Aug 11, 2014

Time Lapse Photography Blimp

In the United States the Goodyear Company is the most well known blimp. Goodyear blimps are a common sight in the skies over stadiums at sporting events in the US, serving as an aerial billboard and television camera platform to provide aerial views. In 2011, Goodyear announced plans to replace the current fleet of GZ-20 class blimps first introduced in 1969 with three new Zeppelin NT airships. Goodyear says this new design will be longer, faster, and more maneuverable than the current fleet, while also being less expensive to operate.

The new airships models are supplied by German zeppelin manufacturer ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik. Zeppelin and Goodyear teams at Goodyear's hangar in Suffield, Ohio, filmed the blimp build in imte lapse photography. Called NT for "New Technology", the blimp is 246.5 ft (75 m) long with an envelope volume of 297,527 cu ft (8,425 cu m).  It can carry nearly 7,000 lb (3,175 kg) more cargo than the current airships in the Goodyear fleet.

Zeppelins are so-called after the Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin who founded his company in 1896. With him, the age of the giant airships began and, in Germany, zeppelins became something of a national obsession. They seemed to possess an almost mythic power: like ‘fabulous silver fish’, said Dr Hugo Eckener, head of Zeppelin from 1917, ‘floating quietly in the ocean of air.’ The ocean of air is a far less dense substance than the ocean of water, so engineering a skin of tension fabric to cover a large lightweight compression skeleton is essential, and my favorite part of this short film is when the envelope made of polyester with DuPont Tedlar film is stretched over each metal truss.

But the noise and racket are terrible. Here is a test flight by the "Flite Test" guys, below. At 4:23 they cut the power and you can hear the silence:

Goodyear, how about a passive blimp lifted by sun-warmed air? Now that's an engineering challenge that will ensure the Goodyear name lives on into the next century.


Goodyear Blimp official site:

May 14, 2014

Toy House Takes Flight, Two Young Reluctant Aeronauts Are Injured

A Little Tikes brand "Bounce House" toy took to the air in passive flight on May 14th 2014, along with two young boys ages 5 and 6. Emily Boucher, South Glens Falls New York student, took a photo of a house in phlight, as you can see below:

Don Lehman, Post-star reporter, wrote:
Taylor Seymour, a resident of the apartment building where the accident occurred, said the wind picked the structure up and spun it around as if it was in a small tornado. One boy was thrown 30 or 40 feet northeast onto Ferry Boulevard, the other about 20 feet southeast, landing on the back of Seymour’s car. The bounce house was at least 15 feet off the ground when the boys flew out.
“It was like a horror movie,” she said. “It just kept going up and up. It cleared our building and the trees.”
The wind blew the house more than 50 feet in the air, from in front of a four-apartment complex at 22 Ferry Blvd. to the fields behind Oliver W. Winch Middle School, according to police and the girl’s mother, who spoke on condition her name not be published. The inflatable structure had to clear a large stretch of woods to get to school property.
“My older daughters witnessed it and said it was just horrible,” the girl’s mother said. “A big gust of wind just blew it right off the ground with the kids in it. It’s just sickening.”
The bounce house was owned by a resident of the complex, and it had been set up for neighborhood children. Gifford and the mother of the girl said it was fixed to the ground with stakes, but the wind pulled them out.
 The children were hurt very badly as they fell from the house at various stages of ascent. A sobering reminder that life in the air will require safety exits, parachutes, and other means of descending to the ground safely.

We at "Law of the Air" wish the kids a full recovery.


Post-Star report:  Two boys seriously injured when bounce house is blown into the air by wind