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
OK, we're here. Now what?

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Sky Elevator

  (+1, -2)
(+1, -2)
  [vote for,

With the advance of gps guided autonomous flying machine, we can look forward to a new alternative to public transportation. People have dreamed of space elevator for decades and we just not quiet there yet. But a sky elevator should be feasible with current technology.

First we will need a giant gps guided helium ballon that can stay stationary to ground with using propellor and wind speed monitor at an altitude of 3 to 5 mile. The ballon will drop powered cables to the ground to be hooked up with the flying capsule on the ground. The flying capsule shaped like a gyroplane with its own fuel, power system and flying system, but designed for long distance gliding with inflatble wings.

After reaching certain altitude, the cable will let go of the capsule and capsule's own flying system will take over, inflate its wings and automatically gliding its way to its preprogrammed destination most likely another skyelevator. With the gyroplane design, it should be able to land without a runway.

The skyelevator should be very energy efficient, and if flying can be done with only gps computer control, very easy to use as well. Only problem will be the bad weather and strong winds.

If space elevator indeed become a reality, sky elevator can be the easy connection point from the earth to space.

bing, Jul 26 2002

Inflatable wings http://www.dfrc.nas...ses/2001/01-46.html
Amazingly halfbaked by NASA engineers [drew, Jul 27 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       This automous flying machine of which you speak - are the capsules just large enough to contain a mouse?   

       I'm not sure, but there's not much call for mouse based aviation technology 'round these parts.   

       I do like ideas where the phrase 'only problem' is used with such conviction.
drew, Jul 26 2002

       too many caps(ules)
po, Jul 26 2002

       [admin: Changed idea name from ALL CAPS to Title Case. I'll leave the rest to you, bing: end admin]   

       The idea falls on the fact that as the capsule grabs onto the cable the balloon will sink. As the capsule (presumably) pulls itself up the cable it will pull the balloon down. So now you need to power the balloon to keep it at the altitude you want it and end up with a system that is probably worse than just flying the capsule in the first place. Fishbone.
st3f, Jul 26 2002

       Just to be certain on this bing, are these inflatable wings fixed (like a standard aeroplane), or do you mean the rotors are inflatable?   

       St3f: It may not pull the balloon down - I'm reading this as a tethered balloon, which could well have 'excess' lifting capacity. Big anchor needed though.
drew, Jul 26 2002

       I imagine the plane to have normal rotorary blade on top in case the wing don't inflate correctly, you still have something to land the plane with. Inflatable wings are for adding the long distance gliding ability to the plane.
bing, Jul 27 2002

       Inflatable wings are baked - see link.   

       Another question - if it's a glider, why does it need its own fuel?
drew, Jul 27 2002

       Yep - see some small bats most nights. Not much call for them though.   

       Had one in the house a couple of years ago - the big cat had somehow caught one, and brought it in to show me. Quite something - it was flying around the room making absolutely no noise - very creepy.
drew, Jul 27 2002

       Close, but what if you substitute a "sky boat" for the helium balloon? If a traditional boat displaces its weight in water with air above, what if a "sky boat" displaces atmosphere with space/vacuum above? Then, you could suspend a cable from the keel with a cargo platform that could be raised or lowered. How big would the "sky boat" have to be to displace its weight and carry sufficient cargo (say, 1K+ tons)?
kpasa, Aug 20 2003

       So, if I'm reading this right, the idea is a simple form of electrical propulsion for transcontinental flight. You ride what is in essence an artificial thermal to a great height, then glide to destination? Wow. Great idea! If you routed your gliders between a network of these balloons, it might even be cheaper than JetBlue, eventually. Finally a use for all those bankrupt space elevators.
cloudface, Sep 26 2003


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle