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Old Apr 08, 2008, 06:13 AM
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Latvia
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Weather balloon for AP?

Did anyone try to use weather balloon (like TOTEX) with Helium gas for AP?
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 09:45 AM
I'm Ginger & called Adam
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Hereford, UK
Joined Oct 2002
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On a calm day, I don't think a Blimp can be beaten - and they can also carry a considerable payload (meaning decent SLR camera).

From my experiences of hot air ballooning I would say that the number of 'AP days' with a balloon (or other lighter-than-air) are very low indeed. Plus, you'd either need to factor in Helium costs, or transport the balloon 'ready inflated' between jobs.

One of the estate agents that I do work for purchased some balloon equipment for AP from a German company a few years back. It was apparently used twice before they sold it on

I've always thought that some sort of hybrid 'Kite/Balloon' would be worth developing but I don't know enough about it, or have the time to learn

Adam
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 11:42 AM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
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Agreed, a blimp is a great platform for AP. As you have also said, the cost of Helium needs to be factored into the use of any balloon or blimp as well. I have a 16' tethered blimp sitting in my garage right now, and have not used it for quite awhile due to the cost of Helium. The few times I did fill it for testing purposes, it cost around $140 per full inflation. Way to big (at 16' long, 6' diameter, and ~435cf capacity) to keep inflated between jobs, and with no economical way to recover the Helium for later reuse, there it now sits (anyone need a blimp CHEAP ). I even built a gondola/camera P&T assembly for it as well. But, the blimp was very steady in calm to moderate winds, and would provide a nice platform for AP work to be sure. A weather balloon does not really have very much stability in anything other than a dead calm as it tends to "hunt" for direction when in any wind at all. A blimp has its fins to help keep it facing into the wind in a more stable and predicable way. Good luck if you decide to pursue LTA flight options, fun but can be costly. Attached is a ground inflation test using regular air....

Joe

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Old Apr 08, 2008, 07:18 PM
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North London ENGLAND
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Blimps

Joe, with power on, (a .90 with a prop around 16 inch diameter) and R/C rudder/elevater control your blimp would fly ok, would need a minimum speed around two/three mph for flight. Max speed on a .90 around twenty mph "guesstimated". Fill with common or garden air!. Cheapest gas I know of!.
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 07:52 PM
American MoonMan
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
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For many reasons, the blimp would need to be negatively ballasted anyway. Meaning that it would of course be slightly heavier than air, and as you suggest, POWERED into flight and made to fly as would any "heavier than air" aircraft under normal aerodynamical forces. But, as the blimp itself does have weight, most of that would have to be offset by the lift of the envelope as filled by the gas of choice, in this case Helium. Load and ballast would have to be calculated to bring the overall weight of the blimp to slightly heavier than air. As fuel burns off it becomes necessary to dump lift to maintain a negative bouyancy which on a full scale blimp is relatively easy to do, but on a smaller blimp is more difficult. Using electric power instead of an IC source would help eliminate this problem. As you can see, blimps have their own set of requirements and their own problems to overcome for safe flight when flown free of any tether and under their own power. For those with more interest in blimps, check out the blimp forum here at RCGroups where there are a number of very knowledgeable people with great experience in all phases of blimp operation....

Joe
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 07:54 PM
Its all fun
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Australia, NSW, Forster
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macboffin, so you are claiming that a blimp inflated with just air can fly? I'd like to see that!
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonystott
macboffin, so you are claiming that a blimp inflated with just air can fly? I'd like to see that!
Get Google on-screen, put into search "Air Beam Inflatables" you'll get the web site of an inflatables company who do air-filled blimps and other flying machines, some of them man-carrying. Some are used as UAVs, or as "mother-ships" for UAVs. They also make inflatable radio masts, (their original business), and a bunch of other inflatable stuff.
The "Aeronautical" section of their site is amazing!.
Further to this, the "Aeromodeller" magazine in Britain some years ago published the plans for a "Airship", small diesel powered, (model diesel that is) made from balsa sticks and covered in doped tissue.Definetly heavier than air.
I saw one fly, impressive, and top speed quite good.Also very manouvrable even at walking speed.
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 08:45 PM
American MoonMan
Joe Bennett's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jul 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonystott
macboffin, so you are claiming that a blimp inflated with just air can fly? I'd like to see that!
Tony,

You know as well as I do that ANYTHING can fly, given enough power anyway. I have not looked at the site mentioned myself, but know that my 16' blimp could be made to fly with enough power, and using atmospheric air to inflate it as well. Just would not want to try it myself is all ....

Joe
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 08:57 PM
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Cool.. Airbeam link
http://www.airbeams.com/html/aeronautical.html
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Old Apr 08, 2008, 10:32 PM
American MoonMan
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United States, CA, San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvspark
Just had a chance to view the site. Not so much balloons or blimps as they appear to be inflatable airfoils. Good concept, and quite innovative for sure, but not blimps by any means I would think....

Joe
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Old Apr 09, 2008, 06:11 PM
Troy
Envision's Avatar
Marion, MI
Joined Oct 2007
464 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger Adam
I've always thought that some sort of hybrid 'Kite/Balloon' would be worth developing but I don't know enough about it, or have the time to learn

Adam
Your in luck, I posted this link on APL April 1st...

Skyshot Helikite

Troy
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Old Apr 09, 2008, 06:38 PM
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clipper453's Avatar
Laveen, AZ
Joined Sep 2007
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Here's an example of extreme AP using a weather balloon. (Not my project. I just happened to stumble upon it a while back.)

http://www.sbszoo.com/bear/sable/sable3.htm

- Matt
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 02:57 AM
I'm Ginger & called Adam
Ginger Adam's Avatar
Hereford, UK
Joined Oct 2002
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Good find, and 'over here'.

Thanks,

Adam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Envision
Your in luck, I posted this link on APL April 1st...

Skyshot Helikite

Troy
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 08:19 AM
Registered User
Latvia
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What if to use two propellers to orient balloon in wind and compensate its blow? The direction can be stabilized with gyro.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 08:30 AM
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For example...
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