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# Air Rope Plane

Make air flight much cheaper by pulling on ropes
 (+3, -3) [vote for, against]

[edited the idea's name] Wait, for the sea the idea gets even better!

First for ground based propulsion:

I used to have a model plane where I would pull a rope while turning, and the plane at the end would fly up, see link. Taking this idea a bit further: You have a plane flying - elevated by standard engine power thrusting it forward, and its wings doing the elevation work. Then up comes a tiny automatic pilot-less plane trailing a rope behind it, and connecting to the plain. The rope is extremely lightweight but very strong. (These exist). Once the plane is connected the rope pulls the plane forward (and the wings keep it elevated) much like a kite with a kid running on the ground. There should be very little friction, but the loss of power from a jet engine pushing air instead of pulling a solid rope is saved.

At the height of movement the tiny plane with its rope is released and the large plane continues in its sling path.

2. Now for the sea: Here the idea is much simpler and more elegant. Combine the aerodynamics and almost frictionless movement of a speedy airplane, with solid propulsion by pulling a rope against the high friction of a parachute or sail submerged in water. The plane itself swings a rope with a small parachute forward. then pulls on it, causing the parachute to open under water. It then pulls on the rope for a distance, until reaching the optimum height and distance (the thrust on the wings give the plane its elevation) when, using a a simple mechanical device, the parachute releases one side of its tension and the water is freed, the rope is pulled in to some distance, and swung forward again. Two ropes like this could create a "walking on water" effect.

 — pashute, May 12 2010

Glider (sailplane) http://en.wikipedia.../Glider_(sailplane)
It's even a sport! [In No Particular Order, May 12 2010]

My toy plane worked like this http://www.youtube....watch?v=3_4uCxLn5jk
(Human Powered Water Skiing) [pashute, May 12 2010]

These are control line planes. http://www.google.c...A288%26tbs%3Disch:1
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 15 2010]

And here it is - the exact same model that I had! http://www.rcgroups...hread.php?t=1027645
Converting a control-line to an RC [pashute, Mar 31 2011]

I believe they're known as sailplanes.
 — RayfordSteele, May 12 2010

 er, how are the link and the annotation related to my idea?

 A sailplane has no thrusting propulsion whatsoever. It runs on wind and gravity, and sometimes as told in the good old WP has an engine just for takeoff.

My ropeplane idea (I just edited the idea's name), HAS a motor, but it is constantly pulling a rope, instead of pushing air.
 — pashute, May 12 2010

 can't find the magazine but in an old issue of popular mechanics from the 50's, they proposed using a giant slinght shot to launch planes. It would spin in a circle until the plane was at the required velocity then let go.

I'm still failing to see what this rope is anchored to to provide the neccessary force at the right vector
 — metarinka, May 14 2010

Sailplanes are typically pulled along by ropes, either from other planes, or from the ground.
 — RayfordSteele, May 15 2010

 It's kind of a nifty idea; scaling up a control line plane with drag from water as the axis, but to have forward movement from your 'walking on wter' effect to work I think you'll need a series of detatchable chutes and with every one of those you deploy a little bit of momentum will be lost. You'll not be able to do this from a glider for long.

...and you'd need a few barf bags methinks, (+) for the visual.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 15 2010

 ... Mine was a Japanese Mitsubishi Zero. Funny how fast we forget and forgive. My parents felt uncomfortable but it was an expensive present so they let me keep it, and where happy when I smashed it into our old car. I wonder if they still remember it.

I just finished making an animation explaining this idea with online stick animator 2. Then I hit the back button, and alls lost. So till next time I get some time...
 — pashute, Mar 31 2011

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