A hybrid airship generates lift from a combination of lighter-than-air buoyancy, and aerodynamic lift.

Some figures suggest that up to 40% of the lift comes from aerodynamic lift (wikipedia). So how does a fully laden hybrid airship achieve vertical take-off? If the airship weights 100 tons, and it needs to get 40% of it's lift from aerodynamic lift (requiring forward movement) then that's 40 tonnes of lift that needs to be provided from somewhere whilst the aircraft is accelerating to flying speed. Where does this come from?

My guess is that a hybrid aircraft can only achieve full load when operating from a conventional airstrip, and that vertical take-off is only an option when operating at 60% load capacity. Is this correct, or have I missed something?

  • $\begingroup$ They can tilt their rotors a bit and do a STOL. Much depends on weight. $\endgroup$ Aug 20 '20 at 0:49
  • $\begingroup$ The 40% dynamic lift fraction only applies to very small airships. Since area only grows with length squared and volume with length cubed, that fraction goes down for large ships. A "Graf Zeppelin" sized ship (87 tons useful lift) could maybe achieve 5% dynamic lift fraction. $\endgroup$ Aug 20 '20 at 3:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.