U.S. Air Force Giant Spy Blimp Could be Afghanistan’s Biggest Brain

bluedevil2

“Blue Devil”

Come this fall, there will be a new and extremely powerful supercomputer in Afghanistan. But it won’t be in Dave Petraeus’ headquarters in Kabul or at some three-letter agency’s operations center in Kandahar. It’ll be floating 20,000 feet above the warzone, aboard a giant spy blimp that watches and listens to everything for miles around.

 

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‘Stratellite’: Unmanned Lighter-Than-Air Flexible Blimp

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mpKd0j5cFk&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

According to a Sanswire-TAO announcement issued yesterday, “the first flight of the full scale STS-111 is expected to take place at the end of August”. The test video above shows a smaller prototype.

 

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Aeolus Airship: Human-Powered Blimp

Aeolus Airship: Human-Powered Blimp 

Setting the bar pretty high for airship design is this one from Christopher Ottersbach: Called the Aeolus Airship (named after Aeolus, the Greek wind god) it is designed to be aerodynamic than conventional airship designs, and stay aloft for up to two weeks on a supply of helium and, furthermore, is pedal-powered by the crew of 2-4 people.

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SkyCat – The Age of the New Zeppelin

SkyCat - The Age of the New Zeppelin

Not exactly a cat in either size, ability, or furriness, but the SkyCat does like to purrrrrr along

They’re not going to replace the 747, but it looks like the airships may be making a comeback.

New zeppelin technologies being put into use by companies such as SkyCat of Britain and Germany’s Zeppelin NT would bring us more robust, more dynamic airships. Airship frames made of proprietary synthetic materials, for instance, would be stronger than steel and durable enough that a leak would take hours to cause any effect. Vertical lift technologies would also enable the airships to take off and land on their own, rather than having to be tethered to docks by ropes.

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