Polymath A (mostly) technical weblog for Archivale.com

December 5, 2009

Build Your Own Gas Blimp – really!

Filed under: Aeronautics,Lighter than Air — piolenc @ 4:21 pm

Building Small Gas Blimps


by Robert (“Rex”) Rechs

Rex is a long-time member of the Association of Balloon and Airship Constructors (ABAC), a contributor to Aerostation magazine and an experienced LTA builder, rigger and pilot. This is in addition to his lifelong work in every phase of aviation as both pilot and mechanic. There is probably not another individual on the planet who could have put together such a complex and comprehensive book project.  First published in the late 70’s and extensively revised in 1997, this book was published and promoted exclusively by its author until recently, when he kindly offered the publishing rights to ABAC (copyright remains with the author and ABAC’s use is nonexclusive; for permissions, contact the author directly at r.recks@juno.com).  The book includes detailed lists of materials, parts and suppliers. It is extensively illustrated.

Building a blimp – any manned aircraft, for that matter – is a non-trivial undertaking. What is remarkable about this book is that it actually puts the task within the reach of a determined and patient amateur builder.

ABAC’s edition has essentially the same contents as the 1997 revision. Changes made by ABAC are primarily cosmetic: we’ve numbered the pages, added a table of contents and corrected some typographical errors. The new edition is re-published through CreateSpace, an Amazon affiliate. Only soft covers are available.


Section Title Page
Foreword 1
Preface 2
Outline. 3
Glossary 4
Blimp History 6
Design Criteria 7
Ultralights 9
Standard Type Certification 10
Standard Sizes 11
Materials 13
Workmanship 16
Ground Support 22
Masts 29
Hangars 43
Gondola/Airframe 48
Instruments 70
Instruments &
Engines 82
Ducted Fans 86
2-Stroke Engines—-Suppliers 88
4-Stroke Engines—-Suppliers 89
Propellers—-Suppliers 90
Valves and Pressure System 91
Fins 102
Envelopes 125
Fabric & Webbing—-Suppliers 138
Assembly Procedure 145
Bibliography 153
Airship Fin & Rudder Loads
(BuAer LTA Design Memorandum
No. 169)
Gas Airship Parts—-Suppliers 160
Catalog Section. 161
Airship Technical Notes. 185

Soft cover – price: $40 (US currency).


Order on-line

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