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Hovering control tower

A better point of view
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It is a given that airport control towers should be as high up as possible, to provide a good vantage point.

However, the taller the tower, the easier it is for things to run into it; this is widely regarded as a Bad Thing. It's also more vulnerable to wind forces.

Engineers at BorgCo aviation services have therefore designed the first hovering control tower.

The installation in its idle state is almost indistinguishable from a regular control tower on a sturdy concrete base. However, arranged around the top are eight ducted propellers, converting the gallery to a giant octacopter.

When operating, the propellers can lift the gallery high into the air, powered by electricity flowing through the two mutually redundant umbilicals from a spool in the base.

Positioning is provided by a redundant array of scanning lasers using ground reflectors as datum points, backed up by DGPS.

Should a motor fail, the gallery has sufficient excess lift to execute a controlled safe descent - even with two adjacent motors stopped.

Standby generators and batteries in the tower base guard against external supply failure. Should even this fail, the umbillicals can be severed from the gallery by explosive cutters and dry-charged primary batteries provide enough hover duration for a controlled soft landing.

Should an errant aircraft approach the gallery, it can duck or dodge as required to avoid contact.

The gallery can move horizontally and vertically within the limits of the umbilical, to provide the staff with the optimal view for any given situation.

8th of 7, Oct 20 2016

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       A wise zombie once said:
//
// safety concerns//

GET OUTTA HERE !!

//
Voice, Oct 20 2016
  

       Yes, well, the original designs - using firstly peroxide/hydrazine fuelled reaction motors, then modified Pegasus turbofans - were both emphatically rejected by all potential users.   

       They just have no sense of adventure.
8th of 7, Oct 20 2016
  

       Why make the control tower hover? Why not simply have a lightweight drone with 360° high-resolution camera coverage, feeding signals into all-round screens in a bunker?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 20 2016
  

       [MaxwellBuchanan] because a direct view is better than a screen. Parallax, ability to move your point-of-view quickly and precisely, basically the same reasons rear-view mirrors (in a car) are superior to reversing cameras, except for the "no blind spots" advantage.
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 20 2016
  

       How about VR?
notexactly, Oct 24 2016
  

       I heard about some omnisensored "gorgon" blimp. I have a feeling it could be used to guide aircraft...
beanangel, Oct 24 2016
  

       What if more than one of these towers requires coming to the ground at about the same time? There needs to be some form of arbitration means, and maybe a special building to commemorate this activity.
Ian Tindale, Oct 24 2016
  
      
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