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DeKa

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 10 Member Since: 08/10/14

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Oct 18 14 1:33 PM

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Hi,
a long time ago I got interested in the airships by Schütte-Lanz and collected all books I could find or afford about these airships. I had already some of the literature well known to almost every airship enthusiast but there were to my surpise some more recent publications about SL since the year 2000.
However the wish for creating a model of a SL airship came up and I decided to start with the SL 20, the first of the type f ships by SL. The type f was the last military design by SL that got actually built in WW1.

As I'm not so skilled in physical modelleing but 3D computer modelleing I decided to do the SL20 model with the computer - actually using the wonderful software Blender.

The most challenging part of almost any SL airship is the reference material. There are only very few pictures and even less drawings. Actually there is only one serious source of more or less accurate drawings I know of: Johann Schütte's own book that documents his work (J. Schütte, 1926) and his inheritance (located at the archive of the Aeronauticum in Nordholz, Germany).

The 3D model took its start at the main hull of the ship:

image

Next came the engine gondolas for which I had quite accurate drawing available (from above source). SL20 had some special details in design of the gondolas: the basic design was identically for all five gondolas - except the starboard and port gondolas (including the exhaust system and propellers) were mirrored left/right while the bow gondola had a 'port' design (recognizable by the small oil cooler on its starboard side on some photographs).
In addition the bow and the two stern gondolas had handrails, while the mid-ship gondolas did not (of course).

Here a screenshot of the bow gondola:

image

The control car required some more detailed recherche. The drawings I had were very detailed but in this case you cannot take all details only from a 3-view drawing. In addition the different drawings I had available contained some unclear information.
The 3D model was kind of compromize and "qualified guess" based on the drawings and photographs.

Here is a work in progress version of the control car - including already most of the windows:

image

There is still a lot of work to do but from time to time during modelling I generate renderings of the 3D model, just to see how it looks in high quality graphics.
Here are some impressions of the still incomplete and unpainted 3D model:

imageimageimage

Just for fun I also created a mixed scene of the unpainted 3D model and a real cloud view. I think the arrangement speaks for itself. image

image

To be continued.....


Dietmar
 

Last Edited By: DeKa Oct 20 14 11:19 AM. Edited 5 times

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DeKa

Airship Crew Chief

Posts: 10 Member Since:08/10/14

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Dec 21 15 1:56 PM

Hi,
I found some time to continue the SL 20.
It took me a while to understand the principle of the suspension of the SL engine gondolas. They are not mounted rigid but just hang on wires with only a minimum of struts ensuring the right distance from the hull.

The most valuable information came - again - from Johann Schütte's book. However the drawings contain some inconsistencies and are not very accurate regarding the wiring.  So I added a lot of my engineering knowledge to actually fill the gaps. image

Just a few aspects: the side engine gondolas actually hang from the sides of the hull. There is (must have been) three sets of wires:
1. holding the gondola's weight. They are mounted on the longitudinal "equator" girder and that next beneath it. The main ring to that they are attached to has a special internal wiring to lead the forces around the top of the adjacing gas cells.
2. holding the longitudinal forces, mainly the thrust of the propellers. They are going to the rear ending at the same longitudinal girders the gondolas are hanging from. A set of wires to the front sets the whole wiring under tension eliminating any longitudinal movement.
2. holding lateral forces. Main lateral forces are lead through a single strut (on earlier SL ships there were two struts). Possible moments around the vertical axis are prohibited by a set of diagonal wires building a triangle between the gondola and the hull.

Interestingly the wiring for vertical forces is connected at some points with the longitudinal wiring to act as stand-offs for the rear wiring holding it away from the propeller. Very nice detail! image

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After studying these design features now for a while I'm more and more impressed by how genius these detail solutions were.


Regards,
Dietmar


 

Last Edited By: DeKa Dec 21 15 2:46 PM. Edited 3 times.

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