The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

An antipodean airship that is to be navigated throughout Aotearoa / New Zealand, plotting new topographical charts and establishing trigonometry stations on the way, whilst warding off pirates, sky krakens (ranginui taniwha), and picking up side jobs along the way, including urgent diplomatic missions, trade negotiations, and the odd moonshine run.



The Dirigible, Airship Halberg (ZE-138)

The vessel was built and is owned by Sir Tory Eversham, president of the Eversham Airship Company, of Portsmouth, England. Her boilerplate lists her home port as Portsmouth, England. She is  a Drakkar-class airship.

Propulsion
Powered primarily by twin 330MW aft-mounted lateral outboard steam turbines, she also has two 185MW steam turbines mounted amidships that are gimbal-mounted and can rotate 270° through two planes, providing additional lift when needed, or additional trim during high winds. A further two 170MW steam turbines are located on the mast, which have a single plane gimbal and provide primary trim, keeping the vessel on an even keel at all times. The airship cruises at 50mph, and has a maximum speed of 70mph.

Lift
Other than the midships-mounted steam engines, the vessel maintains buoyancy through expeditious use of  construction materials. The framework of the vessel is all tubular throughout, with each section being fully airtight and filled with lighter-than-air hydrium, a newly discovered gas which produces upwards of 5oz of lifting force per cubic foot! (Helium only gives just over 1oz of lift per cubic foot at sea level. Hydrogen is even less). The tubular framework of the vessel is fed hydrium through a lattice of thin copper pipes that can be used to feed or bleed hydrium to or from a particular section of the ship, providing buoyancy as and where needed. This is a closed system, with pressurized cannisters of the non-flammable hydrium gas located throughout the airship, so venting the gas to the atmosphere and replenishing hydrium stocks is not necessary. Unladen, the vessel can maintain buoyancy consistently at any altitude, and has an non-powered climb rate of 500 feet per minute, which can be increased to close to 600 feet per minute with the use of the midships steam turbines. The sink rate is equivalent to the climb rate, as the midships steam turbines can be rotated to provide downwards propulsion.

Specifications

Designation

ZE138

 

Name

Airship Halberg

 

Class

Drakkar

 
     

LOA

656

ft

Beam

472

ft

Height

780

ft

GRT

3096.32

cu ft

NRT

2064.21

cu ft

Useful Load

182000

lb

     

Range

5000

mi

Max Speed

70

mph

Cruise Speed

50

mph

 


The Mission of the Airship Halberg

Our mission, as conferred by Her Majesty, in consultation with both the Governor of the colonists, and with the Rangatira of the United Tribes of Aotearoa (UToA), is to thoroughly travel the length and breadth of the antipodean islands of Aotearoa / New Zealand, plotting new topographical charts and establishing trigonometry stations at vantage points along the way that are not of cultural significance to iwi, but that can serve as fixed triangulation points.

 


The Crew of the Airship Halberg

* MASTER * (Payer of the bills and salaries)
The airship is on permanent loan to Sir Tory's nephew, Sir Ernest Roebuck III, KCB, FRGS, whom you may know of as Augur, the current Surveyor-General of Aotearoa / New Zealand.


* CAPTAIN * (Pilots the vessel)
Position currently vacant.

* ENGINEER * (Keeps us aloft)
Position currently vacant.

* NAVIGATOR * (Knows where we are heading)
Although Augur is the master of the airship, he is a gentleman of science, a cartographer and geographer, and not a qualified airship captain. He is, however, suitably qualified as a navigator.


* KAIARAHI TIKANGA MAORI * (Keeps us from foundering on the rocks of cultural ignorance)
Position currently vacant.


* METEOROLOGIST * (Knows where we will go)
Position currently vacant.

* COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER * (Keeps us up-to-date)
Position currently vacant.

* MECHANIC * (Fixes things that break down)
Position currently vacant.

* COOK * (Keeps us alive)
Position currently vacant.

* PHYSICIAN * (Keeps us alive after the cook's ministrations)
Lady Emma Darry

* LABOURERS * (Help out where needed)
All positions currently vacant.

 

For recruiting details, please see this letter, sent to the League of Airship Captains.

 

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Tags: Airship_Halberg, Character_Development, antipodes

Views: 1229

Replies to This Discussion

The Airship Halberg now also has a Facebook page, a place for announcements from, (and cavorting with), the crew.
Uncle Tory has wired me, to let me know that the vessel has lifted off from the Eversham Airship Company's hangers in Portsmouth. He still has not replied to my requests for information about the airship, including size, construction, or any other details. What do you think the Airship Halberg is going to look like when it arrives?
Uncle Tory has wired me, to let me know that the vessel has lifted off from the Eversham Airship Company's docks in Portsmouth. He still has not
replied to my requests for information about the airship, including
size, construction, or any other details. What do you think the Airship
Halberg is going to look like when it arrives?
Another telegraph has arrived from uncle Tory. This time he has informed me that the Airship Halberg should arrive in Auckland within approximately 10 days. To cover a distance of over 11,000 miles from Portsmouth, the vessel must be moving mighty fast! I am eager to see what she can do. We're going to need at least a captain to pilot the airship, and an aeronautical engineer to keep us aloft.
Another telegraph has arrived from uncle Tory. This time he has informed me that the Airship Halberg should arrive in Auckland within approximately
10 days. To cover a distance of over 11,000 miles from Portsmouth, the
vessel must be moving mighty fast! I am eager to see what she can do.
We're going to need at least a captain to pilot the airship, and an
aeronautical engineer to keep us aloft.

To be moving that fast, she must have a massive steam engine and boiler for propulsion. And to lift all that weight of the engine alone there must be a huge inflated superstructure. The Halberg is clearly going to be a mighty airship, probably one of the biggest in the antipodes. Uncle Tory never does things by halves! I just hope that she will be able to descend sufficiently to lower our crew and equipment whenever we need to build a trig station.

I have received a telegram from a Mr Rajiv Gidwani, an employee of the Eversham Airship Company's office in Bomby, India, asking for a sum of £32 to be transferred into his personal account forthwith as payment for refueling and resupplying the Airship Halberg when it arrives in Bombay. I fear that our airship may be waylaid (or worse) if I do not pay, so I am wiring the money and have sent a telegram to Uncle Tory to ensure that this is common practice.
I have received a telegram from a Mr Rajiv Gidwani, an employee of the Eversham Airship Company's office in Bomby, India, asking for a sum of
£32 to be transferred into his personal account forthwith as payment for
refueling and resupplying the Airship Halberg when it arrives in
Bombay. I fear that our airship may be waylaid (or worse) if I do not
pay, so I am wiring the money and have sent a telegram to Uncle Tory to
ensure that this is common practice.

Welcome to the League Sir

 

Thank you Captain Malcolm. If you are ever down our way, do call in to the offices of the Royal Cartographic Society, Aotearoa. We are located in Queen Street, Auckland. There is a substantial mooring mast nearby where you can park your dirigible freely for up to 24 hours. If you let me know in advance of your arrival, I can have a representative meet you to arrange resupplying of your vessel and transport from the mooring tower to our offices.
I have received another telegram from Mr Gidwani in India. He tells me that the Airship Halberg has arrived in Bombay. There was an encounter with a smaller airship somewhere over Persia. Whether the aggressor was Persian or Imperial Russian the crew could not say, as there have been a great many battles in that area of late. The temporary crew were able to successfully repel the attack, although not without some minor damage. The captain responsible for delivering the Halberg safely to Auckland will be covering the cost of the repairs himself. They will try to get the repairs completed during the 24 hour layover in Bombay.
I have received another telegram from a Mr Gidwani in India. He tells me that the Airship Halberg has arrived in Bombay. There was an encounter
with a smaller airship somewhere over Persia. Whether the aggressor was
Persian or Imperial Russian the crew could not say, as there have been a
great many battles in that area of late. The te...mporary
crew were able to successfully repel the attack, although not without
some minor damage. The captain responsible for delivering the Halberg
safely to Auckland will be covering the cost of the repairs himself.
They will try to get the repairs completed during the 24 hour layover in
Bombay.

I have received a surface-mail letter from my uncle Tory, containing the details of the Airship Halberg! She looks like a magnificent vessel indeed!  Clearly, the reason that uncle Tory wasn't responding to my prior telegrams asking for details is that he had already posted them to me. It was definitely worth the wait.

I have received a surface-mail letter from my uncle Tory, containing the details of the Airship Halberg! She looks like a magnificent vessel
indeed!

Clearly, the reason that uncle Tory wasn't responding to my prior telegrams asking for details is that he had already posted them
to me. It was definitely worth the wait.
Captain James Stretton of Bristol, England, the temporary master of the Airship Halberg, has sent me a telegram to say that the repairs could not be fully completed in Bombay, but the vessel is due to continue her journey in an hour. He assures me that the Halberg is airworthy and that the damage yet to be repaired is purely cosmetic. I have replied in the affirmative to continue the journey as is, and not to worry about seeking further repairs when they arrive in Darwin, Australia. Once they get her safely to Auckland, we shall see what needs doing.
Captain James Stretton of Bristol, England, the temporary master of the Airship Halberg, has sent me a telegram to say that the repairs could not be fully completed in Bombay, but the vessel is due to continue her journey in an hour. He assures me that the Halberg is airworthy and that the damage yet to be repaired is purely cosmetic. I have replied in the affirmative to continue the journey as is, and not to worry about seeking further repairs when they arrive in Darwin, Australia. Once they get her safely to Auckland, we shall see what needs doing.
Another telegram has arrived from Mr Gidwani in India. He is invoicing me £408 for repairs for the Airship Halberg. I am starting to wonder about this fellow. I fear he may have also charged Capt. Stretton for those self same repairs. I have forwarded the invoice to Stretton, as he is contractually obligated to pay for all damage to the vessel while it is being delivered to us.
While I was at the splendid picnic luncheon with The Auckland Steampunk Association, a telegram arrived from Captain James Stretton, on board the Airship Halberg (seems they had a teletype machine of some sort installed in Bombay along with whatever repairs were accomplished). The Captain tells me that the Airship Halberg has departed from Bombay on the second leg of her journey, and is heading into some turbulent weather off the Bay of Bengal.

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