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Colosseum
Post subject: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 5:22 am
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I finally got around to redrawing my old K class blimp(which was actually rather pathetic looking back, but I guess I can say I am the pioneer of LTA on Shipbucket. :P).

To start, the ZNP-K of World War II with the "early" control car model. Note the forward-firing .50-caliber machine gun on its own level above the flight deck. No radar or external hardpoints for bombs and depth charges had been added yet.

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Next, the ZNP-K of World War II, this time with the "late" model control car. The forward-firing .50-caliber MG has been retained. A radar set was added below the engines and hardpoints for bombs appear. Note also the revised aft section of the control car with "clamshell" doors opening to the rear. This replaced a single door opening to starboard in the aft section of the car.

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Next, the K-120 as an experimental rescue airship.

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Next, the ZP3K. The Navy changed the designations twice during the early part of the Cold War - airships that were once ZNP-K became ZPK. The ZP3K is a modification of the ZNP-K.

Note the entirely rebuilt aft section, with a towed sonar and a powerful winch for recovering seawater ballast while underway (the small bag hanging from the aftmost overhang). The forward .50-caliber MG deck has been plated over.

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Finally, the ZP4K or ZSG-4. This was an entirely new design from Goodyear which only resembled the previous K class airships. The envelope size was increased (accounting for about 15 feet of additional length over the ZP3K). The control car was redesigned. New engines were fitted (note their streamlined nature). The aft section featured the towing sonar and winch from the ZP3K models, and also added a bubble window in the rear. Provisions to refuel at sea were fitted ahead of the car (see the different devices suspended from the envelope).

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Next, the follow-on type ZP5K. This was also an entirely new design and really bears no resemblance to the previous K ships. Note the control car which is very similar to that of the N class. There are aft clam shell doors and a stowed towing sonar below the rear section. This airship was designed for long duration anti-submarine patrols. Most distinctive part is the inverted Y-shaped control surfaces, contrasting with the previous cruciform (+) and later X configurations.

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I chose not to draw panel lines on each control car, because under the Shipbucket Golden Rule, if you can't see it from the distance from which the real thing would appear the same size as the drawing, then it should not be depicted.

Also, here's the original for comparison. Note that "K-1" was actually a prototype design for the later K-ships, so depicting "K-1" as if it was indicative of the class is entirely incorrect. This should hopefully demonstrate the value of careful research. Furthermore, it showcases typical late and post-war control car features, such as a towed sonar and external depth charges... don't be an amateur like I was back in 2008. ;)

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acelanceloet
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 6:55 am
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very nice, I would only like to see the years on the drawings, if possible. also, the black lines at the 'nose', are you sure they are that visible that they should be black? (I suppose they are not 90 degree turns, or are there some sort of fins on it there?)

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eswube
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 8:01 am
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Fantastic work! I hope to see more blimps in the future! :)


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Thiel
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 8:21 am
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Those are strakes. I'm not quite sure what they are there fore, but I'd guess it's to strengthen the nose section for ground handling and maybe tower collisions.

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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 9:14 am
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Nice work!

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bezobrazov
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 11:08 am
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Thiel is right. Those lines are indeed aluminum bars used to stiffen and shape the prow of the blimp, since it lacked a rigid frame structure like the Zeppelins. There was also a very practical notion to strengthen the nose section in particular: in accordance with USN practice, blimps continued the time-honored fashion of mooring at mooring masts either ashore or fitted to ships, such as the balloon mothership USS Topeka.

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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 1:47 pm
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acelanceloet wrote:
very nice, I would only like to see the years on the drawings, if possible.
--snip--

See below...
Quote:
also, the black lines at the 'nose', are you sure they are that visible that they should be black? (I suppose they are not 90 degree turns, or are there some sort of fins on it there?)
Bezo's summary is correct and I attach this photo for further evidence that I'm not a total idiot. ;)

[ img ]

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acelanceloet
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 1:53 pm
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that explains it. thanks for clarifying.

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jabba
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 2:04 pm
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Looking good! I don't know if these are any help...
http://battleblimps.com/direct.html
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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: K class blimpsPosted: March 25th, 2013, 2:24 pm
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So, simply because the above was bothering me last night, I've gone back and reclassified each drawing to (try) and represent a single ship where possible. With a little bit of additional research this WAS possible. See OP. I've also added the K-120 as an experimental rescue airship in September, 1944. I much prefer this method as it's what I normally do and it actually wasn't (at all) a stretch to classify each drawing as a specific airship contrary to what I had said not half an hour ago.

K-120:

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