Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Roof rack airship

Ultimate Jam buster, or a conveniant easy storage aircraft.
  [vote for,

The idea would look like a light weight car, with a carbon fibre body. A rack on the roof would contain a folded non-rigid balloon and a set of compressed gas canesters. The controls would be dual function so that at a flip of a switch the gas bag inflates and the car's drive transferes from the wheels to a propeller (caged for safty) in the back of the vehicle. Once the balloon is inflated the car can be simply taken off from a standing start or slow take off into the wind and flown around as a small derigable. Obviously a pilots' lisence would be needed to drive it but the thing would be that you could take it home with you rather than having to pay the cost for hanger rental when you're not flying it, plus it doubles as an every day car.
Bronzewing, May 11 2004

Helium tanks http://www.displayc...elium%20tanks.shtml
[Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

dymaxion http://www.maxmatic...xion/frontright.jpg
What? Someone thought of something like this? [cloudface, Dec 06 2004]

Aerocars http://www.roadable...adables-roster.html
[JeremiahBritt, Dec 06 2004]


       One of your problems will be the weight of the compressed gas tanks. The largest one in my link stores 291 cubic feet of helium. That will lift a bit over 18 pounds, once expanded. Of course, the tank itself weighs 160 pounds (though this is probably the weight with helium, the tank alone will weigh more than 18 pounds). Unless you leave all of your tanks behind (quite pricey at $400 apiece, times at least 20 tanks), you'll never get off the ground.
Worldgineer, May 11 2004

       If you used hydrogen you could store it as a cyrogenic liquid or bound up as a molocule...or use cyrogenic methane.
my-nep, May 11 2004

       Love it! Bun.
finflazo, May 24 2004

       If we all switch to hydrogen fuelled cars, this idea might actually be a great way to enjoy sport-blimping. Given that you must drive to the gas station to get your, er, gas, anyway, it kind of makes sense to put the gondola on wheels and roll it on over... Brilliant! Do it now! Lift ship for the central highlands bowl-o- rama!
cloudface, Dec 06 2004

       I'd say this idea was baked, and badly.   

       Flying cars are nothing new (see link) and they always were interesting for their combination, but ended up being a crappy car (made so that it could get off the ground, not a normal requirement) and an even worse airplane (weight, distance, etc.).   

       Also, I agree with [Wordgineer] on issues of storage. Helium and Hydrogen, being the smallest bits of matter out there are notorious for leakage and problems with storage and manufacture.   

       Once you inflate the ballons, how do you get the air back in the tanks? Or is this a one shot and then recharge dealy?   

       May be feasible if used in a carbon fiber, aluminum, or lint car with some kind of magical featherweight and efficient motor.
JeremiahBritt, Dec 06 2004

       Combine this idea with the steam balloon idea.
caspian, Dec 07 2004


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