Close your eyes for a second, and try to imagine you're designing this new generation Airship.

enter image description here

The above diagram is a simple sketch to bring it to life and make it more realistic.


  • Blue ellipse represents the balloon inflated with Hydrogen or Helium
  • Gray rectangular box on top of the balloon is something like a solar panel or a cover plain object material.
  • Yellow boxes represent propellers used to steer this Airship.
  • Dark red rectangular object below the blue balloon is the payload.


Assuming the blue balloon is inflated with enough gas to lift the total weight of this Airship. Am wondering whether this Airship would withstand harsh windy conditions due to it's payload, a colleague told me i'd add holes in between the payload object or make the payload object flexible in the way that it can swing freely from the balloon.

This got me so confused. Am also interested in learning best practices for designing less bumpy airships that can withstand harsh conditions.

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    $\begingroup$ That airship is going to catch wind really easily. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Sep 22 '16 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann what would be the best way to achieve this, a long-height payload Airship $\endgroup$ – Ceddy Muhoza Sep 22 '16 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ I am not really experienced with this, but something more "fat" and torpedo-like would work better. Also, I can't help but notice that the airship looks like Dory. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Sep 22 '16 at 20:35
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    $\begingroup$ This might be relevant: Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airship $\endgroup$ – Dan Pichelman Sep 22 '16 at 20:40
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    $\begingroup$ Whether or not you want to use it as one, it is one. This thing will windvane unless you have very powerful engines to hold it against the wind. Even then, you're going to drift if you can hold heading. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Sep 22 '16 at 20:43

With a lighter-than-air craft, a primary consideration is to encapsulate the most volume with the smallest amount of material. This creates the best lift-to-weight ratio. A sphere is ideal, and you see nearly sphere-like shapes in weather balloons, hot air balloons and blimps.

While your side-view looks circular, it is clear from your top and cross-sectional view that there is actually very little volume, relative to the surface area of your balloon. This just won't hold much H or He relative to all the fabric needed.

So aside from weather-vaning problems (after all, you could only fly in calm conditions), this thing is just too inefficient.

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  • $\begingroup$ My diagram above is just a sketch, the balloon is supposed to be fat and big in the side-ways, i.e it can hold much H or He. My main goal is to have a long-height payload, i think you haven't talked about it in your answer $\endgroup$ – Ceddy Muhoza Sep 22 '16 at 21:03
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    $\begingroup$ Look, your sketch is what you gave us, and all we have to work with. You cannot give us a poor diagram, ask us for comments, and then deny our comments because you provided a bad diagram. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Sep 22 '16 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ I think i have just told you that it's just a simple diagram (don't mind about the proportion) $\endgroup$ – Ceddy Muhoza Sep 22 '16 at 21:09
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    $\begingroup$ The proportion is critical. Proportions are what drives aircraft design. Without proportion, all airplanes are just "two wings and a body... don't worry about the sizes" $\endgroup$ – abelenky Sep 22 '16 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ If you want good answers, you have to provide good information. GIGO $\endgroup$ – abelenky Sep 22 '16 at 21:25

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