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  1. #1

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    Building a Blimp

    I am currently working on a 17' Blimp made to the Hindenburg scale specs. I found my design off of a site in Zurich that was a class project. Has anyone else ever built one from scratch in the US I could call or correspond with on ideas and construction techniques. The plans I have are a CAD drawing duplication of the originals in very strong engineering language. They used only mylar foil for the envelope and the structure with no infrastructure/frame. A giant balloon built by strips cut to a geometric design. Need alittle advice and help please. Thanks.

    Bob

  2. #2
    Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    Sounds cool to me. I like to make a RC dirgible that is rigid too. Only problem is if I build it larger, shipping and storage would be a problem.

  3. #3

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    RE: Building a Blimp

    I found one of your posts on another forum I think.....maybe not. You were asking what is the minimum length for a RC Blimp outdoors and the guy that responded had pics of a blimp in wires...thats bad. So have you built a blimp? I am looking hard for some easy to read plans and designs... have you come up with anything yet???

    Bob

  4. #4
    Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    ORIGINAL: Nitro1960

    I found one of your posts on another forum I think.....maybe not. You were asking what is the minimum length for a RC Blimp outdoors and the guy that responded had pics of a blimp in wires...thats bad. So have you built a blimp? I am looking hard for some easy to read plans and designs... have you come up with anything yet???

    Bob

    I posted something like that at RC Groups. I go by the name WillowPtarmigan there. I have not built a blimp yet, but I am thinking about it. I prefably like to build a dirgible. I just got a job at AFLAC recently, so very busy. You recognize AFLAC from the duck. AFLAC! AFLAC! AFLAC! I have not come up with anything yet.

  5. #5
    R/C Skydiver's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    Is this the duck you work for? Look what he is up to now!
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  6. #6
    Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    Yes, the AFLAC duck. AFLAC! AFLAC! AFLAC!

  7. #7
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    Bob, sorry but I didn't see your post till today.

    I build and market a 13 foot indoor rc advertising blimp.

    In your case we face the same problem that goes with 1:1 LTA's. At a certain point an airship is too small to be a rigid dirigible. The aerodynamics gained by the rigid structure cannot be lifted by the volume of gas contained inside. At that point it is easier to build an inflated gas bag, that gives you structural rigidity with out unnecessary components. So a scale model starts by fighting unnecessary weight.

    Then there is a control issue. Except for the Akron and Macon, the big rigids were aircraft. They needed forward airspeed for control by their elevators and rudders. A scale model has to fly like a rocket ship to get enough airflow over the tails to make them effective. So now you need to gimble the motors to have low speed control.

    Have you been over to the blimp threads on Ezone? Lots of these points have been discussed, and one gentleman over there is building a carbon rod framed Hindenburg. He might be of help

    Tom
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  8. #8
    Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    ORIGINAL: MajorTomski

    Bob, sorry but I didn't see your post till today.

    I build and market a 13 foot indoor rc advertising blimp.

    In your case we face the same problem that goes with 1:1 LTA's. At a certain point an airship is too small to be a rigid dirigible. The aerodynamics gained by the rigid structure cannot be lifted by the volume of gas contained inside. At that point it is easier to build an inflated gas bag, that gives you structural rigidity with out unnecessary components. So a scale model starts by fighting unnecessary weight.

    Then there is a control issue. Except for the Akron and Macon, the big rigids were aircraft. They needed forward airspeed for control by their elevators and rudders. A scale model has to fly like a rocket ship to get enough airflow over the tails to make them effective. So now you need to gimble the motors to have low speed control.

    Have you been over to the blimp threads on Ezone? Lots of these points have been discussed, and one gentleman over there is building a carbon rod framed Hindenburg. He might be of help

    Tom

    I read that 9 feet is the minimum practical size for a RC dirigible. However, he said you can build it smaller then 9 feet, but it will become costly beause of the components. The RC Hindenburg is 8.5 feet. I never seen a small RC dirigible, that is an inflated airbag.

  9. #9
    MajorTomski's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    Ok terminology I use
    Airship = dirigible = French term for steerable balloon

    Airships and dirigible come in three forms:

    Rigid, trademarked as zeppelins, have a solid frame that encloses separate gas bags

    Semi rigid, one big gasbag that has at least a ridged keel, possibly a nose or tail cap to hold fins.

    Non rigid = a blimp. Just a gasbag that is kept taught by internal gas pressure.

    The point that I was trying to make is to make a successful smaller RC airship, it is easier to make a blimp than a rigid one (A zeppelin), because in the model the frame that gives it its shape is dead weight. I didn’t mean to imply that a model of the Hindenburg should be an inflated bag, just that replicating the scale is more of a challenge.

    Tom
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  10. #10
    Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    ORIGINAL: MajorTomski

    Ok terminology I use
    Airship = dirigible = French term for steerable balloon

    Airships and dirigible come in three forms:

    Rigid, trademarked as zeppelins, have a solid frame that encloses separate gas bags

    Semi rigid, one big gasbag that has at least a ridged keel, possibly a nose or tail cap to hold fins.

    Non rigid = a blimp. Just a gasbag that is kept taught by internal gas pressure.

    The point that I was trying to make is to make a successful smaller RC airship, it is easier to make a blimp than a rigid one (A zeppelin), because in the model the frame that gives it its shape is dead weight. I didn’t mean to imply that a model of the Hindenburg should be an inflated bag, just that replicating the scale is more of a challenge.

    Tom
    True. If I was to build a rigid airship, then transport and storing it would be a problem, especially if it is larger. An inflated bag is a lot easier to store and transport. What is the smallest RC airship to date? I know the smallest rigid is about 8.5 feet with the Hindenburg.

  11. #11
    MajorTomski's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    Again, technically, the smallest airship I've seen is the large party balloon with the little IR remote unit with three fans on it.

    The only rigid RC airship I've ever seen was the large IC powered R-100 by the gentleman in England.

    In my mind the limiting factor on a scale rigid airship is its diameter, how can I get it into a gym or arena to fly it? As for transporting it, either build one long trailer, or split the hull in half, and transport the two shorter sections side by side in the back of a van.
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  12. #12
    Ptarmigan's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    ORIGINAL: MajorTomski

    Again, technically, the smallest airship I've seen is the large party balloon with the little IR remote unit with three fans on it.

    The only rigid RC airship I've ever seen was the large IC powered R-100 by the gentleman in England.

    In my mind the limiting factor on a scale rigid airship is its diameter, how can I get it into a gym or arena to fly it? As for transporting it, either build one long trailer, or split the hull in half, and transport the two shorter sections side by side in the back of a van.
    I saw a electric powered R-101 that is 36 feet in length built by Nigel Wells of England. There is another fellow RCU, FixinJim (sp?), who built a rigid airship that is 15 feet in length and 32 inches in diameter. As for building a rigid airship, if I was to split into two for transportation, it probably be like those large RC airplanes where the wing and sometimes the fuselage is split into two I think. Actually, I was thinking of making the rigid airship split into two, but I have to execute it well. The nature of a rigid airship would probably make it hard to split into two. That will require lots of planning, even more so then an airplane.

  13. #13

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    RE: Building a Blimp

    Hey Tom,

    I am looking for an RC blimp for advertising. Can you give me more info?

  14. #14
    Moderator BarracudaHockey's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    I am looking for an RC blimp for advertising. Can you give me more info?

    Southern Ballon Works

    Try that.
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  15. #15
    MajorTomski's Avatar
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    RE: Building a Blimp

    ORIGINAL: RonHill

    Hey Tom,

    I am looking for an RC blimp for advertising. Can you give me more info?

    Ron check your Private Messages


    Tom
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  16. #16

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    RE: Building a Blimp

    hi, I have a project with my soon to build a RC Blimp indoor (30"). I need to help with a step to step guide. This project is very important to my soon. Could somebody help me


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