US Navy K ship free ballooning
The few extra risks involved in long range flying can be more than offset by high quality engineering and detailed careful planning.
Every possible extra risk factor needs to be considered. One of the main additional risks, is that of a pilot falling asleep at the controls and that will be covered by installing a radio altimeter with a loud audio alarm. The Skyship will be flown by 3 very experienced captains, on a 2 hrs on duty and 4 hours off basis.
One big advantage of airships, is that if for some extremely unlikely reason both the engines did stop, then it is possible to free balloon for many hours, according to conditions and available ballast (Fuel), before a gentle controlled ditching and airships tend to float.
24hr tracking will be available through the Argos system: http://adventure.cls.fr/
DIESEL ENGINE CONVERSION
CENTURION® engines are kerosene piston aircraft engines for General Aviation certified according to the requirements of FAA and EASA. The CENTURION® 2.0 provides 135 HP and the CENTURION® 4.0 offers power stages between 280 HP and 350 HP depending on the airframe. Both engine types can be used as retrofit engines as well as in production aircraft. CENTURION® engines are state-of-the-art, based on existing exceptionally reliable automotive engine components built by the millions, and offer the following benefits:
Reliability and safety thanks to Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
Lower operating costs due to lower fuel consumption and lower fuel price
Longer range due to lower fuel consumption
Ease of maintenance and simple operational handling
Electronic data logging
From the point of view of a circumnavigation the three other big advantages of a Centurion engine conversion, not mentioned by Thierlert are:
1/ Jet A1 fuel is easy to obtain overseas, but the Avgas required for Porsche or Lycoming engines is not.
2/ Jet A1 (Kerosene) is much less flammable than Avgas, which improves safety.
3/ The change to more powerful 350hp from 250hp engines improves performance.
One other big advantages of the Centurion 4.0 is that it uses about the same amount of oil as a new car engine, so there is no need to be concerned about topping up the oil like the pilot opposite.
ZOCHE DIESEL ENGINES: http://www.zoche.de/
The 300 hp Zoche engine does seem to match the Lycoming 300hp installation in the Skyship 600L, but they are not yet fully certified.
CAR DIESEL USE: The Skyship 600B is certified for flight on one engine, so one of the two Porsche engines could be converted to an automotive diesel of about 300hp with an external cooling system under the gondola. This is the option under consideration at present.