Water model tests for semirigid airships

Tuckerman, L B

The design of complicated structures often presents problems of extreme difficulty which are frequently insoluble. In many cases, however, the solution can be obtained by tests on suitable models. These model tests are becoming so important a part of the design of new engineering structures that their theory has become a necessary part of an engineer's knowledge. For balloons and airships water models are used. These are models about 1/30 the size of the airship hung upside down and filled with water under pressure. The theory shows that the stresses in such a model are the same as in the actual airship. In the design of the Army Semirigid Airship RS-1 no satisfactory way was found to calculate the stresses in the keel due to the changing shape of the bag. For this purpose a water model with a flexible keel was built and tested. This report gives the theory of the design, construction, and testing of such a water model.

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