The employment of airships for the transport of passengers

Umberto Nobile
naca-tn-63
Aug 1921


It was a conclusion of this detailed study of the practicality of using airships for carrying passengers that, although slow, airships are capable of carrying useful loads over long distances. However, it is noted that there is a certain limit to the advantages of large cubature. Beyond a certain point, the maximum altitude of the airship goes on decreasing, in spite of the fact that the range of action in the horizontal plane and the useful load go on increasing. The possibility of rapid climb is an essential factor of security in aerial navigation in the case of storms, as is velocity. To rise above and run ahead of storms are ways of avoiding them. However, high altitude and high speed are antithetical. This investigation concluded that a maximum velocity of 120 km/h is as far as we ought to go. This figure can only be exceeded by excessive reduction of the altitude of ceiling, range of flight, and useful load. The essential requisites of a public transport service are discussed, as are flight security, regularity of service, competition with other forms of passenger transportation, and the choice between rigid and semi-rigid airships.

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