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Help making a airship? Answered

Me and one of my friends (we are both second year engineering students) decided to both build an airship and see which performs better. It must be remote controlled and have a volume no larger than 1m^3.

I have tried looking for instructables to help me make parts, and seen lots which help with ideas.
can you point me in the direction of instructables which explain how to make a remote control for a simple open close valve, making of airtight bags, and general working with balsa wood.


2nd year eng students need help with working with Balsa wood?? What sort of engineering course are you doing?? 2.3 pounds per cu mtr gross lift.

Make the envelope from Mylar heat sealed - It may be better to make an ultra light (pick your own material) envelope and fill with smaller commercial helium quality balloons. Best get mylar coated balloons or the helium will leak out and cost you.

Radoi control - Look it up it is too complex to cover in an answer here.

Valves? You don't need them use a neutral buoyancy blimp and add lift fans for control.




Sorry if this sounds abrupt but if any student of mine couldn't do this basic research in a few minutes I would tell them the project was far too complicated for them.


It's only 10 years ago that I did my second year at the university. But back then, most me and most of my fellow students did't have a computer, let alone direct acces to the internet. We had to spend entire days in the library and were happy when we found one good article in that day. These day, you can lay on your bed with your laptop and in 15mins you've gathered enough material to write an entire book.

For the remote control and steering, you could get hold of something like THIS and extract the receiver, battery and motors. One prop on each side and you've got your dirigibility.

On second thoughts, the props would probably not shift enough air for adequate steering. Bits from a larger plane with IR control probably would though.

Since airships are, like submarines, based on neutral boyancy, the basic issue becomes one of "how much lift can I achieve with 1m3.

After that, it's all in balancing lift vs the weight of the super structure (a skeleton into which your balloons are housed, and the motor and RC controls.

For learning about how to use balsa, I'd recommend purchasing a balsa airplane kit and the appropriate glue from a hobby shop.

The public library has many older books that will assist you as well.