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Groundbound Airship for High Travel

Has two giant legs, only they are for holding to, rather than standing on.
  [vote for,

This airship has two ropes that are tied to the earth.

I have two scenarios:

1: Each of the two ropes has an "anchor" at the end which can be raised (the airship goes down a bit) and thrown forward to next position anywhere on earth. or...

2. There is a special "road" made out of "anchoring stations". You release the rope from the first anchoring station and loop it onto the next. This could be done with ropes and loops or with a remotely controlled clasping device on the rope or on the anchoring station.

IMHO the idea stands it's own value, but possible added value could be frictionless transportation (less road polution), much less area needed for roads and a lot of fun chasing one when it was pulled free in a storm.

Where I live, in Israel, where everything is close to some border or other, it could even cause a nice regional stirrup, or maybe the initiative to peace (you need at least two anchors to move somewhere and the 2nd one is bound to be in the other country.)

pashute, Oct 30 2002


       That's an old dream of mine: a lighter than air suitcase assistant (or market bag carrier).   

       But I'll wait for another time. I already put 3 (or 4?) ideas up in the airship section tonight.
pashute, Oct 30 2002

       I don't understand how this is better than or significantly different from an airship with props.
phoenix, Oct 30 2002

       1. Much less energy. 2.You are connected to ground all the time. Good for bad weather. 3. You can always ascend decend without problem. 4. No need for large motors onboard. 5. Evolution to "legs" which take you anywhere. 6. Propulsion may be done by ground station. (pulling you in correct direction). 7. Possible improvement: static baloons hanging in path. You send out your rope which winds around next one, and pull (or are pulled). 8. Can be used as "hang gliding" sport in back of car.
pashute, Oct 30 2002

       So I climb up the rope, and climb down another one to a different point on the map? Okay...   

       Rope traffic could be a problem.
RayfordSteele, Oct 30 2002

       The amount of energy required to move the balloon is fixed and irrelevant to the type of propulsion. Certain types of propulsion are simply more efficient than others.   

       To clarify, what you've invented is an anchor-powered balloon?
phoenix, Oct 30 2002

       A problem, how do you 'throw' the anchors forward? Perhaps get them swinging like a pendulum. A better method for throwing the anchors forward is that they are gliders. The anchor from the rear is hauled up, then released and glides forward as it falls. The cables used would have to be ultra light weight. This would offer some degree of control too as you don't want to put an anchor through the roof of someones house! I think the anchor method solves alot of problems blimps have with parking and strong headwinds for example. However, you could make the blimp a giant gliding wing and use alterations in bouyancy to either glide up or down. Now that would be an extremely efficient form of propulsion! If you combined that with the anchor method for extreme weather conditions, and use of thermals and wind currents you'd have the ultimate blimp.
venomx, Nov 07 2002

       Phoenix, one implementation of the idea is an anchor powered balloon. But another would be an elevated "monorail" type of thing, but instead of tracks on a bridge holding the car from falling, you have wires between poles, holding the balloon from flying away. Both are the same basic idea: Ground-bound balloon transportation. HTH
pashute, Jun 11 2008

       Darn. I was just about to post my Free-Roaming Rappelepin after pondering the tacking/sailing version of [lawpoop]'s mono-zeppelin, {see above} and here it is, essentially the same.   

       [FlyingToaster] has already pointed out there that anchoring gives you a "keel" of sorts, allowing propulsion by sailing.   

       All I can humbly offer is the suggestion that the anchors themselves be powered craft - essentially conventional, small heavier than air UAVs. This gives them the power to seek out their next anchor point themselves.   

       As long as one anchor is connected to a ground station, electrical power can be supplied to drive (steer) both the main dirigible and the anchor vehicle. Three lines rather than two would provide redundancy.   

       Perhaps, though, the entire apparatus could use sail power: the main hull by tacking against the anchor point/s, and the anchor vehicles by tacking against the much larger inertial mass of the main hull.   

       I did also consider a system that needs no pre-installed anchor points. Each anchor vehicle would seek out a suitable anchorage itself, and then either descend to grapple a rocky outcrop or dive-bomb itself into the soil, releasing spikes.   

       The name I chose is derived from the image of these loping, three-legged beasties rappelling themselves across the landscape like Wellsian Martian fighting vehicles.   

       [phoenix]: // The amount of energy required to move the balloon is fixed and irrelevant to the type of propulsion //   

       Not quite. An anchor-driven airship does not also need to propel the inertial mass of its own fuel supply, nor in the case of a winched line or sail driven system, even its own engine.
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2008

       And energy for pushing air by a propeller is much higher than energy for pulling by a rope, since much of the energy is dissipated into the environment by turbulence and plain old gas scatter.
pashute, Jul 13 2015

       Hi @BunsenHoneydew, sorry for getting back only 8 years later and hope your still around. Anyway... I don't see anything {above} perhaps erased in the big crash (of 2000 and what)? Something called mono-zeppelin by [lawpoop]?
pashute, May 21 2019

       I seem to remember reading about tethered airships in a sci-fi novel. But IIRC those were towed by trains or some other ground vehicle.   

       Maybe you could have a cable that normally lies slack on the ground, but gets pulled up in the middle as the airship passes over?
discontinuuity, May 23 2019

       What if I want a regional set of spurs instead?
notexactly, May 27 2019

       If the leading cable were connected well before the airship reached that cable's anchor-point, then forward motion could be generated as the resultant of (a) the anchor cable being retracted on to its earth-bound capstan and (b) buoyancy. No need to transmit electric power along the cable to drive a propellor. No need for the weight of a propellor.   

       Once the airship had passed over one capstan, that capstan could be de-powered and allowed to unravel, as the next capstan in line took on the task of hauling.   

       The ground stations could resound to "What shall we do with a drunken sailor?" and The Volga Boat Song, depending on which gear they were in.
pertinax, Jun 06 2019


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