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This book provides a unique and indispensable guide to modern airship design and operation. Airships today incorporate advanced technology including composite materials, complex electronic systems, and fly by light controls. They demand the latest theories in aerodynamics, stability and control and require the use of advanced design tools such as numerical finite element structural analysis and computer aided design. This comprehensive and fully-illustrated account brings together airship specialists from both universities and industry. After a general introduction, the essentials of aerostatics, aerodynamics, stability and control, propulsion, materials and structures are covered. The following chapters consider weight estimates and control, ground handling and mooring, systems, performance and piloting. The final chapters examine suggestions for improving airship performance, survey unconventional designs, synthesise various design elements, and look at airship roles and economic considerations vital for the success of the airship in the market place. Detailed references are also included.
The airship should solve the problems of speed (it is significantly faster than a tractor and trailer combination); capacity (it could easily be designed to carry a high-density load equivalent to the capacity of several freight cars); economy (its fuel consumption is negligible as compared to that of conventional aircraft); and flexibility (it could allow cargo to be loaded and unloaded in undeveloped areas that are served by nothing more than the equivalent of a pack-trail or logging road). What we are talking about, of course, is the dirigible, or airship.
This collection of relatively recent airship patents provides a great deal of inspiration to the designer and inventor. Patents are organized by issue date, which gives a quick chronological view of technical developments in airships.