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Unmanned Fuel Tanks

Never visit the pumps again.
  (+3, -6)
(+3, -6)
  [vote for,

Your vehicle will have multiple fuel compartments, which are self contained and capable of flight. The fuel compartments will be equipped with autonomous flight controls and satellite tracking to know where a compatible station is and where your vehicle went.

While driving, or when you park, if one of your tanks gets low you just jettison it and command it to go get more fuel from the nearest compatible station and it will return with more fuel.

This is oriented towards larger vehicles like tractor trailers, buses, construction vehicles and RV's, but could be an option for SUVs also. The smaller the vehicle's fuel tank, the less practical it becomes, since the unmanned tank will have to carry it's own fuel for flight also.

Security dictates that the control of the unmanned fuel vehicle is completely self-contained and cannot be changed by the user to prevent turning it into a flying bomb. The only option for the user is the "go get more fuel" button.

dag, Jun 14 2002

Cypher II http://avia.russian.../sik_cypher2-r.html
Baseline for the unmanned tank [dag, Jun 14 2002]

develop under army contract http://www.solotrek.com/mjet/index1.html
Personally I see little use for it because it is too specialized. [bing, Jun 15 2002]


       comes complete with a little pocket containing cash and a note from mummy as to the preferred type of fuel.
po, Jun 14 2002

       Since I included jettisoning it from a parked position, it must be able to take off vertically. Rocket or jet assisted take off is an option, but dangerous. Ducted fans are probably the best bet. A design similar to Sikorsky's Cypher/Cypher 2 might be a good option, I'll post a link to a pic.   

       And of course prior credit at the pump required.
dag, Jun 14 2002

       With a 45lb payload, that vehicle you are refuelling had better be very economical.
drew, Jun 14 2002

       The Cypher2 is definately too small, but it could be scaled up to about a 150lb payload relatively easily. Beyond that, it gets too large to fit on most interstate going vehilces.   

       [Blissmiss] I hope there is more room for flying stuff, I have not even posted my unmanned flying garbage containers yet...
dag, Jun 14 2002


       Yes. No. Not good. Yes, it would.
drew, Jun 14 2002

       I just imagine all these flying fuel tanks zooming around, crashing, and bursting into flames. I guess they could be make crash-proof.
pottedstu, Jun 14 2002

       I always thought a remote control low flying UMV that can drop supplies or carry a single person over distance is part of army development program.
bing, Jun 15 2002

       Howzabout instead of flying, the feul tanks travel through pnumatic tubes which are installed between gas stations and parking spaces?
JakePatterson, Jun 17 2002

       Yes, I suppose it would be.
JakePatterson, Jun 17 2002

       Rather than flying, have them built into a computer controlled segway.
StarChaser, Jun 17 2002

       Actually these would not be RPVs, but fully autonomous. But your point is still valid, as Iraq recently claimed it took control of a Predator.
dag, Jun 17 2002

       I can't see this idea saving any time or trouble. My last Freightliner had a pair of 250 gallon fuel tanks, giving it a range of over 3,000 miles, more than enough to drive all week. When it came time to refuel, I was quite content to take my time about it.
whlanteigne, Mar 11 2008

       I freakin' hate tanks, dude.   

Giblet, Mar 11 2008


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