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Vehicle Concepts and Technology Requirements for Buoyant Heavy-Lift Systems

Vehicle Concepts and Technology Requirements for Buoyant Heavy-Lift Systems

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Published by airshipworld
NASA Technical Paper 1921
Vehicle Concepts and Technology
Requirements for Buoyant
Heavy-Lift Systems
Mark D. Ardema
SEPTEMBER 1981
http://airshipworld.blogspot.com/
NASA Technical Paper 1921
Vehicle Concepts and Technology
Requirements for Buoyant
Heavy-Lift Systems
Mark D. Ardema
SEPTEMBER 1981
http://airshipworld.blogspot.com/

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Published by: airshipworld on Jul 11, 2008
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05/09/2014

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I
NASA
Technical
Paper
1921
Vehicle Concepts and TechnologyRequirements
for
Buoyant
Heavy-Lift
Systems
Mark
D.
Ardema
SEPTEMBER
1981
NASA
-!
’,
1
TP
1921
.I
c.
1
I
1
 
TECH
LIBRARY
KAFB,
NM
NASA
Technical
Paper
1921
Vehicle Concepts and TechnologyRequirements
for
BuoyantHeavy-Lift Systems
Mark
D.
Ardema
Ames Research CenterMoffett Field, California
National Aeronauticsand Space Administration
Scientific and TechnicalInformation Branch
1981
 
VEHICLECONCEPTS AND TECHNOLOGYREQUIREMENTSFOR BUOYANT HEAVY-LIFTSYSTEMS
Mark
D.
ArdemaAmes Research Center
Several buoyant-vehicle (airship) concepts proposed for short hauls of heavy payloads are described. Numer-
ous
studies have identified operating cost and payload capacity advantages relative to existing or proposedheavy-lift helicopters for such vehicles. Applications mvolving payloads of from
15
tons
up
to
800
tons havebeen identified. The buoyant quad-rotor concept is discussed in detail, including the history
of
its development,current estimates of performance and economics, currently perceived technology requirements, and recentresearch and technology development. It is concluded that the buoyant quad-rotor, and possibly other buoyantvehicle concepts, has the potential of satisfying the market for very heavy vertical lift but that additionalresearch and technology development are necessary. Because of uncertainties in analytical prediction methodsand small-scale experimental measurements, there is
a
strong need for large or full-scale experiments in groundtest facilities and, ultimately, with
a
flight research vehicle.
INTRODUCTION
Feasibility studies of modern airships (refs. 1-18)and other studies (refs. 19-27) have determined thatmodern air-buoyant vehicles (airships) could satisfythe need for air transport of heavy
or
outsized pay-loads over short distances.There are two reasons that such aircraft, calledheavy-lift airships (HLAs), appear attractive for bothcivil and military heavy-lift applications. First, buoy-ant lift does not lead to inherent limitations on pay-load apacity as does dynamic ift. Large conven-tional dynamic-lift vehicles, including rotorcraft, tendto follow a “square-cube aw” in that lift increaseswith the square of the vehicle’s principal dimension,while empty weight increases with the cube, notwith-standing the effect of fixed-weight items. This meansthat he vehicle’s structural weight increases fasterthan the gross weight as size is increased; thus, as thesize is increased, the percentage of the total weightavailable for useful load decreases. On the other hand,buoyant-lift aircraft tend to follow a “cube-cube law”and thus have approximately he same efficiency atall sizes.Figure
1
shows the history of rotorcraft vertical-lift capability. Current maximum ayload of freeworld vehicles is about
18
tons. Listed in the figureare several payload candidates for airborne verticallift that are beyond this 18-ton payload weight limit,indicating a marketor increased lift capability.Extension of rotorcraft lift toa35-ton payload ispossible with existing technology (refs. 28, 29), andfuture development of conventional rotorcraft
up
toa 75-ton payload appears feasible (ref. 29). With HLAconcepts, however,ayioadapability of up to
INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENTAND CONSTRUCTIONMAIN BATTLE TANKCRANE, SHOVEL
-
0
ton
CONTAINER
(8
x
8.5
x
35
ft)
OGGING (MINIMUM1950960970980990 CALENDAR YEAR
Figure
1
.-
Potential heavy-lift payloads.

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