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Balloon Mines

Anti-Aircraft Weapons Can Be Made Obsolete!
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Indeed, as we mine our waters to protect ourselves from submarines and the advance of enemy warships, so too should we mine our skies with helium balloons carrying explosive payloads to protect ourselves from ballistic missiles and enemy aircraft.

An oncoming enemy airman or aviatrix would be helpless to avoid the terrifying three-dimensional wall of floating mines.

This idea is completely tongue in cheek.

qt75rx1, Mar 10 2008

Mining the Air - CHAPTER XVI of Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War from 1915 http://www.worldwid...esofWar/chap16.html
" . . . the defensive measures which are practised in the waters of the earth are inapplicable to the atmosphere." [baconbrain, Mar 10 2008]

"helpless to avoid" - not so http://en.wikipedia...iki/Barrage_balloon
...just need to install explosive wire cutters on the wings, as described in this article about barrage balloons. [DrCurry, Mar 10 2008]

Free Balloon Barrage http://www.b-26mara...S/MS1739/MS1739.htm
Somewhat dangerous .... [8th of 7, Mar 12 2008]

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       You are familiar with the use of barrage balloons in war? No explosives necessary - the plane itself carries enough energy for its destruction.
DrCurry, Mar 10 2008

       //This idea is completely infallible in every way.// Triple tautology, and [marked-for- tagline]
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2008

       err, because of course the oncoming aircraft wouldn't be able to say *shoot down* the balloon, dropping it's explosive payload on the "protected" area ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 10 2008

       By the way, that article "Mining the Air" is wholly preposterous. The air can certainly be mined, we simply need a large enough density of mines to adequately cover the skies above a nation from a few hundred metres above ground level, to the upper ceiling at which most conventional fighter craft can fly.   

       I would advise at least one mine for every fifty cubic metres.
qt75rx1, Mar 10 2008

       "We're going to protect the populace by placing high-explosives above them held up by flimsy plastic bags"   

       What, is this forum made up of computer security experts or something ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 11 2008

       This was Baked by D.M.W.D during WW2; the "Free Balloon Barrage". Essentially, a hydrogen baloon with a heightkeeping mechanism, trailing a long wire. Suspended from the balloon was an explosive payload; when the wire was pulled (presumably by impact with an aircraft) the payload was intended to run down the wire and destroy the aircraft (the wire itself was too thin to cause significant damage to the target aircraft).   

       Large lumps of the British countryside got blown about by failed devices, but there are no records of any aircraft being downed by the FBB.   

       The Japanese had a similar bomb-dropping balloon towards the end of WW2. It used the jet stream to carry it to the west coast of the USA.
8th of 7, Mar 12 2008


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