Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sverdlovsk officials discuss airship production with debut of exhibit

Regional officials have begun hearings on the future of blimp construction throughout the Urals following the opening of the Dresden Transport Museum's exhibit on the Ural-3 airship.

The Ural-3 prototype was constructed in Beryozovsky in the Sverdlovsk region in 1982 and took its first flight during in the month of May of that year. At the time, it was referred to as the "flying mattress" or "flying elephant" due to its large quilted appearance, which afforded it greater maneuverability over the cigar-shaped Ural-2 model produced during World War II, Oblastnaya Gazeta reports.

"But the originality of the [Ural-3's] design is not only agile handling," aeroship engineer David Bimbat said in a 1982 interview, according to Oblastnaya Gazeta. "Calculations show that the construction of the airship in the form of such a vertical wing is most expedient and economical. For vertical operation, this form provides a powerful lifting thrust. With horizontal - excellent aeronautic qualities that will overcome hundreds of kilometers. After all, this airship should combine in himself a reliable transport function and powerful crane. He will be able to deliver in remote areas large and heavy construction..."

Members of the Sverdlovsk region's Duma Defense Committee chaired by Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov have begun preliminary hearings on the feasibility of aerostatic aircraft, or blimps. Only two Russian firms, Augur of Moscow and the Dolgoprudnikov Design Office Automation, have expertise in creating blimps.

The region's duma has developed one working design for a cargo airship blimp.Further meetings will be held to determine whether or not the blimp can be retrofitted to serve as a military vehicle, Oblastnaya Gazeta reports.