Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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LSA “Flinger"

Small-footprint airports
  [vote for,

Small airports are increasingly being hit by urban encroachment. The tragedy at Meigs Field in Chicago is a demonstration of the rapid decimation of rural airports that have been swallowed up by our cities.

With the advent of the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA’s) and the Sport Pilot designation, planes have become lighter and have a lower stall speed. If we erect towers with a strap that connects to the aircraft, we can spin them up to a speed above stall speed (Vs), which is only 39 knots, and then release them to fly off.

We could have airports all over our cities without the need for large areas of land.

Klaatu, May 09 2005

My inspiration http://www.fp.kconl...97/funspot/Fs01.gif
[Klaatu, May 09 2005]

RHV in San José http://www.sonicspi...s/4345-IMG_0020.JPG
I used to fly into here and the approach to runway 31R is directly over Eastridge Mall. [Klaatu, May 09 2005]

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier http://www.geocitie...s/2253/landing.html
4th paragraph under picture describes landing process [dentworth, May 09 2005]

Crash landing http://www.sanjuani...s-prades-photo1.jpg
[normzone, May 09 2005]

glider winch launch http://www.soton.ac...~gliding/launch.htm
read the Winch and Bungee Launch on this page [aberson, May 09 2005]

another good winch launch link http://www.scottish...e.co.uk/supacat.htm
[aberson, May 09 2005]


       + for innovation. I see this working. I also see it being very very scary.
SpocksEyebrow, May 09 2005

       Yeah, why don't you try it and tell us how it goes.   

       I absolutely agree that small airports are being lost and at a time when they are becoming ever more important, especially those that accomodate the new light jets for the emerging air taxi business.
bristolz, May 09 2005

       So this works under the same principles as someone in a hammer throw?
The only issue I can find with this is how fast a plane can turn at speed.
hidden truths, May 09 2005

       Are the aircraft caught, braked and landed in a similar fashion?
FarmerJohn, May 09 2005

       [farmer john] excellent point. Hmmmm.... they could land normally and it still reduces space by half or something...
SpocksEyebrow, May 09 2005

       Actually, you can land an airplane is a very small space. The problem is surviving one of those...
shapu, May 09 2005

       As long as you walk away.
bristolz, May 09 2005

       if Navy pilots can land on an aircraft carrier with a huge "rubber band" to stop the plane, this could be done on dry land too. see link for explanation
dentworth, May 09 2005

       Using a winch to launch an unpowered glider is commonly done. It's enough to get a lightweight glider up in the air, after which the glider rides air currents. In this case, the LSA's engine takes the place of air currents. I'm not sure the distance is any less than a regular takeoff though. FWIW, most ultralight aircraft only need 100-200 feet of ground roll to take off. The issue with longer runways is that you need enough room to abort the takeoff if you have an engine-out on takeoff.
aberson, May 09 2005

       The towers would benefit from a spiral design, as the plane spins it spirals up the tower, until finally bieng released at the top. This will allow several planes to be serviced from a single tower, so long as they are in different stages of the spinning process.
daseva, May 09 2005

       Shopkeeper! How big is your largest butterfly net?   

       //if you have an engine-out on takeoff// ...oops. Light Sport Aircraft suddenly becomes Light Sport Funny-shaped Brick. Big [+].
moomintroll, May 09 2005

       \\if Navy pilots can land on an aircraft carrier with a huge "rubber band" to stop the plane\\. I was going to suggest using a rubber band to get the planes going
hidden truths, May 09 2005

       I remember another idea for harvesting cars' kinetic energy when they reach the end of a motorway (or freeway).
So, just redesign aircraft with huge springy bumpers front and rear. To land, just wait until another similar plane is waiting to take off, aim at his rear bumper and hey presto - it's a win/win situation.
Basepair, May 09 2005

       I thought this might be a devise for slinging large amounts of LSA (a reagent in the formation of the ever controversial LSD, and less hallucinogenic, but still pungent in large amounts) Onto a crowd of innocent festival goers.   

       I see colorful people.
daseva, May 10 2005

       //So, just redesign aircraft with huge springy bumpers front and rear//   

       Those fabulous men and their flying whizz-BOINGs...
shapu, May 10 2005

       Airline food costs would skyrocket. Everyone's stomachs would be emptied during takeoff.
bneal27, May 10 2005

       how about we just shoot the airplanes out of huge deep holes. They can land in a big pile of cardboard boxes like stunt men.
SpocksEyebrow, May 10 2005

       Raise them with balloons to a height and cut them loose. You either catch lift as you fall under power or catch a glide path back to the ground.
reensure, May 11 2005

       Hmmm.... I haven't worked on any LSA's yet, and I'm not likely to in the near future (keeping really busy with the certificated stuff). I have considered building a Fisher Celebrity, which probably wouldn't do very well with this sort of launch. It'd be a trip, though.
spacer, May 11 2005


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