Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Superman Airplane Pod

A must do for your bucket list
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An enlongated glass bubble under the nose of an airplane a person would lie face down in, held above the glass by a series of straps to give the effect of flying like Superman when the plane was aloft.

The front straps holding the user's arms which are out- stretched (like Superman), convey steering information to the pilot above. So if the person wants to go right, they move their arms to the right, the pilot sees an indication of the passenger's gesture on his head up display and turns right. There's no direct control of the plane, just directional information given to the pilot who complies as much as he safely can.

Flying like Superman would be a great way to go sight seeing. The plane would need little modification, just the dome, some straps and joystick controllers and indicators. No training involved, you just lie down in the harness and point to where you want to go. You'd be wearing headphones playing the music of your choice (Flight of the Valkyries for instance) so the engine noise wouldn't mess up the effect.

Pilots in Hawaii or other exotic locations with a plane configured like this could offer tourists a very memorable experience.

doctorremulac3, Oct 18 2011

Tupolev Tu-134 http://planesandcho...zonaws.com/9130.jpg
[DIYMatt, Oct 18 2011]

Midair refueling http://www.youtube....watch?v=KFwrQQA1jc8
The boom operator gets to lay down on a sheet of glass 25,000 feet in the air. [DIYMatt, Oct 18 2011]

Spiderman equivalent Spidey-Ride!
Thought you might like this... [theleopard, Oct 19 2011]

[link]






       Up, up, and away! [+]
swimswim, Oct 18 2011
  

       I like it! Now, where did I put that spandex suit? [+]
Grogster, Oct 18 2011
  

       Awesome.
I got to lean into the bubble window of a Hercules aircraft once when I was air cadets at fourteen or so. It was very memorable.
  

       Quite practicable.   

       Note that the pod is going to need some pretty fearsome air conditioning. It's the sort of gadget that only gets used in good weather, VFR minimums. When the sun is shining, the occupant is going to get VERY warm very fast.   

       Presumably the occupant would leave before landing, unless they wanted a real thrill, or wished an instant cure for severe constipation. Access to the pod in flight would also allow different customers to experience the "sensation" of flight.   

       It might be as well to keep a buucket, a mop, and a can of air freshener handy.
8th of 7, Oct 19 2011
  

       Not prior art, but, in the <linked> idea I mentioned starting up a business that emulated for its customers superhero powers. I had car-hurling for Superman, but flight is pretty gnarly. We know we've arrived when we can pretend to be the Silver Surfer - for a price.
theleopard, Oct 19 2011
  

       I think people would need to ride in the cabin for takeoff and landing and only slide into the bubble when at altitude.   

       A hard landing with a person slung underneath might get messy. And speaking of, I would think people should probably follow standard thrill ride protocol. Namely, don't do it after a 4 course meal of pork fat and raw oysters.   

       A bag would also be supplied just in case. If I were the pilot I'd delight in saying "Nice going Superman, just throw the barf bag in the garbage over there and turn in your leotard."
doctorremulac3, Oct 19 2011
  

       I'm imagining this on an aerobatics capable plane. To "left", "right" "up" and "down" add "barrel roll" "triple loop" and "low and fast"
Voice, Oct 19 2011
  

       Barrel roll, easy. Cross your arms like a ref calling "out of bounds". Left hand over right for a right turn roll, right over left for a left turn roll. Keep them crossed and you keep rolling. Put them tack to parallel and you stop.   

       The universal signal for "stop" would be taking your arms out of the straps and grabbing the barf bag.   

       An cool aspect of this is you'd get some credit for daring stunt flying. Wussies would fly straight and level while more daring types would be flailing their arms like a cheerleader going through all sorts of crazy stunts. All that while leaving the business of avoiding flaming death to the trained stunt pilot at the controls.   

       Points would definitely be given for coming back with a clean bubble.
doctorremulac3, Oct 19 2011
  

       cool +
xandram, Oct 19 2011
  

       Why was this idea not brought to my attention sooner?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 19 2011
  

       Because no-one knew if you were currently being the Good twin or the Evil twin.
8th of 7, Oct 19 2011
  

       I am neither. I am the erudite triplet.   

       If that surprises you, you should meet the other two.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 19 2011
  

       Neutral-erudite. But are you lawful or chaotic?
mouseposture, Oct 19 2011
  

       Often and yes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 19 2011
  

       This sensation can easily be better experienced by tandem hang-gliding.
marklar, Oct 19 2011
  

       If we can remove the glass bubble from this idea, we are only a few steps away from the invention of aerial keelhauling.
swimswim, Oct 19 2011
  

       //This sensation can easily be better experienced by tandem hang-gliding.//   

       ...with the added sensation of smashing into the ground at 80 miles per hour. I don't trust those things.
doctorremulac3, Oct 19 2011
  

       // ...with the added sensation of smashing into the ground at 80 miles per hour. I don't trust those things //   

       Smashing into the ground is actually a better option than crashing into a succession of gorse bushes with little diminution of speed.   

       Your distrust is entirely justified.
8th of 7, Oct 20 2011
  

       Plus I'm not comfortable having a man strapped to my back.   

       Or is that tandem skydiving?   

       Which is another good way to test how high you can bounce.
doctorremulac3, Oct 20 2011
  

       I actually rode in a TU-134 while in Russia, though not one with a glass front. Not a bad plane, but a little loud.
RayfordSteele, Oct 23 2011
  
      
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