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Comment: Re:oh jeez. (Score 1) 140

by tsotha (#49389935) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

But only in small quantities. Not enough to affect the bottom line. In the early airships they would simply vent hydrogen if they needed lower buoyancy, so they took on hydrogen along with fuel and ballast when arriving at the destination. You don't need to do that with helium. Or rather, you don't design a helium airship such that it's necessary.

The biggest drawback to helium is it gets contaminated by other molecules moving the other direction. Not really sure why that happens. Anyway, that's why Zeppelins undergo periodic maintenance in which the helium has to be pumped out and purified.

Comment: Re:Not so fast (Score 3, Informative) 140

by tsotha (#49384779) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

Correct:

Alois Böcker in the L-33 was the first to arrive over the capital. He dropped most of his bomb-load on the East End, around Bow and Stratford, with the airship crew reporting visible fires and explosions with each bomb burst . However, a shell from the defenses over Bromley exploded inside the ship, causing tremendous physical damage but no fires. She dropped much of her water ballast, reported by the ground spotters as a smoke screen, and made her way eastward, losing 800 feet of altitude each minute. After a dangerous encounter with a British airplane which pumped several drums of Brock-Pomeroy ammunition into L-33 to no effect, the airship came to earth at Essex, where Böcker and his men jumped to the ground and fired several flares into her. They were promptly captured as L-33 burned to the ground, mostly intact.

Hydrogen only burns in the presence of oxygen (for our purposes, anyway). That's also why British aircraft had so much trouble setting airships alight with incendiary rounds - the rounds would pass straight through without ever getting the right H2/air mixture for ignition. Incendiary rounds performed so badly the Brits thought the Germans were putting a layer of some inert gas just inside the airship skin.

It wasn't until they switched to a mix of explosive and incendiary bullets that they began to have success. The explosive rounds would tear big holes in fabric and allow hydrogen and oxygen to mix. It still took a couple drums to get the ship burning, though.

Comment: Re:Not so fast (Score 1) 140

by tsotha (#49384663) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

There was a Zeppelin in WW I that survive the explosion of a AA shell inside the ship. And that was filled with hydrogen. The crew was able to land it safely in the UK and had to destroy it with a flare gun. Those things are a lot more durable than you'd think, since the sheer volume of the lifting gas means you've got to tear the thing apart to make it fall out of the sky.

The reason they say it would survive a missile strike is most anti-aircraft missiles have very small warheads. An AMRAAM, for example, has either a 40 or 50 pound warhead, which is going to do less damage than an artillery shell. They only bring down airplanes because 1) airplanes are full of flammable fuel and 2) tiny changes to the shape of an airplane make it disastrously unflyable.

Comment: Re:Hindenburg? (Score 1) 140

by tsotha (#49384601) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

The airship cost $300,000 to buy. It doesn't matter if it cost someone else $90,000,000 to build it; the loss of $89,700,000 is the government's loss, not the current owners.

Well, the company bought it back from the government for $300k. That doesn't mean customers can buy it for $300k. Based on what other players in the market are charging if this company doesn't go bankrupt first the airship will probably sell for a whole lot more than that.

Comment: Re:Disagree (Score 1) 1168

by tsotha (#49377015) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

It's different if we're dealing with a place that can (and by its very definition and the general idea behind it should) be frequented by visitors and other strangers you have no direct connection to, i.e. a business. What do you think would happen if someone made a "White only" restaurant? Or how about "Muslim only"? Think that would sit well?

I'd be perfectly okay with it. I think the right to choose with whom you associate should trump group rights.

Comment: Re:And why not? (Score 1) 227

by tsotha (#49368447) Attached to: Nation's Biggest Nuclear Firm Makes a Play For Carbon Credit Cash
The explosions at Fukushima are pretty well understood to be a result of hydrogen buildup in the enclosures. So what? Those explosions resulted in a handful of deaths, which isn't even a really bad day as far as industrial accidents go. The Bhopal disaster killed between 5000 and 8000 people. Are you against pesticides as a result?

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.

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