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External Airbags

Nasa designed external air-bags could save lives during Air Travel Emergencies
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In Sandusky, Ohio NASA worked with ILC Dover, (a company specializing in "Softgoods" like space suits) to develop an external airbag system for the Mars Pathfinder. This air bag system, aided by a parachute and rocket-powered brakes, will insure safe passage to the Martian surface.

The entry, descent and landing (EDL) process begins after the atmosphere slows the ship down from a blazing 17,000 miles per hour to about 900 miles per hour. The ship first deploys a single 24-ft. diameter parachute that eventually slows the ship down to 144 miles per hour. The downward firing thrusters of the rocket braking system will eventually slow the ship down to a survivable 50-80 miles per hour. Finally the thrusters cut off and multi-layered air bags are inflated in less than half a second. The 17-ft. tall pyramid shaped air-bags will cushion the landing of the space craft and again launch the ship an additional 40 feet into the air, but will eventually land and roll to a stop.

My idea is that if we can accomplish space-age landings like those of the pathfinder, then shouldn't we be able to better equip airplanes with more efficient crash landing procedures? Air planes would not need such extreme measures in order to insure safe landings. Interconnected airbags would line the bottom portion of a weighed down air craft. Such an aircraft could safely bounce off the earth's surface and eventually secure the lives of relieved human passengers who would view the experience as a thrill ride.

Unfortunately, This idea offers no protection to the structures and perhaps civilians under the planes when their initial landing occurs.

BuzzyB, May 10 2006

Details of the Pathfinders EDL http://mpfwww.jpl.n...v/mpf/edl/edl1.html
Details of the Pathfinders EDL [BuzzyB, May 10 2006]

Mars Pathfinder Air Bag Landing Tests http://www.nasa.gov...story/marspbag.html
the spacecraft will be relying on air bags much like those in automobiles to cushion its landing. [BuzzyB, May 10 2006]

Details of Airplane Parachutes. http://en.wikipedia...ft_Parachute_System
Details of Airplane Parachutes. [Letsbuildafort, May 10 2006]

AirBagz(tm) AirBagz(tm)_20for_20Clothing
Airbagz(tm) [BuzzyB, May 10 2006]


       Welcome to the HB, [BusyB], but please explain a little better - I can't tell if you want to impliment an already existing idea (via NASA) or are simply making a statement. To answer your last paragraph; Sure - why not.   

       I'm sorry, but I just don't see an idea there.
Letsbuildafort, May 10 2006

       Before I read the idea, I thought "External airbags for cars: what a good idea!"
Ling, May 10 2006

       Crashing aircraft usually hit the earth or sea at speeds in excess of what an air bag system could effectively cushion.
Texticle, May 10 2006

       That is to say, an air bag system that the aircraft could carry on board.
Texticle, May 11 2006

       I think this is definitely build-able. It might be too heavy. If combined with a parachute it would be good.
sninctown, May 11 2006

       I think pedestrians could carry these.
elfling, May 11 2006


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