Hybrid Airship

I'd like to float this idea out there to get some feedback. I currently have 3 planes and one heli, but these don't seem to be right for the kind of UAV platform I'm looking for. A hybrid airship seems like it could provide superior flight duration and very low speeds while still being able to weather the outdoors and light breezes (<5 knots)


I'm thinking of multiple envelopes (4-6) joined to the envelope opposite it via tubing (for balance in the event of a leak) with three motors; two which control roll, yaw, and extra lift for vertical takeoff (located just forward of the CG) while the other, much smaller motor, controls pitch and provides some VTOL assistance at the rear of the vehicle. 


The exact scale and weight (probably about 1.5 kg, all told, for autopilot, video and tx, rc rx, motors, battery, and empty envelope weight [assuming 30 cu. ft of volume, the general design would require about 360 sq ft of material, triple layered and seamed]) still need to be worked out. Just wondering if anyone has done something similar before. 

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  • Hi guys

    You really need to gain some experience in RC lighter than air flight first.

    Check out my developments of a low cost airship Drone

    The RC airship has been developed over the last 2 years.

    1 hr Endurance, 3-5 amp battery, 400g payload, camera gimbal, FPV, Low vibration, crash survivable, Helium recovery and storage after each day of use
    welcome to the LED - Long Endurance Dronehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMPtHGWouNQ
    Brushless gimbal - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sqCBWNohug
    Servo gimbal and MFD controller - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3glE5syuCI
    Over snow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joLNCG17uPU

  • Here is one of the blended wing UAV's that might be able to carry an airbag with helium:


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  • I was hoping to see more on UAV Hybrid airships as a video platform.  Seems quads and such are deemed unsafe.  I love filming racing An airship, maybe even teathered like a kite even may gain trust.  A flying multihull looking thing like the Lockeed Martin P791 coulld be cool.  Somehow getting hit in the head by a beach ball is prefered to a QAV in the head.

    I'd sure like to see more on such aircraft.

  • You might look a the Aereon 25-pusher prop rigid air-frame with helium assist. It's a heavier than air craft, slow flyer with dynamic lift.

    You try also KF airfoil: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kline%E2%80%93Fogleman_airfoil


    Kline–Fogleman airfoil
    The Kline–Fogleman airfoil or KF airfoil is a simple airfoil design with single or multiple steps along the length of the wing. It was originally dev…
  • Have you seen any projects that combine a quad copter and a blimp, maybe something like this, but for hobbyists?


  • Hi, I'm sure that you know this one: http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/

    Fascinating, although a bit bigger than the one you propose.

    I'd love to see them replacing all of those "tourist droppers" that polute our skies.

    Keep posting on how it progresses,. Good luck!

  • No, I mean a hybrid airship; i.e. an "almost lighter than air" vehicle where the vehicle has a large rigid or semi-rigid envelope which also acts as a lifting body.

    the NASA Pathfinder was a solar powered aircraft; completely different.

  • do you mean something like this


    Because this is the potential outcome, as NASA experienced


    Sounds like a good idea though

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