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Signs of Hope – A continuing series August 18, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?

Comments»

1. Gewerkschaftler - August 18, 2016

This being a reasonably tech-positive blog with a dash of aero-fetishism the Airlander 10 is possibly a step forward in transportation.

It was rescued from a military project that went bust and converted to a civilian transport.

Lighter than air but the twist is that 40% of the lift is provided by the aerofoil shape. Robust and can withstand serious weather, I guess it can land anywhere in an open field that’s big enough.

Diesel engines however and no mention of fuel efficiency. Potentially I guess the upper surface could be covered with flexible solar materials if they can be made light enough. Some of the 10 tonne payload could be storage batteries, because this thing is likely to spend a fair amount of time on the ground.

Any ideas as to likely fuel efficiency?

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Michael Carley - August 18, 2016

Diesel would make a lot more sense than turbine for something like this (low speed, probably low altitude).

The real question is why you would bother: there is a reason airships fell from favour.

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Gewerkschaftler - August 19, 2016

I’m genuinely curious about the reason:

? Hydrogen -> this one is helium with a triple wall.

? Too slow? -> fuel-efficiency per mile is what count’s doesn’t it?

? Lack of helium? It is a limited resource.

? Too big? I guess it does take up a lot of room for the payload it can carry.

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WorldbyStorm - August 19, 2016

I’m interested too. Wouldn’t it be a good alternative to certain cargo shipments?

That’s true re tech-positive. Where the tech is sensible.

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Michael Carley - August 22, 2016

WBS, I think a couple of my comments might have gone into the spam queue (they had links in). Any chance you could recover one or other of them (they should be more or less the same)?

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irishelectionliterature - August 22, 2016

Just approved them. Should appear now

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WorldbyStorm - August 22, 2016

Apologies Michael I’m away on holidays today and tomorrow so only checking in jnfrequently

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Michael Carley - August 22, 2016

Thank you kindly.

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WorldbyStorm - August 22, 2016

Ekranoplans!

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Michael Carley - August 22, 2016

Well yes. And I’d love a go in one.

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Michael Carley - August 22, 2016

It’s okay for cargo, within reason, but no good for passengers. Helium is indeed a limited resource, but the big problem is that it’s slow and that causes all sorts of problems.

A reasonably fast (so heavier than air) aircraft has the speed to deal with atmospheric conditions, so it can compensate for headwinds without going far off course. The low speed also means it doesn’t have great control because the lifting surfaces don’t get much pressure (it is interesting that the Airlander deliberately uses aerodynamic lift). The other issue is that they are quite fragile structurally because they are big and light, so there are safety issues in bad weather.

The other problem with being slow if you carry passengers (and it’s not many passengers given the size of the aircraft) is that the flights are long, so you need a lot more food and water (a typical long-haul airliner carries tonnes of both) and you need a lot more cabin crew to cover shifts over a number of days, which also drives up the weight of extras.

Fuel efficiency per mile is what counts up to a point. If you have to carry more weight, and the fuel to move that weight, because of the slow flight you lose some of that advantage. If your costs have also gone up because of increased crewing and maintenance costs (engines especially have a maintenance schedule based on flight hours), it is not clear that they are more economical than commercial jets. Add to that downtime for bad weather, which still costs whether or not you are flying, and they don’t look like a great proposition for scheduled passenger services.

There’s an estimated breakdown of direct operating cost for A380 here, to give you an idea of what matters:

http://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/654/whats-the-typical-cost-and-its-breakdown-for-a-long-haul-commercial-flight

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Michael Carley - August 22, 2016

I ran up a long response to this and it has disappeared into wordpress’s maw. Try again.

The first problem with low speed flight is that you can’t compensate for wind very well, which might mean you are grounded quite often, which makes it hard to operate a scheduled passenger service, or means you spend a lot of time avoiding headwinds.

The other issue is that carrying people becomes very expensive because you need a lot more food and water, and enough crew to maintain continuous shifts, and all the extra fuel which is required to lift the extra weight, and the fuel you need to lift the extra fuel.

Fuel efficiency per mile counts up to a point. Airlines use direct operating cost (DOC) as their financial measure. It is made up of fuel, maintenance, financing the purchase cost, crew, and so on. If your flights are very long, crew cost is high, financing becomes a high proportion of the DOC (you sell single flights, but you pay per hour) and maintenance may be an issue because you have fewer landings to do inspections in (engines in particular have a maintenance schedule based on hours of operation.

Worth looking at cost breakdown for an A380:

http://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/654/whats-the-typical-cost-and-its-breakdown-for-a-long-haul-commercial-flight

Short answer: they look good for cargo, especially where loads are too big for road or rail. Think of how an A380 wing is delivered to see what you have to do when there is no direct land route from A to B:

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LeftAtTheCross - August 19, 2016

I’m going to blow my own trumpet here as there’s an early version of the product I’ve been working on (for the past almost three years) as part of the flight test instrumentation system on that airship.

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Torheit - August 19, 2016

Do tell us further details – or would have to kill us all afterwards?

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LeftAtTheCross - August 20, 2016

In truth I know nothing about the aircraft, sorry to disappoint. My own contribution is an ethernet switch designed specifically for airborne flight test instrumentation, part of the system of sensors etc which are deployed across the prototype aircraft and measure the airframe and various systems to allow the aircraft system engineers to gather and analyse the data to see if the craft is performing as expected or to detect unexpected events and behaviour. The switch has lots of custom design stuff that differentiates it from the cheapo Netgear switch you’d pick up in Maplins etc. So a small piece of a very large engineering development that catches the public eye only at milestones like first flight, or crashes. Otherwise we assume everything works and we don’t even notice the engineering feat that is air travel, we just take it for granted, but behind the scenes are hundreds and thousands of years of engineering work. It’s no surprise aircraft cost 10s of millions of euro apiece.

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WorldbyStorm - August 20, 2016

Fascinating -great project to be involved in

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Joe - August 24, 2016

It crashed on its second test flight. Hang your head in shame LATC.

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LeftAtTheCross - August 25, 2016

Indeed. I was wondering would anyone here notice 😊

All I’ll say is that the instrumentation system should at least give them the data from the airframe and various monitored systems to be able to figure out what happened. That’s what it’s there for. Although hitting a telegraph pole, as was mentioned in one of the online pieces, suggests plain old fashioned pilot error. Bummer. But at least there were no deaths. Not great news all the same for the company and their presumed need to attract further investment for the next stage of development beyond this initial prototype.

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Tomboktu - August 25, 2016

LATC to WBS. Please be advised we are changing our call sign to Space Cowboy. This is Space Cowboy, over.

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2. FergusD - August 19, 2016

A huge store of helium has been found in Tanzania so supply of He shouldn’t be a problem, but do these modern airships need to vent it to land? Wasteful. Could they compress it to reduce buoyancy?

The problem would be payload I would think, how doe sit compare to a jumbo jet? It is seriously slow so the cargo would have to be something there was no rush for in which case why not rail and/or sea?

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Gewerkschaftler - August 19, 2016

I suppose it’s the science-fiction fed utopian in me that would like to see these lumbering giants (fossil-fuel free) in the sky. The flight films were quite beautiful – everything in slow considered motion, like a large jellyfish.

Like something from a Miyazaki film.

The payload of this one is 10 metric tonnes and that of the planned, even larger, follower 50 metric tonnes. I believe that of a jumbo jet is about 80 tonnes. But at a cost of massive emissions in the upper atmosphere, which are a significant contributor to AGM.

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Jolly Red Giant - August 19, 2016

The future of long-distance travel is more likely to be through the use of maglev trains than air travel.

Maglev trains are capable of speeds of up to 3,000 KM an hour even with current technology.

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Torheit - August 19, 2016

Have you ever been on one? I haven’t had the good fortune yet.

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libby - August 21, 2016

Been on the one in France and the Tianjin to Beijing one. Brilliant experience as they have a speedometer in the carriage and you see what rate of knots you are travelling at.

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gendjinn - August 19, 2016

I admire your optimism. In the long run I’m thinking it’s feet (if we’re lucky) and Voyager 1 & 2.

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Michael Carley - August 22, 2016

3000km/h? Mach 2.5 at sea level? Really?

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gendjinn - August 22, 2016

What’s the time dilation at 1% of C?

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3. CMK - August 19, 2016

I think this is a ‘Sign of Hope’:

http://www.newstalk.com/Newspaper-sales-just-keep-falling

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Mike Atkinson - August 19, 2016

Given there isn’t a single centrist, let alone left-wing newspaper in Ireland, that’s no real loss. I’m surprised the “Irish Examiner”
lets Lousie O’Neill write a column, given its editor is always screaming about socialists and feminists….

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EWI - August 20, 2016

The Examiner is rabid. They’ve no end of time for reactionary right-wing fruitcakes.

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Starkadder - August 20, 2016

“The Evening Echo” is almost as bad-they have a long
history of always taking the side of the employers during any labour dispute. That’s when it bothers to pay attention to politics at all, rather than “Man falls over in Patrick Street” stories.

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4. sonofstan - August 19, 2016

Not that what he describes is a sign of hope, but the call to arms is, I guess. Funny, 40 years after hearing about clapton’s spew in Birmingham, and reading the letter in the NME that founder RaR, I’d never actually read what he said in full. Utterly vile.

http://thequietus.com/articles/20701-eric-clapton-racism-morrissey

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - August 19, 2016

Yeah, it was disgusting. Never liked the guy and never will.

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Starkadder - August 20, 2016

I agree. Stuff Clapton and stuff Morrissey. I always preferred
New Order* and Echo and the Bunnymen anyway.

* Who admittedly, had their share of dodgy political moments at the start of their career. But they put them aside-NO’s biggest hit was an anti-hooligan song celebrating the multi-ethinc English soccer team, “World in Motion”.

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5. roddy - August 20, 2016

A woman walked into a bank in England,pretended to be Gloria Hunniford and took the bank for 120k.Signs of hope or what?!

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WorldbyStorm - August 20, 2016

Where have you been Roddy the last week or so? We were worried

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6. roddy - August 20, 2016

I was “Nama coaching”!

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - August 20, 2016

😉

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RosencrantzisDead - August 21, 2016

I laughed at this. Also, the thought of Roddy and Jamie Bryson in a room together seems like sitcom material to me.

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Joe - August 21, 2016

Top stuff Roddy – Gloria and the Nama coaching. Made me laugh too. 🙂🙂

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7. Alibaba - August 20, 2016

My soon-to-be twenty year old daughter asked me to help her answer a question on an application form. The issue was whether she would call herself Miss, Ms, Mrs etc. OMG I thought. Mind you, the same person declined to attend anything that began with ‘Pol’ or ‘Mus’, meaning politics or museums, once she became a teenager.

So I tried to explain the rationale behind the question and suggested she might use ‘Ms’. To which she replied: ‘Borooooring, you are so twentieth century! What should I put down?’. ‘Oh sorry’, says I, ‘I thought you had a mind of your own’. She promptly created another box, wrote ‘Young wan’ and ticked it. The letter which subsequently issued contained her forename and surname, nothing else. It’s great to be wrong, uncharacteristically, of course.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - August 20, 2016

🙂 but it is tricky. Ms is 20th century. Where does that come from?

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Starkadder - August 20, 2016

My parents always told me it was very disrespectful to refer to
a married woman as “Miss”.

Hence my puzzlement on seeing contemporary reviews of the married Hannah Arendt’s work that praised “Miss Arendt’s book”.

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WorldbyStorm - August 21, 2016

Its weird

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botheredbarney - August 21, 2016

The Australian feminist Germaine Greer is often referred to as Miss Germaine Greer. How did they address the companion philosopher of Jean-Paul Sartre? Did they call her Madame Simone de Beauvoir?

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Joe - August 21, 2016

My beautiful mother is 90 and her memory is gone. She no longer recognizes her married name of N. Bean Uí M. but does agree that her name is N. Ní C. – her maiden name. She is happy, I am happy.

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WorldbyStorm - August 21, 2016

I had a similar approach like that with my late father in a slightly different way during his illness.

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oconnorlysaght - August 23, 2016

I recall that, when the portmanteau word/term ‘Ms’ was first being introduced, c1980 pr perhaps slightly earlier, G.Greer declared herself to be ‘Miss’ and proud of it.
As to Young Wan Alibaba, I doubt whether it will catch on.

Liked by 1 person

Michael Carley - August 23, 2016

Young Wan Alibaba could be a character in the next Star Wars movie.

Liked by 1 person

Alibaba - August 23, 2016

I guess my daughter was trying to rubbish the question and ensure that they wouldn’t give her any title. The point I wish to make is this: I find that teenagers nowadays have a sense of entitlement to their wants and a sense of annoyance at unwanted things. Not necessarily a bad thing, eh? But as one friend said to me: we raise our children to be independent and as soon as they show their independence, hackles get raised. Must try harder.

Liked by 1 person

8. ar scáth a chéile - August 21, 2016

Two acts of defiance in sports this week:

Celtic fans flying the Palestinian flag and Feyisa Lilesa gesturing in support of the Oromo as he took silver in the marathon.

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sonofstan - August 23, 2016

Celtic fans have raised £90k for Palestinean causes over the past week.

“The money raised will be divided between Medical Aid for Palestinians, a UK-based charity, and the Lajee Centre, a sports and arts project in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. The funds will be used to help launch a football team called Aida Celtic and buy kit.

The Lajee Centre posted a video thanking donors for “one of the biggest solidarity actions in European football history”. Scottish saltires will reportedly be hung from homes in the West Bank and Gaza during this evening’s match”

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9. sonofstan - August 23, 2016

RTE/ CSO reporting net inward migration to Ireland for the first time in 7 years. Hopeful, not just for reduction in emigration, but because in Ireland, immigration is reported as a hopeful sign. So unlike the homelife of our own dear Queen’s Realm

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CMK - August 23, 2016

Nett migration was + 3,100 so not of huge significance. At the same time nett migration of Irish nationals was -10,700 to April 2016.

Another economic crisis (can’t be ruled out over the coming years) and we could be back to nett emigration.

http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/newsevents/documents/pressreleases/prpop2016.pdf

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sonofstan - August 23, 2016

Not to fall into the ‘lifestyle’ argument of Noonan etc. but It’s probably inevitable that a fair number of -mostly – young people will leave most years, whatever the economic situation. I agree the ‘recovery’ is fragile, and I’m not cheerleading, just, from this side of the Irish sea, the idea that population growth might be a good thing is pleasingly novel, since I live among people who fear being ‘swamped’ constantly.

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Dr. X - August 25, 2016

In New Zealand, going abroad is a rite of passage for the young (or at least them as can affords it). It’s called the “OE”, for “overseas experience”.

It’s assumed in NZ, though that the youth will ultimately return,

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sonofstan - August 25, 2016

Not coincidentally, next to us in terms of the proportion of people born there who who don’t live there.

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