Thursday, July 2, 2015

✈ Russian Zeppelin Carry 200 Military Personnel or 60 Tons of Cargo ✈

The airship industry is slowing making a comeback since now almost seven decades after the German Hindenburg disaster that left 35 people dead. Estimates suggest that there are about 50 zeppelins in existence around the world most in use by private firms, but also the military.

Airship manufacturers have long insist that they are cheaper to fly than helicopters and airplanes and that they can carry more cargo and are capable of reaching very remote and hard-to-reach areas.

Nikolai Gogol once wrote that the two problems plaguing Russia are “fools and roads”. Roads and infrastructure have long been a major problem for Russia. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. But soon for the Russian military roads or runways might not be such an issue.

Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Vladimir Putin is set to kit out the Russian military with a top secret spaceship-like aircraft that promises to be 'lighter than air'.

Work is already underway with the hi-tech 130-metre-long Atlant, which will be created merging the technology from planes, hovercraft and airships.

Capable of taking off and landing without a runway it will be able to carry 200 military personnel or as much as 60 tonnes of cargo at speeds of up to 86mph.

There will also be a smaller, swifter version, that can carry up to 16 tonnes at 105mph.

The futuristic craft is equipped with sophisticated high-precision computer technology, with Russian officials saying the $15million aircraft will be used by the Defence Ministry.

No further details on how it will be put into service have been released, but the company behind the 21st century blimp, Augur RosAeroSystems, has announced Putin's new toy will be ready for use by the army as early as 2018, reported The Siberian Times.

Mikhail Talesnikov, the vice-president of the firm, said all development work in the first phase of the project will be completed by December. Further work will then be undertaken by the technical team before test flights with a prototype begin.

He added that it will not use the same kind of ballast controls used by traditional airships, such as those dating back to the days of the ill-fated Hindenburg.

Mr Talesnikov said: 'It uses different principles of flight. In short, it retains the advantages of airships but is cured of their primary problems.

'During the unloading of the weight at the point of arrival, for instance, the airship will be able to get heavier via controls without needing ballast. In that way it will not get weightless after unloading and will not soar into the stratosphere.

'We also came up with the decision to make the airship harder by using special balancing system (SAB). It also has a hard shell. Not a frame faced by cloth, but a composite body.

'It is an innovative solution and this system is unique, nowhere abroad do they have that.'

Size of the Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Size of the Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Computer images of the Atlant show its main cabin resembles that of an airship, with an overly large cockpit window and two small wings fixed to the rear of the fuselage.

Designers say it will 'combine the best properties of an airship, plane, helicopter and hovercraft' but give no further details on how this hybrid will be created.

It is also being created to withstand outside temperatures of -40 Celsius, which are typical in the midst of Russian winters.

Established in 1991 Augur RosAeroSystems is a leading manufacturer of airships and two years ago unveiled the AU-30, which was capable to carrying a payload of half-a-tonne.

The Atlant will cost 30 per cent less than Russia's Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter, which can cost up to $25million.

Two different models will be created: the Atlant-100, which will be 130 metres long and able to fly at 140kph, and the smaller 75-metre-long version, the Atlant-30, which will be able to carry a 16 tonne payload at speeds of about 170kph.

There is speculation the Russian military aims to use the blimp at border points, such as to control drug trafficking. However it can also be used to move mass numbers of personnel around the country, or into combat zones, more efficiently.

The manufacturers say there is also interest from within the oil and gas industry in Siberia and the Arctic, particularly with the current costs and difficulty of building infrastructure and moving equipment.

Mass cargo transportation is another possible use for the new airship, and there are hopes that the Atlant could become a cheap method of moving people around Siberia.

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