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Hybrid Ass-drawn Ground-level Airship

Distribute the energy requirements.
  (+17, -3)(+17, -3)
(+17, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

Use airship technology (ie, one or more big balloons filled with a lighter than air gas, such as Helium, Hydrangias, Plutonium or Banana gas) to lift a platform, presenting an apparently frictionless traction surface.

Harness a couple of donkeys to it, to provide the forward motion.

The donkeys will only need to put in the energy required to pull the load, but the apparent laden weight appears weightless.

The airshipness only needs to achieve friction-free state, and not supply any additional forward motion energy.

Not sure where to put all the tapirs, though.

Ian Tindale, Jul 20 2008

Hybrid Horse-drawn Hovercraft Hybrid Horse-drawn Hovercraft
A not unrelated idea. [zen_tom, Jul 21 2008]

[link]






       My ass.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 20 2008
  

       Can they be flying donkeys that cost under a grand? That way they could go into orbit.
nineteenthly, Jul 20 2008
  

       //Not sure where to put all the tapirs, though.//   

       Put one at each end of the balloon to provide streamlining.
baconbrain, Jul 20 2008
  

       <Moriarty>   

       "Ahhh ! Does this mean the end of the Horse-Drawn Zeppelin ?"   

       </Moriarty>
8th of 7, Jul 20 2008
  

       A semi space age canal transport system, works for me.
MisterQED, Jul 20 2008
  

       A delicate balance is needed to prevent your asses from being hauled into the air.
tatterdemalion, Jul 20 2008
  

       //banana gas// I've had that. It's no fun. My ass is still recovering.
lostdog, Jul 20 2008
  

       If the blimp is large enough to lift anything significant, it will blow around in the wind a lot. My guess is this would be a lot worse than hauling a wagon.
Bad Jim, Jul 20 2008
  

       You'll have to build a heavy cart to keep your ass on the ground.
Voice, Jul 21 2008
  

       Difficult to stop. Even though it's lost its apparent weight, it still has all of its inertia. You'd have to design a braking system that doesn't rely on ground friction.
st3f, Jul 21 2008
  

       Did those pirates ever get round to finding out how much an anchor weighs?
Ian Tindale, Jul 21 2008
  

       Would like it even more if the balloon was carrot shaped. +
xenzag, Jul 21 2008
  

       I think the braking problem was addressed in the other idea. The asses can be tethered to the airship in an octagonal arrangement, so it can be held back or prevented from drifting to the sides.
nineteenthly, Jul 21 2008
  

       A smaller version using fairground helium balloons might allow creatures to convey morsels of food from one place to another, of course, asses would be too large for such a task - some suitable creature would have to stand in as a replacement. Some kind of rodent perhaps. A capybara would be far too large, and shrews are too small - what we need is something between those extremes. Yes, I'd like to see rats as asses.
zen_tom, Jul 21 2008
  

       [xenzag] and I think alike! All I could say, he has said. Where's the carrots?
xandram, Jul 21 2008
  

       I'm gonna [+] this for how much I'd like it to work, but it's not going to work. Dangling donkeys spell disaster for horse-drawn balloons.
theNakedApiarist, Jul 21 2008
  

       I suppose the natural complementary idea to this one is a train pulled along by a flock of swans.
hippo, Jul 21 2008
  

       To avoid liability from PETA, who may complain about the lack of shade for the beast of un-burden, don't forget to cover your ass.
coprocephalous, Jul 21 2008
  

       This idea is a horse's ass. I am off for my (two) cup(s) of coffee.
4whom, Jul 21 2008
  

       Brilliant +1
nomadic_wonderer, Jul 21 2008
  
      
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