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K-01 Learning from the past: Using historical material to help establish ground handling procedures for large airships

Abstract
All the airships operating in the world today use ground handling
techniques based on those developed by Goodyear for the US
Navy Second World War blimps. These techniques have evolved
further in the intervening years since the last US Navy blimp
programme ended in the early 1960's. The procedures are now
proven to be safe and reliable in the field and they are well
understood and approved by the current regulatory aviation
authorities. However these ground handling techniques, which
rely on the small blimps operating as if they were ungainly fixedwing
aircraft, cannot simply be scaled up to suit the next
generation of large airships currently being planned as solutions
to today’s transport problems. This paper will examine the
reasons why this is so and will look at ways of solving this
problem based on methods tried and tested by previous
generations of airships.

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