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Semi bouyant cargo transportation
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The idea is to have a giant semi-rigid inflatable (He) flying wing the main spar would be a series of bays for containers constructed from light weight materials - aluminium, sandwiched composites, etc. The containers would provide the structural strength of the wing spar.

Okay so with an airfoil thickness of 9.5 feet the wing will be massive, however most main airports have twin runways that aren't used at night due to the excessive noise of jet engines, with a suitable choice of power the idea would be to use the spare night-time capacity of airports for cargo transportation.

scubadooper, Aug 09 2004

Inflatable Flying Wing (Stingray) http://www.prospect...ch/html/site_en.htm
Grrrrrr, stupid website navigation, grrr. Go to "Projects", then "Air", then "Stingray". [jutta, Feb 26 2008]


       Flying wings are baked.
phoenix, Aug 09 2004

       What ones with a 9.5 foot airfoil thickness, containers for a main spar and a wing span that covers 2 runways made from inflated plastic and carbon fibre?
scubadooper, Aug 09 2004

       I would agree this is new-ish. But not many airports will be adaptable, and the spacing of parallel runways is by no means standard. Where you gonna hangar this behemoth? I think the semi- rigid aspect will force you to keep cruising speed pretty low, but there may be some cargo markets that fit the profile. Some cargo types can't fill a plane because they max out the takeoff limit weight. That might be your opportunity, but I imagine a more conventional dirigible would fill the niche better.
bpilot, Aug 09 2004

       You could deflate it to hangar it, the spacing of the runways has built-in flexibility (the width of the runways) and the low cruising speed will still be higher than for shiped cargo. An advantage of the flying wing over a zeppelin is it's controlability (have you ever seen them trying to land a zeppelin?) it's lack of need for a new infrastructure/space to moor it and it's exposure to extreme weather when moored.   

       I thought that a hybrid might have some advantages over a conventional zeppelin design.
scubadooper, Aug 10 2004

       I've seen this concept before - a big, aerofoil-shaped airship is in development at the moment. Can't remember the name though, so could only find the CargoLifter project, which is a conventional design.
david_scothern, Aug 10 2004


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