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Blimp PRT

Personal Rapid Transit of Blimp-cars attached to elevated cables.
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[edited: Added benefits section at end] Aerodynamicly shaped blimp cars filled with eather helium, hot air, or a hydrogen/nitrogen mixture, rapidly advance at 150-200 kmph or more, tied to elevated cables. The cables are themselves held up in (relative) place, by static blimps, connected to earth.

The PRT system is run automatically by a failproof MAS distributed system, which allows for highest speeds possible, with best comfort and safety.

This way we can get from location to location in relatively short distances (of 1-30 km) at "aircraft speed" but without congestion.

The blimp cars could carry bicycles or maybe even motorcycles, so that once you "land" at the station, you can easily continue your journy to wherever needed.

The blimps could be made of "cells" so that a terrorist attack would only do minor damage, and the cables could be redundant systems, for the same reason. It would be an extremely safe and fast transportation system.

Benefits: Fast to erect, no air rights, fast and safe (no wait - immediate ride), wildlife friendly (no ecology barriers, frees land for trees).

pashute, Nov 03 2008

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       Um... I'm not convinced. Can you really get this system anywhere near 200kph (according to wikipedia a practical max speed of a blimp is 130-160kph and this probably takes a lot of accelerating). How do you get the cars to accelerate without taking up enormous lengths of the elevated cable?   

       What if you replaced the blimp cars with small, lightweight cars, and just increased the size of the supporting static blimps until the whole system is neutrally buoyant again, basically making a blimp-supported elevated railway. That would allow better aerodynamics, faster speeds and faster acceleration.
MadnessInMyMethod, Nov 03 2008
  

       (answer to [madness...]: The blimpcars would be propelled via the cable which could be:   

       eather static and used as a "rail" with wheels or some other sort of traction scheme advancing the cars, and a clutch to allow for changing cables for direction,   

       or a dynamic cable similar to cable cars (in which case the clutch would be needed for acceleration/deceleration)   

       So its not at all like a disconnected up-in-air blimp, which needs much more energy to propel itself. On the other hand, you may be correct about aerodynamics. Maybe according to the load you could change the size of the blimpcar LTA part, by compressing the cover.
pashute, Nov 03 2008
  

       Note that a system like this could be extremely rapid to set up, very uncostly (as opposed to roads, no bulldozers and landfill), faster, safer, greener (no ecological barriers, no running over coyotes or into kangaroos at night) and would free a lot of land for trees and plants.   

       It would be much cheaper than railways, because no need for metal.
pashute, Nov 03 2008
  
      
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