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A normal aeroplane is fitted with doors on the bottom like bomb doors on a bomber. The doors open, and an inflatable flotation/planing hull pops out and is inflated by high pressure gas supplies. Now the aeroplane can land on water. After it takes off, the inflatable pontoony thing is sucked empty and
reeled back into the storage space behind the now-closing doors. Then the wheels can be deployed as usual and the aeroplane can land on tarmac.
[pocmloc, Sep 04 2014]
||I wonder if instead of using a stored pressurized gas to
inflate this, you could simply use air from the high pressure
zone at the front of the plane?
||Excellent idea, I was deliberately vague about the nature of the //high pressure gas supplies//.
||The pressure on the leading edge of a 'plane travelling at 150miles/hour is only a few per cent higher than that of the atmosphere, and probably wouldn't be enough to even unfurl the pontoons. You could use engine offtake air though.
||There's YT vids of floatplanes and flying boats landing in water. You can hear that it's not a smooth thing. I don't think rubber is going to stand up to that kind of force.
||It will - at least, fabric reinforced polymer
composites will - but the problem is that a
structure strong enough to contain the
pressure and handle the shock is not going
to "fold" easily when deflated.
||For this idea to work, the float needs to
resemble the thin, highly flexible material of
a survival raft, which can be packed into a
very small space. But that material won't
have the necessary mechanical properties.
||And there's the issue of wing profile. A wing
that can generate sufficient lift at the low
speeds attainable in a water takeoff is going
to exhibit very poor performance at high
altitudes and high cruise speeds, without
some complex variable geometry, which adds
a lot of weight. Seaplanes can't "rotate" the
way land-based planes can; they have to "fly
off the water" before they can adopt a nose-
up attitude for the climb out of the ground
||The inflatable would have to be of a multi-
celled design to prevent a minor tear causing
a catastrophic failure.
||Plenty of high-pressure air from the
interstage compressors of a gas turbine,
||Well. might as well have a plane that carries its own airstrip. big balloons not known for keeping shape well at speed. Probably bamboo covered with graphene, unrolls from the nose of the plane.