Reply to post: Re: 1957: Russia is planning to launch an artificial satellite

Russia is planning to use airships as part of a $240bn transport project

Peter2 Silver badge

Re: 1957: Russia is planning to launch an artificial satellite

The biggest historical problems with airships seem to be that :-

1) They used hydrogen, which burns and explodes quite well because helium wasn't available. No longer a problem.

2) Because the structural materials used were heavy, the amount used was kept to a minimum resulting in a structurally weak airship. Today we have lightweight composites and computer modelling to show these things, so this is unlikely to be a problem.

Additionally, there is the point that people stopped trying to build airships. Why? By the late 1930's powered aircraft had the performance to take over pretty much any role that airships could perform.

I can't see any particular reason why it should be impossible to create a viable airship these days. Making one that is economically viable compared to established air transport is going to be one problem, and the safety record that heavier than air aviation has established after a long trail of disasters is going to be difficult to compete with, especially since heavier than air established it's safety record via the trial and error method after disasters, whereas a few learning disasters is likely to put paid to airships again.

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