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markp markp is offline
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Default Hybrid airship
by markp 05-15-2018, 03:55 PM

I have been developing a hybrid airship for Orbiter. The design is based on the vehicle seen in the short film Wanderers.

The vessel can be operated as a lighter-than-air or a heavier-than-air vehicle, i.e. the proportion of lift obtained from the lifting gas can be varied. Lift can be also obtained from the hull, wings and engines. Ballast can be added if needed. Wind gusts are crudely simulated to add some excitement. Payloads, such as the prefabricated building in the last image, can be carried.

Will have a test version ready soon and will post it here when it's all packaged.

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Hybrid_airship_O2016_v5_180611.zip

Last edited by markp; 06-10-2018 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Add hybrid airship addon zip
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:36 AM   #2
boogabooga
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Looking forward to this.

Sort of like the Airlander 10.

Hopefully, it will turn out better than the R38, Roma, Dixmude, Shenandoah, Italia, R101, Akron, Macon, and Hindenburg.
(Or Airlander 10 for that matter.)

Probably best to avoid the bad weather, though.

Last edited by boogabooga; 05-18-2018 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:47 AM   #3
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Yes airships are of limited use due to their susceptibility to the weather. It seems hybrid airships go some way to addressing this problem. I think they are still learning how to use and manage these new hybrid airships, like Airlander 10 and Aeroscraft, and so are running into some accidents. My guess is they will find some limited application beyond that of present day airships. I would sure like to fly in one.

I am compiling some notes for the demonstration scenarios today. Most likely will package it all up this evening and post it here tomorrow evening. It's a fun aircraft to fly and potter around close to the surface.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:28 PM   #4
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Added a test version to the end of the first post! Enjoy.

Let me know if there's any problems with it.

A few things I will probably add for Orbit Hanger release:
1. Landing gear
2. A bit more explanation in the documentation
3. Maybe a docking tower and a large hanger for storage

Bug and limitations:
1. Probably doesn't like being used in space
2. There seems to be some problems with landing and sliding around. I can't figure out what's causing it but it's not a big problem as there are workarounds.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:06 AM   #5
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I don't think that an airship would work very well on Saturn, considering that the atmosphere is already mostly hydrogen. (Would be awesome on Titan, though)

I keep sinking when I add lifting gas.

I don't understand the screen text regarding "reference for ceiling".
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
I don't think that an airship would work very well on Saturn, considering that the atmosphere is already mostly hydrogen. (Would be awesome on Titan, though)
You're absolutely right there boogabooga. I'm surprised I hadn't even thought of that. I'll switch the scenario to Titan.

Quote:
I keep sinking when I add lifting gas.
Was that on Earth or Mars or another planet?

Quote:
I don't understand the screen text regarding "reference for ceiling".
I have probably used the wrong terminology for an airship and missed out the word 'altitude'.

That screen text refers to how the ceiling altitude of the airship is calculated. The ceiling altitude here is assumed the maximum altitude that the airship can reach using the lifting gas. However I am aware that an airship can go higher than its lifting gas will allow by using its engines. So it may have a higher ceiling altitude in reality? I'm still a bit confused about the terminology.

I actually realised this is probably the case after watching the film Zeppelin (1971) a couple of weeks ago but didn't realise I needed to update the message in my addon.

The 'reference' is the point from where this maximum altitude (ceiling) is measured, i.e. sea level or the local surface level of the ground.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:26 AM   #7
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The sinking occurs in the Canaveral scenario. It seems that if I take off and then land and secure, I sink if I add more lifting gas.

I recommend making the ceiling itself selectable by the user when adding lifting gas, rather than in the .scn file.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:07 PM   #8
markp
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Thanks boogabooga.

Yes the sinking was occurring after securing the airship. I have fixed that now.

The ceiling altitude can now be adjusted when adding the lifting gas. The ceiling altitude is displayed after pressing 1 and can be adjust up or down in steps of 100 m using shift 1 or shift 2. I'll add a finer control option later as I just realised writing this that it might be useful in some cases.

I have also added a floating on Titan scenario. And you're right it is pretty awesome.

Version 2 of the addon has been attached to the first post.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:20 PM   #9
boogabooga
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How are your wind effects interacting with Orbiter's?
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:38 PM   #10
markp
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The winds I have added to the airship are intended to be local short duration gusts that are in addition to Orbiter's winds.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:16 PM   #11
boogabooga
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CTD when adding ballast.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:57 PM   #12
markp
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Thanks for that! Updated v2 in the first post and attached the updated dll here as well.

updated_airship_module.zip
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:24 AM   #13
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I'm the Bug Crusher. It's what I do.

Could you include an option to turn off your wind? Airshiping is hard.

---------- Post added at 11:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:01 PM ----------

Two more bugs:

1) Add lifting gas, takeoff, vent, land and secure. Then, add lifting gas again, takeoff a second time. You will be unable to vent lifting gas even though you just replenished it.

2) Trying to secure while just a little bit too high causes you to be thrown upward.

Also, having reverse hover thrust would be super-useful! (How had would it be to implement the engines like Shuttle-A style pods?)

Last edited by boogabooga; 05-21-2018 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:20 AM   #14
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I hope this makes it to the hangar. It's a fascinating vehicle.
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:42 AM   #15
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Hi boogabooga, yes I think this will make it to OHM.

I have been busy implementing the Shuttle-A type hover engines. I wasn't sure if they were really needed but now they are working it makes things so much better.

Hopefully will have a new version posted here tomorrow or more likely Sunday.
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