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Lighter Than Air Landing Gear

Plane stops (and starts) above clouds
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Rather than "landing", the plane stops by filling a hot air balloon, large enough to carry it.

Stopping is achieved by a combination of:
a. A cable suspended from a second hot air balloon is sent up, in the "landing" area. This cable is caught by the plane (with another cable) similar to ships using an anchor.
b. The "landing" balloon is shaped like a parachute at stage I, for braking assistance.
c. The motors reverse (just like jet plane brakes) for slow down.

pashute, Apr 20 2004

Other alternative landing gear http://www.g2mil.com/water-landings.htm
From NASA [pashute, Oct 04 2004]

USS Macon http://en.wikipedia...i/USS_Macon_(ZRS-5)
Carried five F9C Sparrowhawk biplanes. They were launched and retrieved with a trapeze. [ldischler, Oct 21 2007]

[link]






       help me out, the plane is hanging by a rope - now what? reel it in and passengers use this "hub in the clouds" to walk to their next flight? or, do they parachute to earth to meet their loved ones - that would be cool beavis!
slat, Apr 27 2004
  

       There's a reason commercial airliners don't have safety parachutes: WEIGHT! A system like you propose would require much more fabric than a simple parachute, meaning even more weight. Aircraft designers don't like extra weight.
Freefall, Jun 03 2004
  

       Now that's an interesting question you brought up [freefall]. Technology is advancing. Google for Vectra (plastic) for example.
pashute, Mar 21 2006
  

       Air Brakes :-)
Braindead, Mar 21 2006
  

       Answer to now what: Just like a port has small boats coming to the ship, so places without an earport can have small blimps connected to a small truck to bring the people down in an "elevator" like experience.   

       Eliminates the need for giant airports. Allows for stopping almost anywhere.
pashute, Oct 21 2007
  

       //places without an earport can have small blimps// errr..
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 21 2007
  

       As i understand it, most places without "earports" are either in very poor parts of the world (arkansas, africa, etc.) where regular air travel is too rare to warrant the expense of building an airport, or they are rugged islands, where expense of building an airport, land space, etc. make a traditional airport unfeasable.   

       Sea planes can get most of these areas, and a typical connector flight is not too hard to set up. Large blimps with runways on them for the oakies might be cost-effective, but somehow I think a bulldozer and a lot of asphalt would be cheaper.
ye_river_xiv, Oct 22 2007
  

       I like crash proof airplanes made of cream cheese better. The are far tastier and not so complicated to land....takeoffs are much more enjoyable, too.
Blisterbob, Oct 23 2007
  
      
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