• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Nuclear powered airships

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
932
Today I had a look into "Luftshiffe die nie gebaut wurden" (Airships, which were never built),
published by the Zeppelinmuseum, Friedrichshafen. Most spectacular are the two designs from
Frank Tinsley, based on work done by Goodyear. A flying aircraft carrier from 1951 and the
better known "Atoms for peace" civil airship, which was intended as promoter for nuclear power.
For the "Atoms for peace" there's given an estimated length of about 330m, unfortunately no
data for the carrier airship. Would surely have been impressing view !
 

Attachments

  • Tinsley_01.JPG
    Tinsley_01.JPG
    7.8 KB · Views: 1,194
  • Tinsley_02.JPG
    Tinsley_02.JPG
    16.3 KB · Views: 1,148

Antonio

ACCESS: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,465
Reaction score
196
Thanks Jemiba,

breathtaking designs!, could you please post a link to help me ordering a copy of that book?, do you know if an English edition exists?

Regards,

Antonio
 

Michel Van

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,654
Reaction score
683
its Frank Tinsley who drew this image for the 1957 book "Airships in the Atomic Age"!

more found here http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2008/03/airship-dreams.html?showComment=1206047280000
source of picture same link
 

Attachments

  • 117781773_867988879e_b.jpg
    117781773_867988879e_b.jpg
    146.4 KB · Views: 847
  • 1266012618_ae64fa89f6_o.jpg
    1266012618_ae64fa89f6_o.jpg
    269.6 KB · Views: 901

fightingirish

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
2,379
Reaction score
687
Superb finds, gentlemen! :)
Why Don’t We Build An Atoms-For-Peace Dirigible?

Here is a bold plan for displaying peacetime uses of the atom to the peoples of the world.

By Frank Tinsley (Mar, 1956)

EARLY last year, President Eisenhower asked the Congress for funds with which to build a fission-powered merchant ship for the global spread of peaceful atomic knowledge.

.............
Source: MechanixIllustrated -Mar, 1956 - Why Don’t We Build An Atoms-For-Peace Dirigible (Mar, 1956)

Unfortunally we all missed the exibition ""Luftshiffe die nie gebaut wurden" at the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen in Summer 2002 and at the art kite museum für Kunst und Flugobjekte near Detmold.
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
932
"could you please post a link to help me ordering a copy of that book?, do you know if an English edition exists?"

Seems to be difficult, Amazon and buecher.de both have listed the book, but say "not available" ... :(
 

fightingirish

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
2,379
Reaction score
687
Some info about the German project "Atom Luftschiff Veress (ALV 1)".
Sources:
  • (German) http://www.zeit.de/1969/20/Das-Projekt-ALV-1-Fettes-Maedchen-fuer-fast-alles
  • (English) http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1969/1969%20-%202525.html
  • (English) http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1969/1969%20-%202525.html
  • (PDF, in English): http://www.agaeroplast.com/new/engl/Nigel_e.pdf
 

r16

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Messages
377
Reaction score
10
the first time ı glanced at the military version , ı would say because of "lighting" that the airship was carrying 16 inch cannons ! Which would have been right at home , probably ...
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
932
"Which would have been right at home , probably ..." :D

Quite probably no guns, just aircraft, although I don't know, if there would have
been a hangar, or if the "carrier aircraft" in this case just would have hooked on.

The passenger version was intended to carry a helicopter, which should take off
from the upperside.

But my first thoughts, too, were about Perry Rhodan starships, not airships ! ;)
 

Avimimus

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,968
Reaction score
83
I'm surprised that there aren't more projects:
1) Hard crashes (and resulting contamination) are less likely for an airship
2) Airships need a lot of power to displace air (as a result of their huge cross-sections)
3) The size of the airship makes it easy to shield the crew using distance (and the reactor/generator could even be placed in an unmanned lighter-than-air trailer)

So, are there more projects? I've found a couple of studies - but, I'd have expected that a high-speed cargo proposal would have gotten more press at some point.
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
932
In the book "Luftschiffe, die nie gebaut wurden" (Airships, that were never built) I found three
other projects for nuclear powered airships. One from Francis Morse , drawn in 1962, and
the other from Erch von Veress, designed between 1955 and 1965. Both were designed as
passenger airships. During the sixties, Henry Irwin proposed a nuclear powered freight airship
and got into contact with the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH. Nevertheless, none of those projects
ever reached the stage of metal cutting, mainly due to problems with securing sufficient funds.
 

Attachments

  • Morse.gif
    Morse.gif
    123.6 KB · Views: 125
  • Veress_ALV-1.gif
    Veress_ALV-1.gif
    165.4 KB · Views: 134

Archibald

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
4,215
Reaction score
1,743
Gimme a break please. How does that infernal machinery works ? Does the nuke provide hot air to inflate the balloon ?
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
932
In the Morse design, the power plant was driving contrarotating pusher props at the extreme tail.
The ALV-1, the Veress design should use a kind of jet engine, with air fed by an intake in the bow,
and ejecting it via tubes, which ended at about one ffth of the ships length. Perhaps it should be
added, that the propulsion system and other innovations, too, that should be integrated into this
design, were seen as totally unrealistic by most experts of the time.
 

Attachments

  • Veress_ALV-1_bow.gif
    Veress_ALV-1_bow.gif
    90.1 KB · Views: 56
S

sublight

Guest
I don't have my copy of "blind mans bluff" laying around. How many kilowatts did the NR-1's reactor put out and how much did it weigh?
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
Jemiba said:
Most spectacular are the two designs from Frank Tinsley, based on work done by Goodyear. A flying aircraft carrier from 1951 and the better known "Atoms for peace" civil airship, which was intended as promoter for nuclear power.

I have searched my Goodyear information and came across a projected nuclear-powered AEW airship from 1954, nothing before that. This is mentioned as the "GZ-11" design in some archives, but closer scrutiny indicates that GZ-11 was in fact allocated in 1951 to the ZP2N-1 (later ZPG-2) improved N-class blimps, which makes the duplication unlikely.
 

Jemiba

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,225
Reaction score
932
Archibald said:
Does the nuke provide hot air to inflate the balloon ?

Sorry, forgot this part of your question. Yes, heating of the buoyant gas (helium, not air, of course)
was planned to vary lift.
 

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
118
Back about 1972, there was a proposal for a nuclear-powered dirigible with two turbofans and a very large turboprop (think of it a a wind farm turbine in reverse) in pusher configuration driven by heat exchanged from a closed-loop nuclear reactor, complete with on-board Harriers and helicopters. A couple or three years later, this concept appeared in a techno-thriller, Clash of Titans (not to be confused with the crap-tacular movies known as Clash of the Titans) going against a Soviet aircraft carrier to rescue the survivors of a crashed airliner, one of whom was a defector the Soviets wanted back very badly.
 

poky

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
16
Reaction score
2
Website
midnightgreys.blogspot.com
Jemiba said:
Archibald said:
Does the nuke provide hot air to inflate the balloon ?

Sorry, forgot this part of your question. Yes, heating of the buoyant gas (helium, not air, of course)
was planned to vary lift.
are you sure about the heating system, as heated helium does not give more "lift" wen heated but less
 

Similar threads

Top