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Zepplins with rigid wing sails

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These will be Zepplins ( Large, aerodynamically shaped Helium balloons), with rigid wing sails placed vertically just like sail-boats. These will also need very large rudder surfaces. Sails will allow the airship to travel much faster than windspeed itself. It will also be able to travel in almost any direction except into the wind.
VJW, Feb 06 2012

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       //Sails will allow the airship to travel much faster than windspeed itself.// Wrong!   

       // It will also be able to travel in almost any direction except into the wind.// Also wrong!   

       We did this to death not too long ago. You need to have your vessel at the interface of two different fluids (e.g. air and water) with a "sail" in each fluid, to exploit the difference in motion between the two fluids.
pocmloc, Feb 06 2012
  

       //two different fluids// <pedant> Two different materials. Air and Earth work as well (land sailing), or even air and air, if you have differing winds at different altitudes. </pedant>   

       But otherwise, yup, the idea won't work. Even getting to different air streams is going to be an unfeasibly long sail.
MechE, Feb 06 2012
  

       //You need to have your vessel at the interface of two different fluids// "vessel" implies the main body which is best placed where it will drag the least.
FlyingToaster, Feb 06 2012
  

       (+) for the visual.
There is an old patent of a dirigible with wings which could be rowed by men like a galley. I can't find a link and my computer has succumed to a virus-or-eighty so I can't scan and post my hardcopy here but the image is hllarious.
  

       Sky pirates
yar
  

       Actually the oars in the air could work a little bit, because they could be held perpendicular to the air on the power stroke and feathered parallel to the air on the return stroke. Not very effective, but not nothing either, unlike sails.   

       Oh, and my previous comment could be read as addressing only a fluid situation, and so not excluding hard surfaces.
pocmloc, Feb 06 2012
  

       ////two different fluids// <pedant> Two different materials.//   

       Or a single fluid moving in two directions. I'm sure we've done the thing about two kites tethered to eachother but flying at different altitudes (and hence in airstreams with different velocities).
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 06 2012
  

       Practically speaking, hot air balloons "sail" by ascending or descending until they are in a layer of air blowing in the direction they desire, then drifting with it. Powered airships seek out tailwinds, of course.   

       Sails are useless. Kites on the end of long strings might help in some circumstances, maybe. [-]
baconbrain, Feb 06 2012
  
      
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