Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Saving the planet with balloons

Mitigating take off fuel consumption with static lift
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Jim popped down to his local air club to try out the new toy... not realising that fuel prices have made the whole thing a bit of a disappointment.

Undeterred Jim attaches a suitably big tethered balloon to his pride and joy, jumped in and took off...

Jim was impressed.

madness, Jul 17 2008

Glider transport system Glider_20transport_20system
[xaviergisz, Jul 21 2008]


       ... and crashed into a billboard.   

       A stiff breeze had picked up.   

       Jim was   




neelandan, Jul 17 2008

       Jim had discovered the joys of ballooning.
phoenix, Jul 17 2008

       I'm missing an image here. Is Jim in a little plane? Is it buzzing in increasingly tight circles below a giant balloon until it finally crashes into the tether, shearing it while bursting into flames?
ldischler, Jul 17 2008

       Why don't we tie all the balloons to one side of the Earth and pull the Earth further away from the sun. That will cure global warming.
phundug, Jul 17 2008

       Why don't we stick magnets through the bodies of dead physicists and generate free power as they rotate in their graves?
Bad Jim, Jul 17 2008

       Just fill the entire cabin with pressurized helium. If its pressurized, you can fit more in, and then the plane will lift more.   

       Maybe I'm missing some basic physics here ;)
Giblet, Jul 18 2008

       ...And yet if the idea were written succinctly, came to the point, and was easy to understand, it's probably be thoroughly bunned. My understanding of this is using big tethered ballons to pre-lift aircraft saving take-off fuel. Good idea.   

       Big tethered balloon station winches the jumbo high into the air, at least 50,000 feet. Just before launch, the jumbo is re-rigged to hang downwards from it's tail, then released. Jumbo picks up speed as it falls, trims glideplane so it levels off at 30, 000 feet at the appropriate cruising speed.   

       Far more efficient to use a winch powered by ground power to impart the initial altitude and speed, rather than using the jet engines.   

       That's what you meant, right [madness] ?
Custardguts, Jul 20 2008

       ratchet version   

       if there was a big airship that could lift a few tons it could have a line going to the airport   

       the person attaches the glider or cargo container to the tether, then the big airship naturally bobs up n down as a response to air currents; the line ratchets up lifting the glider or cargo container   

       if the big airship changes altitude from turbulence at 7 ft per minute thats near a mile up every ten hours   

       its turbulence powered cargo lift assist
beanangel, Jul 21 2008

       All I ask for is a second "r" in "undeterred".   

       It may not be correct but I want it.
normzone, Jul 21 2008

       [CG] Thanks, the visual of a roller coaster style liftoff/drop off gave me a good laugh.   

       But weirdly enough, I think I understand how this idea could work, though I doubt it is how it was originally intended...   

       Take a high lift blimp and tether it above a airport on a VERY long strong tether, let's say 10000'. Then have a second 10000' tether that is also very strong and made of something like nanotubes to lower its wind resistance. Now hook that tether to a releasable hook on top of your plane right above your CG and have the blimp take up the extra slack. Now get in the plane and go down the runway. The tether now rotates you into the air on its 10000' radius but after you go a little you will start pulling the blimp forward giving you a little extra horizontal length. When you reach a decent altitude and hopefully before you stall, release the hook and fly away. A small runner that is connected to both tethers slides down and brings the hook and tether back to the airport for the next guy.   

       All you have to do is build a tether that has less wind drag than what the Blimp removes from the plane by supporting the weight. Oh and keep other planes from running into a 10000' tether and balloon hovering over an airport.
MisterQED, Jul 21 2008

       //All I ask for is a second "r" in "undeterred".// [marked-for-tagline]
pertinax, Jul 21 2008

       The main trouble with using ever decreasing circles, or static, is the arc.
4whom, Jul 21 2008

       Like the idea of winching stuff up to a tethered balloon --- this solves the problem of controlling the asscent. It also allows people and luggage to be hauled up separately...   

       Also like the idea of the plane sliding down a really big rope slide --- this solves the problem of controlling the descent. It also means that the plane will always take off into the wind...
madness, Jul 29 2008

       If airports were more like trampolines airplanes would not need to be like billiard balls...
madness, Jul 30 2008


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