I stumbled across this site when I was searching for info about airships. They have main three products - aerocraft aeroscraft, airship and aerostat. Aerostat is clear for me somehow. But what is the key difference between aerocraft aeroscraft and airship?

  • $\begingroup$ @mins: Actually the page says Aeroscraft; it does not mention it without ‘s’ anywhere. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Mar 31 '15 at 7:32

Aeroscraft is their brand name. It does not mean anything generally.

The general terms are:

"Aircraft" (but not "aerocraft") means any machine capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere.

"Aerostat" is a lighter-then-air aircraft. That is it has large shell filled with gas with lower density than air and uses buoyant force on that for lift. This includes balloons, hot-air or gas filled, tethered balloons and airships.

"Airship", or "dirigible" is an aerostat equipped with propulsion that allows it to move on it's own (as opposed to balloons that are tethered or carried by wind).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So "Aerostat" is a fancy name for a hot-air balloon? $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 31 '15 at 12:58
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @FreeMan: No. Hot-air balloon is one kind of aerostat. Hydrogen or helium filled balloons and airships are also aerostats. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Mar 31 '15 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, so "Airship"/"Dirigible" is a sub-class of "Aerostat" that indicate they have propulsion and are steerable. I guess that's what your last line says. I'll just go back to napping now... :/ $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 31 '15 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan Balloons and Airships (including Dirigibles) are all aerostats (the term refers to how they stay aloft - aerostatic buoyancy). Some may have propulsion (airships), some may be free-flying without propulsion (balloons), and some may be tethered to the ground by cables (tethered balloons). In the US when people refer to "an aerostat" they're frequently referring to some kind of tethered balloon, like the radar balloon off the Florida Keys, but that's an imprecise use of the term. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Mar 31 '15 at 16:05

There are 2 kinds of lift able to be produced, aerodynamic and aerostatic. Planes and helicopters are aerydynamic because they need to move in order to create the lift, balloons and dirigibles are aerostatic because they create lift by simply being lighter than the air around them. This is why we call them aerostats. I wonder why we don't call the other class aerodynes...


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