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dirigible balloon:

see airshipairship,
an aircraft that consists of a cigar-shaped gas bag, or envelope, filled with a lighter-than-air gas to provide lift, a propulsion system, a steering mechanism, and a gondola accommodating passengers, crew, and cargo.
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a controlled lighter-than-air craft (aerostat). The main parts of a dirigible are the long gas-filled body (ordinarily filled with hydrogen or helium), which is blunt in the nose section and pointed at the tail for better streamlining; the empennage, which consists of horizontal and vertical crossed fixed surfaces (stabilizers and fins) and movable horizontal vanes for vertical and horizontal control; and one or more gondolas for housing the crew, passengers, motors, and equipment.

A distinction is made among nonrigid, semirigid, and rigid dirigibles. In the nonrigid and semirigid systems (Figures 1 and 2, respectively), the cloth body of the dirigible also serves as an envelope for the gas. Semirigid dirigibles have a metal truss in their lower part to prevent deformation of the envelope. In nonrigid and semirigid dirigibles the outer shape is retained by excess gas pressure, which is constantly maintained by ballonets into which air is forced. In rigid dirigibles (Figure 3), the shape is usually maintained by a metal frame; the gas is contained within the metal frame in sacks made of

Figure 1. Diagram of a nonrigid dirigible: (1) body envelope, (2) upper and lower stabilizers, (3) elevator, (4) side stabilizer, (5) rudder, (6) towlines for anchoring and moving dirigible on land, (7) pneumatic shock absorbers, (8) propeller-motor assembly, (9) gondola, (10) gondola guy ropes, (11) air-filled ballonet to maintain constant outer shape of body envelope during ascent, descent, and flight (the boundary of the volume occupied by the ballonet is indicated by the dotted line)

Figure 2. Diagram of a semirigid dirigible: (1) nose reinforcing, (2) bands, (3) outer envelope, (4) internal suspension cables, (5) diaphragm (partition) dividing the volume filled with gas or air into sections, (6) observation window, (7) side stabilizer, (8) upper and lower stabilizers, (9) elevator, (10) rudder, (11) motor gondolas, (12) fin mount, (13) gasoline tanks, (14) ballonets, (15) passenger gondola, (16) shock absorber

Figure 3. Diagram of a rigid dirigible: (1) gas shafts to draw off gas released Through valves, (2) into the atmosphere, (2) gas valves, (3) rings, (4) stringers, (5) outer envelope, (6) main control gondola, (7) passenge- decks, (8) crew quarters, (9) side motor gondola, (10) upper and lower stabilizers, (11) side stabilizer, (12) rudder, (13) elevators

gas-impermeable material. Nonrigid dirigibles vary in volume from 1,000 to 7,000 cu m; semirigid dirigibles, from 8,000 to 35,000 cu m. Rigid dirigibles may be as large as 200,000 cu m. The speed of a dirigible usually does not exceed 100-135 km/hr.

Dirigibles have been used for communications and for supplying remote, inaccessible regions, for reconnaissance and convoying ships at sea, and to search for submarines and minefields.


(aerospace engineering)
A lighter-than-air craft equipped with means of propelling and steering for controlled flight.


A large, steerable, self-propelled, and lighter-than-aircraft. Also called an airship
References in periodicals archive ?
where her flammable hydrogen gas was replaced with helium, making the dirigible safer, but decreasing her payload and range.
This fascination was shared by the United States military after witnessing the successful use of the dirigibles by Germany and France in World War I.
The dirigibles are expected to cut transportation time for these types of goods by one-tenth.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran is due to display amphibious-landing planes and dirigibles in the international aviation industries exhibition on Kish Island, in the Persian Gulf, on November 18.
But fatal crashes - the R101 went down in France in 1930 - and the coming war changed priorities and dirigibles were ditched.
a German-based company that plans to operate a fleet of giant cargo-carrying dirigibles and other lighter-than-air logistics products.
In it, dirigibles and early TVs, Clipper ships and double-decker prop planes, '40s-era cars and quill pens all combine to give the film a slightly disorienting, if pleasing alternate-world feel.
Not only might it point out that a Cessna is a type of small plane, it might also ask whether it should expand the ongoing search to include other small planes, perhaps helicopters-even dirigibles.
He watched the green stand of mountains build before him, the densening of ditch growth, the clear, silver-shrouded clouds moored to the earth by straight and thin strands of autumn smoke, like dirigibles .
The first examines the cultural "dreams and mythology" that led to flight while part two looks at the "theory and practice" behind the development of balloons, dirigibles, and heavier-than-air craft.
First published in 1937, this is the early history of zeppelins and other dirigibles as told by Lehmann, the Commander of the ill-fated Hindenburg.
Chimerical boxers, hydraulic football players, androgynous senators, lugubrious dancers, shipwrecked compasses, thermal investors, tragic tigers, benevolent assassins, sadistic firemen, clinical corpses, somnambulant astronomers, identical whores, inhospitable hospitals, cardiac weightlifters, fatherless dirigibles, mammalian matadors, prostatic poolplayers, heraldic Maximilian, Juarez nonplussed, barbaric Gringos.