Nope. Can't do it. If you think so, then you believe you can can shoot and kill a whale with a .22
It's just about the same.
There are accounts of "Goodyear blimps" landing after a day of flying; the guys get inside the envelope and see little stars shining through.......bullet holes. (yes, some idiots are always trying to plug a blimp)...why didn't the blimp come down? Because the pressure inside is to little to force the helium out, and because the blimp is to large.
During World War I, giant Zeppelins bombing London were strafed with machine guns down their entire 700' lengths from airplanes flying overhead. Until the introduction of tracer rounds which would set the hydrogen gas on fire......several stricken airships simply flew back over the English Channel and set down gradually onto the ground. They had to be destroyed afterwards by their crews.
Nope. Can't just simply "shoot it down". Why not?
Mostly because its just to damn big. Thousands of holes caused by ground fire might make it leak helium; but it has so much volume that it doesn't fall out of the sky. It flies on, miles from the intitial point of damage. If it is carrying sufficient ballast which can be jetisoned, it does that and keeps on operating despite the damage.
Second reason is that the helium is in multiple cells, (unlike a blimp, which is a single large balloon). Damage to a single cell, or even several, is unlikely to be enough to bring the airship down.,
A third reason is one that is never thought of......which is that the helium inside that is holding the airship up....only wants to go straight up. Holes in the sides of an airship caused by ground fire are completely not relevant. The helium will not travel DOWNWARDS toward a hole to leak out.
Missiles? Unlike an airplane, an airship does not rely upon engines to keep it in the air. It can lose engines completely; it will still fly.
There are many reasons why airships are well protected against attacks by missiles; we'll discuss them at a later time.
For now, simply consider the size of the airship compared to the lethal radius of a missile warhead. It's like trying to blow up a football stadium with a hand grenade. Or, like trying to kill that whale with a .22
Nope. Can't be done. You cannot just "shoot down" a proper airship.
And that is one reason why the Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force....all need AIRSHIPS!
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