Why weren't zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war?

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Kingfish
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Re: Why weren't zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war?

Post by Kingfish » 14 Jun 2019 18:23

DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
A liberty makes roughly 12-13 mph. The German zeppelins could make more than six times that speed.
Whatever advantage you get from a faster Atlantic crossing is more than offset by the negligible lift the airship can carry.

BTW, that six times figure is max speed. You need to factor cruising speed. Wiki lists the USS Los Angeles at 55 mph but I doubt that takes into consideration a 10 ton load. For the sake of argument lets stick with 55mph / 10 tons. You now have a transport that can make the crossing 4x faster than a Liberty yet lift less than 5%.

I'm not seeing the logic in this.
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Re: Why weren't zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war?

Post by DerGiLLster » 15 Jun 2019 04:52

Ironmachine wrote:
14 Jun 2019 07:19
DerGiLLster wrote:I did look this up and I did find there were 8 raids on Berlin during the whole of 1941. Again, just quick research, so correct me if I am wrong.

It appears these happened only out of suprise. In the case of airships, there would have to be greater heights of security and awareness, so to protect them, making

interception less likely. But these are the germans, they find a way to screw up.
And raids on Königsberg, on Danzig, and 9 raids on Helsinki IIRC, several raids on Constanța, several attacks against King Carol I Bridge over the Danube... The

Soviets could and did attack beyond the frontline in 1941 (and it seems the Germans had an exceptional capacity for surprise, if you think all that happened only out

of surprise :))
I feel as if it goes back to my statement of surprise. The Germans and Finns were really careless about such raids as they believed the war would be over by then. With

zeppelins, it is a different story, as they will take major precautions for it being vulnerable.

I already mentioned fighter sweeps as reducing that concern.
pugsville wrote:
14 Jun 2019 09:09
DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
A liberty makes roughly 12-13 mph. The German zeppelins could make more than six times that speed. Since we are talking about American application of logistics,

American airships could use cyclone engines which were lighter and had twice as much horsepower. That could make such American airships go 7-8 times as fast. So in

this case, it would be less than 100 airships to equal the USS Liberty.
Bigger more powerful engines more fuel consumption 58 tons of fuel was used by the Hindenburg. Faster may eat heavily into carrying capacity.
The 58 tons is for hydrogen only. Pretty sure hydrogen does not figure into the engines providing the push of the airships. If going by the link reedwh52 posted, the

LZ 129 carried 8818 pounds of fuel or 4.5 tons.

Going faster will reduce carrying capacity? Does that mean that a muscle car will carry less than a sedan? I trust what most people are saying here, but I think you

need to explain this post further. The engines Germany used were designed in the early 1930s(using them as a recent example to showcase for american airships), while

the engines American airships used were designed in the late 1930s. Using the Wright Duplex Cyclone engines they provide two to three times the power Germanys DB 603

engines(2800 vs 1100 hp). Displacement of the Wright Duplex Cyclone engines are 55 liters, meanwhile the DB 602 are 88.5 liters. Shows that the American engines are

not only more powerful, but more efficient as well.


DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
Plus unloading cargo on land is faster and easier than at a harbor.
Not necessarily,. You got a large area were a 1,000 Hindenburg can moor easily, the land area required would be massive.

To get the same loaded capacity (and saying 100 tons is capacity which looks very generous) as 1 liberty ship that's 70 airships each considerably large than a liberty

ship. so say 150 times the loading area. Take New York harbor and make it 150 times bigger, and now need it to be flat land. Just where are you going to find that?

and you have to get things UP to the airship. Deflating them was and inflating would require more infrastructure. More time.

All the ports exist , docks, cranes, railways. But for airships, your not using the same thins. Now yo have to build the infrastructure of a airship port, hangers,

cranes, mooring posts, giant flat fields and build railways to them.
It is easier, as the railroads are already built. There are rails next to tens thousands of square kilometers of forest in middle england. That is where to find it.

They can be chooped down for such flat area. The US producing more cranes and tractors to clear such flat lands is not a hard task to fulfill. The US can chop down

these forests and built such hangars and masts.

I take back my 100 tons figure as reedwh52 posited that no airship can carry 100 tons. He himself stated that the Hindenburg had 22 tons when crossing the Atlantic.

For American airships to still use the 10 ton figure, that is still fair game. Using hydrogen is not going to be difficult as any industrialized nation can mass

produce it.

The Americans barely dipped to half their infrastructure. If they had to higher to achieve such results for the airships, they could absolutely do it, if they wish to

see a faster end to the war, and to have smaller risks when transporting goods across the Atlantic.
DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
I think I should note that an airship is faster. The zeppelin can more than 6 trips to equal the time a typical cargo ship can. An American airship(which leat's be

honest, America was superior when it came to any logistics in the field) can make 7-8 times, with cyclone engines powering their airships. So it wouldn't be 180,000

thousand. It would be around 25,000.
no allowance for any loading and unloading time.
What makes you say that? Cargo goods off ships stay in the harbor for a while making ti vulnerable to bombardent. Goods in land on larger airfields are more difficult

to attack as there is greater response time by fighters.
DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
So instead of 900,000 to train is would be around 130,000 to train. Around five percent of what the USAF was in March 1944(basing off of Wikipedia.)
only 300,000 technical aircrew pilots, navigators, bombardiers were trained during the war. training half the amount again is not trivial. even going by your figures.

And that's not counting ground crew. Al those extra engines, it would be like operating another 25,000 flying fortresses (even going by your figures, and I'd claim

loading, unloading, maintenance etc your going to need more a lot more.
What do bombardiers have to do with airships? They are designed to transport goods, not drop bombs. Who also says that airplane pilots can't switch to zeppelins while

aircraft are being repaired such as bombers, or maybe regular airline pilots.

America was able to build close to a million engines in World War Two. They could definitely build a couple hundred thousand more if they wanted to. And these engines

are already chosen. Mass amnufacture is easy when it involves the same engines as different types of engines involve more infrastructure to build.

DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
I am using what wikipedia is basing off of "useful lift" which seems explanatory for how much it is. It appears the Zeppelin could lift 100 tons. The M Class zeppelins

at the beginning of World War One, in August 1914, could lift 20,100 pounds or 10 tons. So it seems unlikely that in the 20 years after, its payload hasn't changed.
The Physics of gas lift is not going to change. It's just a constant it;s hard to see teh airships been made massively lighter, already hi tech.
It's not an evolving technology.
And if Helium is used, it's going to much less.

https://medium.com/@Jernfrost/calculati ... df5cd7d147
https://www.airships.net/helium-hydrogen-airships/
The Hindenburg is nearly twice as big and has more powerful engines. The size will make for the bigger factor. Also, cow stomachs were used to fill for the airships in

World War One. The American could definitely design graphene bladders to lighten the airship, and increase its payload capacity. I already stated before in my other

posts that helium will not be used at all, as it is harder to produce and more expensive.

Not sure what your medium article did, it really just recycled the airnet website.

DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
The Americans could build air bases in England and North Africa. Much more easier to construct than artificial harbors, docks and harbors in general. America could

absolutely increase their construction and steel industry to build such airships.
the Ports mostly exist. They don;t have to be constructed. They have railways, trained workers, infrastructure. Building new airship ports and associated

infrastructure is a cost of the scheme.
Flat fields already exist in North Africa. Chopping dwon forests in England will be no issue for American cranes and bulldozers. Air force crew can be used as ground

crew to maintain the engines and pressure. The railroads already exist. I believe my example for mulberry harbor stands. If the American can build that, than fields

for airships should be no problem.
DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
Not all weather aircraft? Why. I haven't come across this before. That would be sad to hear if the weather over the Atlantic prevented airships from going. Do you know

of any historic meteorology reports from the war? I would like to know of the bad storms and their effects. Well what about the summer? Almost no storms at all.
Storms do figure in quite a number of airship accidents. Hindenburg operated only a summer season on the Atlantic route.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airship_accidents
Virtually all the accidents in the wiki article could have been avoided. Better management and safety check of airships, and flying in summer and winter months would have massively reduced the riskof dying and/or crashing.
Kingfish wrote:
14 Jun 2019 18:23
DerGiLLster wrote:
14 Jun 2019 05:50
A liberty makes roughly 12-13 mph. The German zeppelins could make more than six times that speed.
Whatever advantage you get from a faster Atlantic crossing is more than offset by the negligible lift the airship can carry.

BTW, that six times figure is max speed. You need to factor cruising speed. Wiki lists the USS Los Angeles at 55 mph but I doubt that takes into consideration a 10 ton

load. For the sake of argument lets stick with 55mph / 10 tons. You now have a transport that can make the crossing 4x faster than a Liberty yet lift less than 5%.

I'm not seeing the logic in this.
There are some factors to point out on the USS Los Angeles.

First, it was powered by helium, not hydrogen, so it had lower lift, and thus had to decrease speed in order to max its range. The extra equipment was to recover water

to preserve the lift, while hydrogen didn't need extra equipment for such lift.

Second there are five engines on the USS Los Angeles each around 400 hp. Those engines were made in 1924. If engines were to be used they could use Wright Duplex

Cyclone engines, most variants could pull over 2,500 hp, nearly six times the power of the engines used on the USS Los Angeles. Cruising speed with those engines would

not only be more fuel efficient, but could easily venture into having a maintained speed to 80-90 mph.

So it could definitely make an 7-8x tines faster load, considering the use of hydrogen and the Cyclone engines.

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Re: Why weren't zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war?

Post by DerGiLLster » 15 Jun 2019 04:57

pugsville wrote:
14 Jun 2019 10:57
US and Blimps during ww2.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-class_blimp
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-class_blimp
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Navy_a ... rld_War_II

"From 1942–1944, airship military personnel grew from 430 to 12,400 and approximately 1,400 airship pilots and 3,000 support crew were formally trained in the military airship crew training programs. "

154 blimps required 12,400 personal , that's 80 per blimp and that's smaller than the proposed airships here. Works out 2 million personal for 25,000 airships at 80 per blimp (not only 1,400 were pilots and that's trained rather than operational strength, but even say half that' s still 700 pilots 1500 support crew
I already mentioned how air force crews can overlap to take care of the airships. Even then, they can pull more people to fly airships. They certainly had the capacity. It isn't a demanding task physically. Moderate knowledge of airships and engineering could turn people to fly them. It'll be like the Red Ball express, where 75% of its drivers were African Americans. They can definitely train them to serve in the function of flying and maintaining airships in the US and England.

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Re: Why weren't zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war?

Post by Kingfish » 15 Jun 2019 13:06

DerGiLLster wrote:
15 Jun 2019 04:52
There are some factors to point out on the USS Los Angeles.
First, it was powered by helium, not hydrogen, so it had lower lift, and thus had to decrease speed in order to max its range. The extra equipment was to recover water to preserve the lift, while hydrogen didn't need extra equipment for such lift.
But hydrogen would not have been used for very obvious reasons. The US made that decision in the '20s. Assuming the premise of this WI goes forward that would mean the US had a solid 2-decade long safety record with regards to fire hazard. I fail to see why the US would reverse course on that subject.
Second there are five engines on the USS Los Angeles each around 400 hp. Those engines were made in 1924. If engines were to be used they could use Wright Duplex Cyclone engines, most variants could pull over 2,500 hp, nearly six times the power of the engines used on the USS Los Angeles. Cruising speed with those engines would not only be more fuel efficient, but could easily venture into having a maintained speed to 80-90 mph.
The 2,500 hp variants weren't available until much later in the war, at which point the utility of trans-Atlantic logistics via airship would have been superfluous. The G series (1200 hp) would have been the most likely candidate for use on airships at that time.

However, this raises another issue, that of priority and availability. If we take even the most conservative number of airships proposed to make this WI feasible (25,000) and a minimum of 4 engines per ship, would the US be willing to allocate upwards of 150,000/200,000 airplane engines (includes spares) so early in the war to a concept that by all accounts does not significantly improve the logistics picture?
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: Why weren't zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war?

Post by reedwh52 » 16 Jun 2019 15:53

DerGiLLster wrote:"
Doesn't your link say Helium lifting ability is to 88% of hydrogen? Sorry, I don't know much about airships, but how does the useful lift go from 50 tons to 30 if helium can accomplish 88% of the lift."

That's the first leg of the difference. The second leg is that helium itself weighs approximately double the same quantity of hydrogen. So a 12% decrease in lift for a 100% increase in weight causes the difference.

DerGiLLster wrote:""A US focused on researching and mass producing airship cargo in the late 30s/early 40s could definitely make a much more advanced version"
Essentially all US rigid airship development was funded by the Federal government through the US Navy. These expenditures had to be approved by Congressional authorizations. You would need to get a majority of 96 Senators and 435 Representatives to agree to spend the money.

There had to be a track record of some success, a production base, a perceived need, a major proponent, and money for research to continue.
  • There was no track record of success. All of the US built rigid airships were lost within two years of commissioning. Further, aside from one German airship, rigid airship development died in Western Europe as well after 1931.
  • Production facilities were limited. The only commercial manufacturer of rigid airships in the US was Goodyear; the Navy also built one at the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF) in Philadelphia. NAF was out of dirigible activities by 1923; Goodyear had no new orders since the Akron & Macon were ordered in 1928.
  • The perceived need for rigid airships in the US was the Navy. Their need involved wartime scouting for the fleet, not transportation operations. Again, based on experiences of losses while in commission of 100%, no continued push for production/development. It should be noted that the USN had two rigid airships in operation at one time for eight months (Akron & Los Angeles)
  • The major proponent of rigid airships in the US was Rear Admiral William Moffett, the Navy Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics. He was killed in the loss of the Akron.
  • Rigid airships were expensive to purchase and to operate. Akron & Macon were approved and appropriated for in the 1926-1928 time frames, i.e. before the depression. After the depression began, funding would have been difficult to obtain. Infact, Los angeles was laid up not because of age but as a Congressionally mandated cost savings measure.

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Re: Why weren't zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war?

Post by reedwh52 » 17 Jun 2019 14:30

DerGiLLster wrote:
15 Jun 2019 04:57
pugsville wrote:
14 Jun 2019 10:57
US and Blimps during ww2.

I already mentioned how air force crews can overlap to take care of the airships. Even then, they can pull more people to fly airships. They certainly had the capacity. It isn't a demanding task physically. Moderate knowledge of airships and engineering could turn people to fly them. It'll be like the Red Ball express, where 75% of its drivers were African Americans. They can definitely train them to serve in the function of flying and maintaining airships in the US and England.
Pilots:
Rigid airships do not use pilots, and fixed wing aviators are not interchangeable with Lighter than air (LTA) aircrew even for blimps. Their flight characteristics are entirely different.

Manpower for Rigid Airships:
Rigid airships use flight crews. They use flight crews and are organized similar to ships in in watches to allow 24-hour operations & long flights. Based on the Hindenburg, the actual operating crew is captain plus 39 others without considering stewards, cooks, etc used in passenger service. https://www.airships.net/hindenburg/fli ... ures/#crew
  • Captain
    3 Watch Officers
    3 Navigators
    3 Ruddermen (helmsmen)
    3 Elevatormen
    Chief Rigger (Sailmaker)
    3 Riggers (Sailmakers)
    Chief Radio Officer
    3 Assistant Radio Operators
    Chief Engineer
    3 Engineers
    12 Machinists/Mechanics (assigned to engine cars)
    Chief Electrician
    2 Assistant Electricians
Ergo, for the previously mentioned 25,000 airships, you would need 1,000,000 flight crew exclusive of ground maintenance staff. You would also require ground handling staff of 400 to maneuver and control landings & departures. This would be needed for any location where the rigid airship will land.

While a separate ground handling crew is not required for each airship you do need enough tpersonnel to handle the traffic involved and need to consider the physical activity involved.

Please note that I would really like the basic concept to work because the rigid airships were elegant, attractive vessels. I just don't believe that they were practical for long haul freight operations.

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Why werent zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war

Post by Barryfax » 12 Jul 2019 08:46

Going to be on vacation in Switzerland and see there will be a game in Davos during my time there. What's the game experience like compared to an NHL or minor league game in North America?

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Re: Why werent zeppelins/airships used on a large scale during the war

Post by Renner aus Schlesien » 12 Jul 2019 14:14

Barryfax wrote:
12 Jul 2019 08:46
Going to be on vacation in Switzerland and see there will be a game in Davos during my time there. What's the game experience like compared to an NHL or minor league game in North America?
Another copied comment by Barryfax from another website pasted on here with no connection to the thread's point:
Copied from https://hfboards.mandatory.com/threads/ ... s.2104003/

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