Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Unmanned flying wing balloon bomb

Hydrogen filled ballon vehicle in shape of flying wing.
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Silly fantasy, given I don’t know how to design planes:

The concept is a hydrogen filled balloon in the shape of a flying wing. Once the “balloon” floats up to operating altitude, the hydrogen used to lift the balloon would become fuel for a jet or prop engine that would drive it forward at a modest speed.

I’m thinking unmanned, radio controlled model plane designed to transport a camera for surveillance. It would need a rigid structure, and be large enough to comfortably lift the camera, controls and small engine. The engine could be some type of jet or conventional prop modified to run on hydrogen.

You could launch it upwind of area to be surveyed and let it drift in a conventional manner. Or the engine could be started and the wing flown into position. In a combat situation, it could be used as a kamikaze bomb.

Use of transparent materials for the skin could make it stealthy.

jdlaugh, Jan 25 2008

Festo Air Ray http://www.festo.co...12572b9006f04f5.htm
Similar. [Laimak, Jan 25 2008]

Balloon Bomb http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon_bomb
Baked by the Japanese in WW2 [Spacecoyote, Jan 26 2008]


       The gas would be consumed rather quickly, losing height....time to drift and laze about in the hazy, sun drenched sky. looking down, the fields of poppy looked tiny...like little postage stamps. The engine is just barely flipping over...still, it's consuming H2...It was a bad time to turn it off...the wind was in the wrong direction but it would have to do. Already the liftometer was on the down swing. He had to give it one more try, though...after all, who knew when a target of opportunity might come. Glancing through the optical, he saw it. A little glint of metal. It was there...then as quickly gone. He was almost not sure he had seen anything it was so quick.He switched over to the infrared...there, standing out clearly against the cooler background...a man wearing spectals. Enemy or friend? The silly hat gave it away...enemy, no doubt...no friend would ever wear such a thing. He readied the bomb. His eager fingers playing over the safety latches....soon...soon she would be released to do her filthy deed...Oh, the glory. Besides, the lost weight of the bomb would be like an extra five thousand cubic feet of the precious lifting gas. He would need that and more to get home.
Blisterbob, Jan 25 2008

       The bomb version of it was baked [link], but it wasn't very effective (that didn't stop the Japanese from claiming it was).
Spacecoyote, Jan 26 2008

       The Festo Ray is cool, and along the lines of what I had in mind -- although I imagine using a rigid body and an engine.   

       I remember reading about the Japanese balloon bombs -- my version would have remote control and a camera that would allow you to fly the device to its target. Perhaps a tad more effective than balloons drifting across the Pacific on a divine wind....
jdlaugh, Jan 26 2008


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