The Use of Helium for Aircraft Purposes

    Abstract

    SHORTLY after the commencement of the war it became evident that if helium were available in sufficient quantities to replace hydrogen in naval and military airships, the losses in life and equipment arising from the use of hydrogen would be enormously lessened. Helium, as is known, is most suitable as a filling for airship envelopes, in that it is non-inflammable and non-explosive, and, if desired, the engines may be placed within the envelope. By its use it is also possible to secure additional buoyancy by heating the gas (electrically or otherwise), and this fact might possibly lead to considerable modifications in the technique of airship manœuvres and navigation. The loss of gas from diffusion through the envelope is also less with helium than with hydrogen, but, on the other hand, the lifting power of helium is about 10 per cent, less than that of hydrogen.

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    The Use of Helium for Aircraft Purposes . Nature 102, 487–488 (1919). https://doi.org/10.1038/102487b0

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