Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Building the Airship

Over the last few weeks, I've managed to build up an airship model, tear it down again, and put it back up while running the documentation scripts and taking pictures along the way. I'll post some of them now working from the inside to the outside.

The load bearing structure inside is basically a ring with two wings. Extra bits of truss poke out in various directions to support engines and a connection to a mooring mast.

Vertical truss sections contain the ducting and some power conduits. Rather than place each individual piece, I've bundled things nearest these duct trusses into one linked group. Battery boxes, controllers, vent fans and other things get located in these bundles in order to manage temperature and air pressure in a somewhat centralized manner. The vertical truss sections coincide with the load envelope segment baffles.

Many other units get added that are hard to see in the overhead picture. They include lift gas reserve tanks, fuel tanks, communications systems and antennae. At this point, the load bearing structure is largely filled. Lots more detail will appear later for each unit, but I probably won't duplicate it all to each position on the airship unless we decide to buy a SL sim/island.

Lastly, the trusses get covered/skinned. This allows us to manage air temperatures near equipment without having to move air around in the bigger chambers. We can also keep sharp objects away from the gas cells and manage static and RFI by playing games with the skinning fabric.

In the next post I'll get to the larger parts of the airship and then a few thoughts about hangars and how one would build such a thing with the kind of real money investors care a great deal about. 8)
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