehicles.net/
http://www.bbsr.co.uk/lemv
http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/archives/217089.asp

and so far to me skyfreightercanada seems like it would be a good company to invest in if possible:

http://www.skyfreightercanada.com/background.htm

But what about World Aeros?
 

red admiral

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nopeda said:
The concept seems great and I'm convinced that it will in the not too distant future begin to have a significant impact on societies. I would like to invest what little I can, but in what exactly?
Maybe a topic for another subforum?

If you have a read through some of the recent AIAA papers (and others) this decade there are quite a few dealing with hybrid air vehicles. Are they great? Depends very much on what you want to use them for. For heavy lift they give some big advantages over conventional airships. Still, something like SkyCat 200 is still 500ft+ long. Not convinced on the significant impact. Useful for some niche applications. Occupying the middle ground between cheap seafreight and expensive fw/rw airfreight will only be suitable for some goods. Is the area big enough to kick off large investment in the technology and infrastructure?
 

royabulgaf

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It would seem to me that the real use of such craft, as long as they can hover with their load, is to bring large, bulky objects from factory door to jobsite door. I used to live in a suburb south and east of Chicago, and the area was a corridor for such stuff. Every few months, something would be hauled through the area, usually on a custom built trailer with about 50 wheels. Such an item could revolutionise industrial transportation, but it is a chicken-egg thing. As a SWAG, I would estimate about $2-3 billion for development, with about $80-90mil per copy after that.
 

nopeda

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red admiral said:
Not convinced on the significant impact. Useful for some niche applications. Occupying the middle ground between cheap seafreight and expensive fw/rw airfreight will only be suitable for some goods. Is the area big enough to kick off large investment in the technology and infrastructure?
It's undoubtedly big enough. Whether or not people make use of it is an entirely different thing, but the use is there in every aspect of human transportation. These things would be like ships that can sail over both land and water, and they can also land on both. Doesn't it seem obvious that the applications for that are practically boundless? They can be used for human transport from luxury to economy, long and short range. A person can check into their room on the East coast and spend a day or two on the vessel and then be on the West coast. From some things I've read they will also be practical for short distance travel as well. They can transport equipment, supplies and buildings to remote locations without the need for roads. The military applications are huge, and it seems the military has already made agreements with a couple of companies to begin orders for some. They might even already have some in place doing surveillance work. They will also be cheap to operate, and can stay hovering manned or unmanned in a particular location for something like three weeks at a time. I'm guessing eventually there will be factory craft like that where people will live and work, going to one area to get raw materials and as they process it be transporting it as well. They can go to the best market without having to pay extra for shipping...stuff like that...
 

nopeda

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royabulgaf said:
It would seem to me that the real use of such craft, as long as they can hover with their load, is to bring large, bulky objects from factory door to jobsite door. I used to live in a suburb south and east of Chicago, and the area was a corridor for such stuff. Every few months, something would be hauled through the area, usually on a custom built trailer with about 50 wheels. Such an item could revolutionise industrial transportation, but it is a chicken-egg thing. As a SWAG, I would estimate about $2-3 billion for development, with about $80-90mil per copy after that.
Something I read said one of them can replace a hundred trucks, but that would depend on the period of time etc. Would one trip do it? Can one of those craft carry the load of a hundred trucks? In the example they were talking about a remote area where roads would have to be built, which would have negative impacts on the environment etc. It would also involve the cost of the roads including the machinery and operators and fuel and materials etc to get it done, and *then* the trucks to move what they want to move, and the pay for the drivers, and the fuel... That's why this company in particular:

http://www.skyfreightercanada.com/background.htm

looks good and practical to begin with to me. After people begin making money with the things it will really begin to take off, but so far we're still in front of it. So how best to invest? Think of the ferry systems it will allow...people will be able to ferry across not only water but valleys and canyons, and mountains and deserts, and entire states and countries...
 

Arjen

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World's longest aircraft is unveiled in UK

The world's longest aircraft has just been unveiled in Britain's biggest aircraft hangar.
At first, you might mistake it for a giant airship - gas-filled balloon on top, pod slung underneath.
But the unique, aerodynamic shape of the balloon - it looks as if a series of cigars have been sewn together - means it can also generate lift just like an aeroplane wing.
That is key, because it enables the designers to make the machine heavier than air, which cuts the need to have dozens of crew hanging on to ropes holding it down every time you land.
In fact, you can land it via remote control with no-one on board at all if you like. And on water if needs be.
Let me put it into perspective for you.
This thing is two-and-a-half times longer than the distance covered by the Wright brothers' first powered flight.
With a length of 302ft (92m) the new airship is about 60ft longer than the biggest airliners, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8.
It is also almost 30ft longer than the massive cargo-carrying Antonov An-225, which until now was the longest aircraft ever built.

Government funding
It costs about $100m (£60m) and the designers are planning an even bigger version that will eventually be able to carry 50 tonnes at a time.
The company developing it has now received £2.5m of government funding to develop the technology and engineering for the project.
"We are jointly funding £2bn of research and development into the next generation of quieter, more energy efficient and environmentally friendly planes," says Business Secretary Vince Cable.
"That includes backing projects like Hybrid Air Vehicles' innovative low carbon aircraft which can keep us at the cutting edge of new technology.
"Here is a British SME that has the potential to lead the world in its field."

'We'll fly over the Amazon'

All of which will be welcome news to one of the project's high-profile investors, Bruce Dickinson.
He is one of those people who can't stop achieving stuff.
As if being the lead singer of one of the world's most successful and enduring rock bands, Iron Maiden, was not enough, he is also an airline pilot, businessman, and is investing in this project.

"It's a game changer, in terms of things we can have in the air and things we can do," he says.
"The airship has always been with us, it's just been waiting for the technology to catch up."
He wants to sell them and he'll be very good at it. As we chat in the hangar, he goes through its credentials.
It is 70% greener than a cargo plane, he says. It doesn't need a runway, just two crew. And it can plonk 50 tonnes anywhere in the world you like, which is 50 times more than a helicopter.
He wants to drum up publicity with the kind of trip Richard Branson would dream up. A non-stop flight around the world - twice.
"It seizes my imagination. I want to get in this thing and fly it pole to pole," he says.
"We'll fly over the Amazon at 20ft, over some of the world's greatest cities and stream the whole thing on the internet."

Historic hangars

It is not surprising that we had to go to Britain's biggest aircraft hangar to see the world's longest aircraft.
For the best view, we had to climb the world's scariest staircase too (safe of course, but not one for the faint-hearted).
Cardington shed number one, in Bedfordshire, is nearly as impressive as the flying machine inside it.
Built 100 years ago, it dominates the skyline around here (along with its neighbour Cardington number two shed) and it is bristling with history. This is where they built the ill-fated airship, R101, back in the 1920s.
That behemoth was twice as long as the hybrid air vehicle, had a beautiful dining room and lounge on board, and was meant to herald the future of flight, right up until the moment it was devoured by fire after a crash in France in 1930.
Technology has come a long way since then. The Hybrid Air Vehicle (HAV) is full of inert helium, not explosive hydrogen.
The HAV is back in the UK after the US Army ran out of money to develop the project.

Flight plans

The US military bought it a few years ago and got this aircraft flying as a surveillance machine - it can stay in the same spot for 21 days at a time, and can fly with a lot of bullet holes in it too.
When the US defence budget was slashed, the British developers bought it back, and now they are planning the first UK flight later this year.
They are hoping to sell it to oil and mining companies to deliver heavy equipment to remote corners of the world. But they are also keen to sell its humanitarian possibilities.
The HAV, which has been named Airlander, could ferry tonnes of supplies to and from any disaster zone, day in and day out.
All you would need is a crew of two and a patch of ground, or water on which to land.
 

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Arjen

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Four-minute clip showing the HAV/Airlander - in flight - in its hangar - on BBC website. It's big.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26372277
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenertransport/10667081/Worlds-largest-aircraft-unveiled-and-hailed-game-changer.html​
 

Arjen

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Graham Warwick on Aviation Week:

U.K.'s Hybrid Air Vehicles Begins Re-assembling Large Airship
February 28, 2014
The U.K.’s Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. (HAV) has begun reassembling a large airship acquired from the U.S. Army, following cancellation of the Northrop Grumman-led Long-Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) program.
Cardington-based HAV plans to use the 302-ft.-long HAV304 hybrid airship, which flew only once in August 2012 at Lakehurst, N.J., as a prototype and demonstrator for its planned Airlander 50 commercial heavy-lift airship. The first U.K. flight is expected by year’s end.
The vehicle’s 1.34-million-cu.-ft. envelope was inflated with air inside the airship hangar at Cardington at the end of January, and HAV is now checking the thousands of parts that arrived via the Liverpool docks at the beginning of the year.
HAV, which designed the airship and manufactured its airframe and systems for Northrop Grumman, acquired the sole vehicle built for the LEMV program for $301,000, its scrap value, according to Chris Daniels, head of partnerships and communications.The company is now raising up to £10 million ($17 million) in additional equity funding to take the program through re-assembly and its first U.K. flight. Existing shareholders include Bruce Dickenson, lead singer of heavy-metal group Iron Maiden and a commercial airline pilot.
HAV will seek a U.K. CAA Type B permit to operate the HAV304, renamed the Airlander 10, as an experimental prototype on demo flights. The plan is to tour Canada and the U.S. beginning in mid-2015 to show the airship’s potential for heavy-lift missions in remote areas.
The proposed tour would end in Rio de Janiero in 2016, where potential sponsors are interested in using the large airship for promotional purposes at the Summer Olympics, Daniels says, adding that other possible uses of the prototype range from academic projects to polar adventures.
Designed as an unmanned surveillance platform, the HAV304 prototype “is really an endurance aircraft,” he says. “But we can demonstrate the heavy-lift element with this aircraft. If it can easily carry 5 [metric] tons, then its big brother will carry 50 tons—60-70 tons in the colder Canadian north.”
The demo tour will help determine whether HAV develops “a variant a bit like this one [the HAV304] or goes straight to the Airlander 50,” Daniels says. The planned Airlander 50 is 390 ft. long, with a 3.64-million-cu.-ft. envelope, cruise speed of 105 kt., range of 2,000 nm., flight endurance of four days with two pilots and a payload capacity of up to 132,300 lb. (60 metric tons).
HAV has received a £2.5 million grant from the U.K. government’s Technology Strategy Board to support a £4 million project to develop specific engineering aspects of the heavy-lift variant of the hybrid airship.
While the prototype is some 12,000 lb. overweight, “we know why that was—it was the speed of the [LEMV] program,” going from design to construction in just 18 months, Daniels says. “The second vehicle will not have those issues.”
The $517 million LEMV program—intended to deploy three of the unmanned long-endurance, multi-sensor surveillance airships to Afghanistan—was canceled in 2013 after delays in building and flying the vehicle and shifts in U.S. Army funding priorities.
Although it does not have the Northrop-developed mission equipment—the payload module is empty—the prototype is still classified as a military vehicle under U.S. export controls. “We are seeking a jurisdictional ruling and expect it to be deemed a civil vehicle in the next couple of months,” he says.
In addition to cargo missions, HAV is talking to para-governmental organizations, including the U.K. national police, about potential surveillance uses and to payload providers interested in demonstrating their equipment on the airship.
 

Flyaway

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Up close: Lockheed Martin’s LMH-1 Hybrid Airship

http://m.aviationweek.com/technology/close-lockheed-martin-s-lmh-1-hybrid-airship#slide-0-field_images-1431001

Lockheed venture lifts off with LOI for 12 hybrid airships

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheed-venture-lifts-off-with-loi-for-12-hybrid-ai-423688/
 

Michel Van

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Airlander 10 made it maiden flight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-daB1sUPoAI
short version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-0aYicv26M
BBC coverage

Meet Lockheed Martin: skunk Works "Spider" a Robot who inspect and repair a Airship hull.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86EAzvXrESg
 

yasotay

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If memory serves did it not "crash" on its first flight as well. I mean the 'first' first flight.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-37174417
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/worlds-largest-aircraft-flying-bum-to-take-to-the-skies-once-more/

Here's a rather badly worded sentence:

The aircraft was first developed for the US government as a long-endurance surveillance ship but was later neglected due to defence cutbacks and the slump in popularity of airships following the Hindenburg disaster in 1937.
 

Grey Havoc

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https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/hav-details-airlander-updates-as-accident-details-pu-435041/
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/19/worlds-longest-aircraft-breaks-free-mooring-lands-nose/
 

shedofdread

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http://www.compositesworld.com/news/airlander-completes-second-test-flight-of-2017?utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.compositesworld.com%2fnews%2fairlander-completes-second-test-flight-of-2017&utm_campaign=CWW
 

Silencer1

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Sad news: Airlander 10 crashed and damaged on November 18, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-42037832
https://www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/news/airlander-media-statement-18-november-2017
 

yasotay

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While I am certainly an advocate for the potential of hybrid airsphips, this particular venue seems to be star crossed from the beginning. Unfrotunate given the extreme hard work the team has put into keeping the program alive.
 

TomcatViP

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Don't forget that this sad experience reflects at last a design success: the deflating safety feature worked like a charm.

But given that the two pas incidents happened at the mooring pontoon, if not already done, shouldn't they run a full history checkup on this site and a proper CFD analysis of the topography to see if there are no particular adverse wind conditions on this place or some forgotten procedures that used to be standard at the time to deal with.
 

yasotay

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TomcatViP said:
Don't forget that this sad experience reflects at last a design success: the deflating safety feature worked like a charm.

But given that the two pas incidents happened at the mooring pontoon, if not already done, shouldn't they run a full history checkup on this site and a proper CFD analysis of the topography to see if there are no particular adverse wind conditions on this place or some forgotten procedures that used to be standard at the time to deal with.
You are correct of course, however the mass public only sees a crashed air vehicle that has done so before. Many twitter, etc. show the public has no comprehension for the finer details. Hopefully they can re-inflate and show it was by design. If not I fear a very steep road for the team.
 

Flyaway

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Second crash in just over a year, sounds like the scepticism about this project is well deserved. And before you ask the scepticism I’ve seen is from the more expert commentators online not joe public.
 

Grey Havoc

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https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/airlander-developer-wins-easa-design-authority-appro-452431/
 

Grey Havoc

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Airlander 10: World's longest aircraft grounded (BBC News)

The world's longest aircraft has been permanently grounded as developers prepare to start work on a new model.

The £32m Airlander 10 - a combination of plane and airship - had completed six test flights before it collapsed to the ground in November 2017.

Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), based in Bedford, said it had received Civil Aviation Authority backing to start work on a new craft.

It is hoped the new model will take to the skies in the early 2020s.
 
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