Saturday, August 24, 2019


h/t Silicon Graybeard

Just kidding. It has no chance in hell.

And I just used that pic as an excuse to post this clip, for the giggles:

No, Gene, not John.

So Imagine you're an idiot, and imagine you have an impeccable Ph.D. and no common sense.
But I repeat myself.

As proposed in a recent scientific paper, the new airships would be 10 times bigger than the 800-foot Hindenburg — more than five times as long as the Empire State Building is tall — and soar high in the atmosphere. They’d do the work of traditional oceangoing cargo ships but would take less time and generate only a fraction of the pollution.

“We are trying to reduce as much as possible emissions of carbon dioxide because of global warming,” said Julian Hunt, a postdoctoral fellow at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, and the paper’s lead author.
Go to SiG's place, and RTWT.

WARNING: Level III Beverage Alert!!

And the fucktards who came up with this were serious.

No, really.


1) they want to make a dirigible filled with highly flammable hydrogen gas (which worked out so well in 1937).

2) They want to make it four times longer than the World Trade Center towers were tall (which worked out so well in 2001).

3) They want it to carry 21000 tons of cargo (which worked out so well on Lake Superior in 1975).

4) Then they want to take it up into the jet stream, dirigibles historically being notably so agile, nimble, and structurally sound (the Hindenburg maxxed out at 84 MPH, btw) in winds from 60-200 MPH (which also worked out so well with dirigibles like Akron and Shenandoah).

5) then they want them piloted by AI (two lies for the price of one, it being neither thing), computer hardware and software being so well-written, and impermeable by attempts to hack it and maliciously use it (as everything computerized has demonstrably worked so well from 1970-five seconds ago, and onwards to infinity).

And what could possibly go wrong with flying the Megahindenburg fleet, each one multiple times the size of the World Trade Center, and carrying a payload the size of the Edmund Fitzgerald hurtling along wrapped in flammable gas at altitude, where each payload consists of 625 containers grossing at 33.6 tons@, roughly the same payload of nine B-52H models?!?!?!? (And I'm being sportingly generous, and only going by number of projectiles, noting that the Megahindenburgs' cargo will be non-explosive, albeit still coming down in 33 ton blivets from 40,000'.)

I'm going to be lenient and sentimental here:
Whatever fucktard(s) burped out this idea seriously should have a sack thrown over him/them NLT sunup Monday, be institutionalized for criminal clinical insanity, and locked in a pit deeper than the national nuclear waste repository, such that food and daylight would have to be pumped into their subterranean crypt(s) for life, some mile or more beneath the earth's surface, until they have expired in oblivion some decades hence.
We should lock them in, and throw away the prison.

Anyone who repeats the idea should be skinned alive, and then dipped 12 times an hour into a vat of salt water and rubbing alcohol, until the urge passes, or the screaming stops. If the urge continues, switch the dunk tank to gasoline, and set it alight.

Then they should hunt down and exterminate their combined families, to three generations, and fifth cousins. Just to be sure.

That's unquestionably Fucktard Of the Year material, right there.
I'm going to guess there's an Ivy League Ph.D behind this, somewhere.
Nothing less would do unless dealer-quantities of hallucinogenic narcotics are involved.

I am willing to compromise, though.
Track down all the schools beyond high school level that granted those authors their credentials, burn them all to the ground, slaughter their combined faculties, and graze cattle and goats there, by law, for at least 200 years.

And whoever wrote the proposal that got those soopergeniuses a monetary grant should be treated with the same hospitality given William Wallace in the final minutes of Braveheart. But only if they sterilize the implements first this time, and use them while they're still red hot.

This nonsense should have been in a Chuck Jones flick starring Wile E. Coyote.
And it's almost as well-thought-out.

Climastrology is a death cult, and it's going to have to be purged from the earth with fire.

And with that final nail pounded home, the prosecution rests, Your Honor.


Anonymous said...

Betcha couple things;
1. There's gotta be FedGuv grant money involved
2. Evita Guevara Castro will endorse/has endorsed it.
Boat Guy

Aesop said...

@Boat guy
Check out my addendum.

T-Rav said...

When I started reading the post, my first thought was, "I mean, I don't think this is the worst thing ever. The airships would obviously be filled with helium this time around, not hydrogen, so it's at least worth some consideration."

And then I got further down. Hydrogen gas.

I don't know whether to laugh or facepalm. Probably both.

Anonymous said...

Some of the DUMBEST people I have ever met have PhD's (siblings of mine included)
Dodging 5000 lb projectiles in NYC would be entertaining to watch though.

Borepatch said...

What, your solution doesn't involve ploughing the fields with salt????

jackalope said...

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
-Gordon Lightfoot from "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

Now, imagine that giant fireball descending from 50,000 feet. Onto, say, Chicago. Oh, the humanity!

A.B. Prosper said...

Someone has been reading Snowcrash I see.

When you live in a society that regards technological progress as a religious imperative , stupidity like this is to be expected.

The ugly reality is we need less shipping , less efficiency and more domestic and local production not but good luck with that.

In any case a minor quibble, hydrogen zeps aren't that dangerous despite rather showy fires, Most people who died were killed panic jumping and not from flames or the rather slow fall. There also weren't hellfires simply because the density of hydrogen makes them unlikely

It's still stupid though I suppose in the interest of being magnanimous at least they realized that helium is in very short supply these days and it would make a fleet of these

Anonymous said...

Imagine the first accident investigation of one of these. Was it an accident or "an accident"?

Islamic Jihadis would love the AI controlled flying bomb. They would not need to sacrifice Mohammead Attah and his eighteen fellow jihadis, only infiltrate an avionics maintenace department or two.

Beans said...

Well, in all fairness, Hydrogen gas is actually relatively safe to use in airships. Except that the H2 molecule is a slippery little sucker.

The Hindenburg burned due to the aluminum infused paint on the canvas outer envelope, then the hydrogen cells added fuel.

So, yeah, it's not a bad idea. Really. Quit laughing. It would actually work, to a point.

Problem is... large airships don't work well in poor weather conditions. Smaller ships, yes, but larger ships are so large the wind conditions at the bow may be radically different than at the stern. Accident investigations showed this on the Akron and Macon incidents. Literally the winds twisted the ships apart.

Also, we are actually experiencing a Helium issue. Like we're running out of Helium. Seriously. Really quit laughing. It is a real thing.

So... yeah... no. Now using smaller gasbags attached to helicopter type power units, called 'aerostats,' have been shown to be viable in short range heavy lifting, but no-one seems to be exploring that market.

RandyGC said...

"Islamic Jihadis would love the AI controlled flying bomb."

See Tom Kratman's A Desert Called Peace

" Accident investigations showed this on the Akron and Macon incidents. Literally the winds twisted the ships apart."

Beat me to it. And the proposed vehicles are going to be much larger than either the Akron or Macon, meaning you could have multiple wind shear effects in different directions speed along the hull.

Personally I think the best use of this proposal is to classify it, but it into DARPA's data base, and have someone shop it to the PRC as the next thing to steal from the Yankee Pig Dogs for the Glory of the Middle Kingdom.

Now Larry Correia did some neat stuff with battleship sized Zepplins, but that required literal magicians to keep them airborne and not all crashy/explody.

Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger said...

It really isn't quite as bad as painted. He isn't necessarily talking dirigibles; balloons are more likely. Because the cargo IS the hydrogen lifting gas. When the carrier gets to port, they simply start deflating the bag and liquifying the hydrogen. They leave enough gas for it to float its way on to return to the orgin port.

Winds won't be much stress to the structure, because it -- mostly -- is just passively carried with the jet stream.

But since jet streams do drift, I can't see this as practical.

Night driver said...

See Dean Ing, "Big Lifters" for a "fictional" engineering treatment of the concept, with them showing up in his Quantrill stories (Single Combat, etc.), and one or two others.

When the man wrote engineering "schtuff" he usually ran most of the science out to the feasibility conclusions.

Jess said...

You can't fix stupid, but you can get a degree to prove it.

Mike_C said...

What makes you think the goal is to move cargo around? Maybe having what are effectively thousands of KE weapons scattered over the US and Europe *is* the goal. Only instead of "rods from God" delivered with minimal circular probabilities of error we will have weaponized, or weaponizable-ish, shipping containers drifting about.

I kid, I kid. But the idea has resonance in a terrible, direct-to-clearance-bin bad science fiction movie kind of way.

Oh yeah, so it's published in a JOURNAL. But there are journals, and there are journals. This thing appeared in Energy Conversion and Management: X which is a brand-new open access journal. While there are some good OA journals out there, many are effectively vanity presses with a "scientific veneer". Now this EC+M:X thing is a "mirror journal" of the established Energy Conversion and Management (no "X") which has a decent Impact Factor around 7.1, and the same editor, but it ain't EC+M. And now I have to go deal with some papers, as a reviewer for one and as an Associate Editor for another, both at OA journals, as it happens (but with some standards :-).

Glenda T Goode said...

Lets see.....8000 feet long. At least 500 feet in diameter. Soaring at 50,000 feet in the jetstream. Oh, add 12 tons of cargo or thereabouts....and inflate the thing with Hydrogen......what could go wrong?

I have what might be considered a stupid question.

The intent of this 'concept' is to save energy. How much energy does it take to produce the millions of cubic feet of hydrogen for one of these??? The cost of building adequate storage and/or transportation for this amount of gas??? I did not see any spec on what makes it move.....Something that big will serve and do what ever the wind wants it to because there is no practical way to power this effectively in order to make it maneuverable.

This whole thing sounds like something out of MAD Magazine or National Lampoon....Everything out of those was the product of a lot of weed and other 'recreational drugs'.

Anonymous said...

jackalope said...
Now, imagine that giant fireball descending from 50,000 feet. Onto, say, Chicago. Oh, the humanity!

Ummm ... trying to see the downside of that particular scenario here, Boss...

Anonymous said...

Imagine a 21,000-ton zeppelin load of frozen turkeys descending from 50,000 feet onto Chicago. Says, "Oh yeah!" like the Kool-Aid Man....

Felix Bellator

Aesop said...

Boys and girls, put the potato bongs down; there is nothing about this silly-ass idea that would "work". It's the functional equivalent to dismantling the post office, and decreeing that henceforth, all mail will be sent in corked bottles and tied to balloons.

Except not even that intelligent or thought out.

Get serious.

Starting with what would happen when you found out your order of widgets was currently circling over Antarctica at 40,000', with no way to retrieve it.

This is idiot savant morons turned loose in a room full of ordinary people, with dynamite, gasoline, fuse, and matches.

Just no.

Anonymous said...

Or that your widgets were no longer circling - or even airborne. Datum?

James said...

Actually,1937 and the great photo made for a great bands first album cover

Hmmmm....,they determined to do this perhaps time to reconcile with the boys and get the band back together,and,if the disaster is in Chicago,well,double bonus!

Kevin said...

Getting into the core of the jet stream would wreck this thing first time out. The shear zone is where clear air turbulence is found. CAT has damaged airplanes and caused one break-up (Boeing 707). Typical academics at work.

Trumpeter said...

Helium is in short supply. And short of nuclear fusion, there ain't gonna be any more.

boron said...

Of course it'll never work.
Someone forgot to add the windmill props (to generate power) on the nose and tail.

Anonymous said...

Potato bongs are for chumps. Everyone knows that a snorkel bong is best.

Anonymous said...

I'll put in for the kickstarter

Anonymous said...

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't helium present in useful quantities in natural gas formations but is currently not extracted for economic reasons? Much like natural gas is many times flared off during oil extraction because it isn't economically viable to process due to lack of infrastructure to transport it?

An aside about natural gas/oil, an acquaintance of mine had oil wells on his property and along with his royalties from the oil produced he had a supply of natural gas which he had full use of. Pretty much everything in his house that could be was powered by natural gas even the air conditioning. I was kinda envious.

lineman said...

My uncle had that also and he converted two Cadillac engines to natural gas and hooked them up to generators and anything he didn't use he sold back to the power company which was a chunk of change he got to put in his pocket every month...