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I would really like to know how to build a blimp/zepplin, one that I could actually ride and use. Anyone know how?


DIY Emilio3 years ago
A more affordable idea that I came up with was to make a lightweight frame (maybe pvc) to support a bunch of big weather or mylar balloons. The frame wold then be covered with ripstop nylon to keep the balloons secure and protected. Then below the frame you could mount a seat and a small engine or motor attached to a prop made of pvc similar to this instructable but reversed: http://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-pipe-blades-and-rotor-for-HAWT-from-scrap/ Then you could have a steering wheel attached by some line to a rudder on the back for steering. To keep it small you could make there be less balloons so the aircraft is slightly heavier than air causing it to not float without help. This makes it so you don't end up floating off if your engine goes out or the balloons heat up becoming less dense. After that you just add another engine facing down to give you that last boost into the sky. Just remember though to MAKE SURE EVERY FITTING IS AS SECURE AS POSSIBLE. I would use pvc cement and get it real tight then put bolts through them. Also if you do this please post some pics or an instructable. Give me credit if you use my idea. Excuse my drawing I know it sucks.
mockingbirdblues (author)  DIY Emilio3 years ago
Thats actually very similar to the design that a buddy and I are working on. We have been thinking about making the envelope wing like so as to help with the ascent. It does seem that the slightly heavier than air idea is getting around. Its a project I have had to put on hold for a little while. I started a new job and they keep me very busy. Helps with buying the supplies though.
Cool! I hope it all works out. Just be sure that you calculate the weight of the craft(with your weight rounded up) minus the buoyancy of the gas you use in the envelope of the balloon. I say that if it is at the most 150 lbs depending on your propulsion it should be fine if you get a negative number it will be lighter than air. The amount of lift you can get from the shape of the craft should also be considered. Here's the equation for the lift in gallons of helium:

((a-h)v)-m=l

a=air density for the altitude you want to reach(33 grams/gallon for sea level)
h=density of your lift gas (about 5 grams/gallon of helium)
v=volume of the envelope 
m=overall mass of you and the craft
l=the amount of lift the craft will have (negative numbers are the amount of extra lift you will need to get off the ground)

If you're wondering how I know all this its just that airships are one of my favorite vehicles so I did a lot of research on them. A good example of this vehicle it the Aeroscraft look it up.
cyc40155 years ago
Well, you can check out this design, but overall, I think that you are going to find out that it is just too costly to build a dirigible for personal use. But if you figure it out, let me know!
mockingbirdblues (author)  cyc40155 years ago
yeh I have seen the Sky Yacht, and I am convinced it can be done in a better and much cheaper way. I just need to figure out how.
Kiteman5 years ago
If you just want to go up and down, you will need a very gas-tight envelope, such as aluminised mylar film (helium can leak easily through mere rubber), something to attach you to the envelope (a herness of some kind), and something to get you back down to earth (either a rope fastened to something heavy, like a tree, or have part of your helium in a separate balloon, so that you let it go and drift back to earth). You will need a source of helium, about a thousand litres per kilogramme of mass you intend to lift (that is you, plus the fabric of the envelope, plus the frame, plus whatever is holding you onto the envelope, plus any engines).
mockingbirdblues (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
I want to use it to move around with. I have a plan already made up for the moving around. I just need the base design to see if I can make it work.
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