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Nov 17, 2021, 03:25 AM
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F7B Airship Regatta in Friedrichshafen


Hey everyone,

just wanted to share some impressions of the model airship regatta held beginning of November in Friedrichshafen. It was an amazing time, meeting other airship enthusiasts for the first time in years in person.
More than 10 model airships were flying at the place. Absolutely everything from a 60 liter super lightweight agile fun blimp, towards racing airships with incredible acceleration up to beautiful models with 6 m length that showed up cool engineering concepts.

In the end, of cause the Berliner won like every time, but my slow and steady progress of trying to catch the gold medal has led me as far as never before. This time my new racing airship was only 0.7 seconds behind the winning one.
Here´s a video of one of my training flights and I hope to post a few more pictures and videos later.

Airship Regatta Friedrichshafen 2021 - Windreiter Velocità Training (0 min 39 sec)


If you ever have the chance to come to such a race, do it! Was an amazing trip, even including a hangar visit of the Zeppelin NT.

Airships Up!
andreas
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Nov 18, 2021, 12:39 AM
Melbourne, Australia
That is so awesome - and the airship is so taut and fast - severe airship envy here :-).

Looks like a whole pile of fun, do you have some other links or pictures you can share?
Nov 19, 2021, 03:28 PM
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Just working through the pictures. Here´s the group foto including all the airships that took part.
I´m sure there are coming more videos of the other participants.
Nov 25, 2021, 05:02 AM
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And here comes the next video of the Roboloon team. That was the smallest yet most agile airship in the race:

roboloon at airship regatta 2021 (5 min 7 sec)
Nov 26, 2021, 01:12 AM
Melbourne, Australia
Those are very, very nifty!

What is the material used for the transparent airships?

The final airship with the tiny thruster units was interesting - it didn't seem super-fast, but I can see a lot of possibilities with such a design :-)
Nov 28, 2021, 03:05 PM
Registered User
Thanks for sharing Andi!
That was so much fun again

As a general Info: Model airships are a provisional class within CIAM, what is the aeromodelling commission of the World Air Sports Federation FAI. We're doing "Open International" competitions in that scope for a couple of years now, in order to prepare a World Cup, called "Hugo Eckener Trophy". FAI World Cups are an opportunity to travel the world, meet fellow nerds, and win medals, large, heavy, shiny medals.

For all of you not really into sportive competitions: It's so much fun! Gathering, exchange, and fly your ass off.
Nov 28, 2021, 03:48 PM
Registered User
Hello! It's so great to see this forum active, I have not been here for years. This is where I first learned how to glue envelopes from Alan's old posts.

Yeah, that tiny blimp was mine. It was made out of Dyneema Composite Fabric. It is a mesh of "Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene" threads between layers of Mylar (BoPET). Backpacking people use it for high end ultra light gear. This film is advertised as 0.34 oz per square yard, however in my measurements it was more like 0.38 oz per square yard (13 g/m2). Still, that is really light for how strong it is! A bit more than 1/3 the weight of balloon foil.

The downside is that in it's raw form it is leaky. I had to refill the blimp every 30 minutes or so at the event to keep it nice and tight. For a larger blimp I have that I am currently rebuilding, I use the same DCF laminated with a 6 micron aluminized Mylar for gas tightness. If you put both together, in theory you have something gas tight, strong, but still lighter than balloon foil.

I'll post a separate thread with more footage of the tiny blimp flying around at the event. I loved flying near the kids when they would gather. They really got a kick out of watch all the blimps flying around!
Nov 28, 2021, 04:04 PM
Registered User
Hi wemperor (I presume that’s Andreas Burkhart).
Quite a turnout at the regatta then, considering these times and the rampant infection rate there in Europe. Of course, coming there from Australia was out of the question.
I liked that last one on the video; very stately and majestic.
Could you add a brief description (few words, just volume, motors, etc) of each of the airships there?
Dec 04, 2021, 03:22 PM
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Velocita Second Place


Hi Alan,

yes that´s me

I´m following your request and will write some more info about the airship I flew during the regatta, eventually Hannes and me can politely ask the other pilots to add some info as well. This idea I like a lot, as some documentation is made for the outer world and for coming airship makers.

Airship Name: Velocità ~2.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.7 m
  • Designed and manufactured by the Windreiter Team
  • Weight ~250 g
  • Motor a random cheap 10g brushless with a random 5 inch slowfly prop. This was actually the limiting factor, a stronger engine would have made the airship first place
  • Fin layout, inverted V plus a rudder in the front behind the motor to enable sharper turns and counter the roll of the back fins. Worked much better than expected
  • Battery 350 mAh 3S LiPo
  • Construction was a mixture of CNC Cut 6 mm Depron and Wood/Depron/Wood Sandwich for areas with higher loads.
  • Airship envelope: ~250 L manufactured according to the attached datasheet
Designed and manufactured by the Windreiter Team
Weight ~250 g
Motor a random cheap 10g brushless with a random 5 inch slowfly prop. This was actually the limiting factor, a stronger engine would have made the airship first place
Fin layout, inverted V plus a rudder in the front behind the motor to enable sharper turns and counter the roll of the back fins. Worked much better than expected
Battery 350 mAh 3S LiPo
Construction was a mixture of CNC Cut 6 mm Depron and Wood/Depron/Wood Sandwich for areas with higher loads.
Airship envelope: ~250 L manufactured according to the attached datasheet

The Velocita flew super nice and was perfectly under control. The design was super robust and survived quite some crashs, except the final one when a wild pilot crashed it into a sharp edge of a lamp and the envelope exploded. Fortunately that was after the race and more than 8 hours continous beautiful flights during the fare.
Attached is schematic view of the construction, I´m already working on an improved successor
Dec 08, 2021, 02:51 AM
Registered User
Hi Andreas
Could you please explain the 'point welding' on your spec sheet?
Dec 08, 2021, 03:30 PM
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Thread OP
Sure, we´ve developed a machine that welds our envelopes. We can do multi-gore envelopes super precise and gas-tight.
The machine is rather complex and performs small overlapping welding points in order to accurately apply pressure heat and welding time. This way we can use various materials and stack many layers.
For us that machine was quite a jump into the future as we do not have to make the time consuming manual welding with an iron. Like in early times:

Timelapse of building an octax airship envelope (2 min 14 sec)
Dec 08, 2021, 08:33 PM
Registered User
That sounds great. Can you give any further details on this machine or is it confidential? Yes I know how long it takes to manually weld envelopes, and get them gastight!
Dec 09, 2021, 03:37 PM
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Thread OP
If you visit us, you can have a look
But other than that it´s confidential at the moment. If you need envelopes, just give us a note. We already shipped one to Australia last year.
Dec 14, 2021, 05:02 PM
Registered User

F112 - The Racer - Introduction


Hello All,
I want to give some Information about the Winner Ship of the Regatta 2021:

Dimensions:
L = 3,04m; D = 0,82m; H = 0,73m ; --> tauT 1,105 (the measured time will be multiplied with this Factor)
V = 600 ltr

Name:
F112 - that´s an office number.
Back when I was a student at the TU Berlin I was part of a group of young students trying to build an Hybrid-Airship.
The Project was not a direct success but we learned a lot about LTA and we organized airship regattas.
In 2008 we thought the time had come to build the fastest Airship with the Experience of the Last 4 Years.
Because the Ship was a result of teamwork it received the name of the office where we met and discussed LTA Themes: F112.

Configuration:
Since 2008 almost every part of the Airship has changed and I think there are only some carbon fiber tubes left of the original Airship!
But the Basic Configuration is still the same:
Two Motors near the Nose, and Fins in a traditional Cross Configuration.

The Big Question is why? - Motors:
The Main Goal was to attach as much power as possible on the airship.
One Motor in the Aft might be the more efficient way, but you can attach more power when the motors are near the Nose.
One Motor attached below the Envelope near the nose will create a huge up-pitching moment when you give Thrust and it has an negativ impact to the Box Volume.
So the only Solution are two motors near the nose, attached near the envelope in a way, that the Box Volume is not effected by the Motors.
(What was not clear back in 2008 was, that the propellers also have an effect on the Box Volume)

The Big Question is why? - Fins:
The Idea is to reduce the pitch induced by the roll moment when flying circles (JC- Maneuver).
To minimize the rolling of the Airship the upper and lower fins have different rudder angle. The Difference can be adjusted in the Tranmitter during flight.
At that time it was not possible for me to implement this for an x configuration.

Evolution:
The first Comment of Philip Neuhaus (who was the alltime Champion in 2008) was: The Fins are too small.
He was right, so the first modification on the same day was to increase the size of the Fin by adding them before the actual fins (looked weird).
In the Same Year I build complete new pendulum Fins (2008).
Then I build a vectored thrust, one servo can steer now both motors to the right or left (2010).
Next was the Envelope, with the vectored Thrust the Ship was too heavy.
Then I bought some used Drone Motors of a colleague. The motors hav so much thrust, that the fins bended away.
So the last modification are new fins in 2019.

Video from 2019: New Motors and better Fins
Airship Racer - The Prototyp (1 min 47 sec)


Video from 2009, for comparison, the Audience was super surprised by the agility and the speed, but if you compare that to the todays performance you´ll see the difference:
Luftschiff-Regatta 2009 7/13 (1 min 26 sec)
Dec 15, 2021, 08:13 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
This airship is basically the nightmare of everyone who tries to win the race.
It´s speed and manoeuverability are from hell and Erich just wins every time.

But next time we might catch you!


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