Re: New Trip Report with Area 51 panorama photos

Message posted by RCS Polemodel on May 13, 2009 at 14:55:58 PST:

I've been debating whether to share this story or not, since it took so long to live it down the first time 'round. But, the talk of an airship that could plant an Army division brought back fond memories.

Back in the late 1970s I was part of a group asked to brainstorm/fantasize about LTA systems. One of our ideas was a Huge Effing Zeppelin that could carry all the aircraft, missiles, & other firepower of a carrier battle group, plus a couple thousand marines and their equipment. It very quickly became known as the Death Star, 'cause Star Wars was a new movie back then.

It was to be nuclear powered (steam driving BMF turbines on the trailing edge, B-36 style, of stub wings), would be able to cruise at 100 kts, and could loiter indefinitely. In fact, part of the concept was that there would be no ground facility for the thing. Once built, it would have to keep flying.

We tallied up the weights & volumes required for all the mil. hardware, the support equipment, personnel spaces & facilities, fuel, etc, etc, etc... and made some assumptions about structural weights using aluminum, lifting capacity of helium, etc.

And we ended up with an airship that was about a mile and a half long and half a mile wide--not counting the stub wings; don't remember the wingspan, but it was about half the nose to tail dimension.

Needless to say, we were asked to move on to more productive work; the project did not proceed past the "whatever you guys are smokin' needs to be shared" stage. As far as I know...

In Reply to: Re: New Trip Report with Area 51 panorama photos posted by Hank on May 13, 2009 at 14:20:58 PST:


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