Australian aeronautical firm Skylifter has come up with a better way to transport heavy equipment to remote areas that are beyond the reach of railways, roads and runways – a flying saucer.
This 150 meter-wide disc shaped balloon would be capable of carrying 150 tons, an increase of 700 percent from the maximum 20 tons able to be lifted by existing heavy transport helicopters. Its design provides for more stability – with its flatter profile, it acts less like a sail, making it less susceptible to winds during flights of up to 1240 miles. The disc also behaves as a parachute during descent, ensuring a gentle landing, while the low-hanging control pod keeps it from being too top-heavy.
Skylifter has already built a miniature remote-control version of the disc, named Betty. At three meters across, Betty is capable of carrying slightly more than half a kilo, but her primary function is to show how the design functions. The firm plans to build a full-sized prototype of the balloon over the next three years. If all goes well, before long, Skylifter's flying saucer could be delivering whole buildings to remote locations, or just acting as a flying hotel.
Could we possibly have personal, human-sized balloons made in this style--something that would allow all of us the individual freedom of flight? And what would they cost?
Scaling up from their current version wouldn't it have to be 559 miles across to carry 150 tons?
@bigburb ~ only if you assume linear scaling.
Twice the size is twice the height, twice the width, twice the depth. Geometrically, that means 8 times the volume and mass. In this case, the effective weight of that mass is negative, so ... double the breadth, eight times the lift.
If this can carry buildings then that's great,but can it carry my ex-wife?
Bespin cloud city.
Definately not suited for military transport contracts.
it COULD be used for military transport, actually. 1: it would be so high up that a sniper or tank probably would barely be able to reach it. 2: the projectiles, unless under continuous forward force, would be blown away by high turbulence. 3: we could just armor it. and 4: it would be perfect for bombings. I believe that this is great technology, though @jfsebastian, I doubt it could carry a whole city.
talk to mehhhh when it's done. All these ideas never come true.
I doubt we could put armor on it. It would weigh far too much. this would be an AWFUL idea transporting humans or military assist onto the battle field. It is slow. for bombing? what? and give the enemy 12 hours to move their equipment out of there? not to burst your balloons. it could be used for the military but not in battle field conditions.
I can see it now Richard Heene, Balloon boy's father, may have already developed one big enough to carry his house. We may soon hear Heene panicking on the news about a saucer shaped balloon carrying his house away with his family. A couple days later we find out that his family was really hiding out in the back woods.
On a serious note, a flying hotel sounds like it would be the best way to commercialize this saucer shaped balloon. The giant dirigibles of the early 20 century were more or less flying hotels in the sky. Another thought that it may be used for is a giant lifting device for launching small payloads into orbit.
Thanks, but i'll stick to my Zeppelin
First step to colonizing Venus: take to the clouds.
I figure a safe personal skylifter would measure 15m in diameter, using a conversion factor of .04 kg/m^3 from the proposed final design.
I estimated a total load of 135 kg, including a guy my weight plus harness, chair and other supporting structures and hardware.
Cost: One MILLION dollars.
Every year or so there is an article on the rebirth of the blimp or other than lighter than air craft. Dollars to donuts you could come up with at least 20 articles on the subject from the last 50 years that have never come to pass.
Military - worthless.
Contruction - too exspensive.
Commercial "hotel" - the super-rich would could afford it would demand such aminities that they would need almost the entire payload, which, oddly enough, would likely require prices to be to high for the super-rich to pay for (compared to a tricked out personal jet, for example).
This vehicle will be unstable in horizontal flight.
this is wierd and looks very expensive, It would be great for military transport because it could pick up a bunker and drop it were it was needed. They need find a way to make it cheap
ok...first thought...who is going to insure this?
especially when it can drop a 150 ton building over a residential neighborhood on the way out to remote areas....not sure many companies are going to want that kind of liability or exposure. Might be easier to build a new building.