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Your own Vulcan bomber

For fun and profit
  [vote for,

For some reason I fancy having my own Vulcan bomber, as you do. Considering exactly how to pay for all the avgas, I thought better to do it airship style.

The main body, and the wings are in fact, thin-skinned mylar and they are then inflated with hydrogen, with the array held together with a lightweight frame. Why hydrogen? Because, it would be best propelled by an array of EHD drives. At this point I have to blame whoever it was was who wrote "Silent Vulcan" as it is a neat idea to have not only your own 1950's nuclear bomber, but also one that won't drive the neighbours crazy everytime you take off from the back yard.

But, back to practicalities. The EHD drives would be in the wing roots in a row, with the output of one feeding into the input end of the next ones. EHD drives apparently work better at higher pressures, so this would tend to force the pressure up, especially if the ones behind the front one have increasingly narrow diameters. They would also be able to pivot and give up/down and backwards driver as well as boring old forwards.

The power for all that would be from fuel cells, hence the dual use of the hydrogen tank. Part of it would be replace seepage of hydrogen from the wings/fuselage envelopes, the rest to supply hydrogen to the fuel cells.

The next problem is the weight of the fuel cells, commercial ones for about 300 horsepower would be about 1000kg, which is a bit too much, so fuel cells made out of something a little lighter, like circuit boards would be nice.

When it's all up and running, you can just lift off, get up to the jet stream and then turn the drives off, pull out a good book and wait until you end up roughly where you want to go, pull down out of the jetstream and make your own way there.

not_morrison_rm, Mar 27 2011

vulcan http://www.youtube....watch?v=Djd1pPQZ_LE
a bit hard on the ear drums [not_morrison_rm, Mar 27 2011]

wiki Vulcan stuff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Vulcan
1950's technology [not_morrison_rm, Mar 27 2011]

It's a plane! No, it's a dirigible! http://www.theatlan...to-discovery/72142/
[mouseposture, Mar 28 2011]

Last RAF Vulcan bomber still flying. http://www.bbc.co.u...-yorkshire-12894041
[DrBob, Mar 30 2011]

'Vulcan to the Sky' Trust http://www.vulcanto...rg/appearances.html
Scheduled appearances. [DrBob, Mar 30 2011]

Now with Youtube site https://youtu.be/5T2mBZteWpM
with a naff video [not_morrison_rm, Nov 25 2018]

Blackburn Buccaneer https://www.youtube...watch?v=jXLBhBz_2tE
would rather have one of these: or a Hawker Hunter, or even an English Electric Lightning when Britain ruled the skies [xenzag, Nov 26 2018]


       //silent// What's the point, then?   

       I saw an American B1 flyby at an airshow, once. (couldn't land; airstrip too short.) There were, of course, lots of other modern and antique military jets there, but the sound that thing made was distinctive, and distinctively intimidating. On the linked video, the Vulcan sounds a bit high-pitched. Maybe British planes have less machismo, but more likely it's an artifact of cheap speakers failing to capture the full sternum-rattling Thor Is Angry effect of the thing.   

       For serious military applications, maybe you want a silent stealth bomber, or black helicopter, or whatever. But for weekend recreational use, a silent Vulcan is about attractive as a silent Harley Davidson.
mouseposture, Mar 27 2011

       I've heard (/seen) Vulcans making low-level passes at airshows: the sound is totally Rock My World: leaves one with an ear-to-ear grin... and the oddest feeling that over in the parking lot all the cars are huddled together, cowering in fear behind the burnt-out hulks of tourbuses.   

       For some reason this makes me crave a bouncy-ball T-Rex to ride on. [+] for that.
FlyingToaster, Mar 27 2011

       // it would be best propelled by an array of EHD drives//   


       //On the linked video, the Vulcan sounds a bit high-pitched.// Ahhh, in the 1950's even the jet engines had a stiff upper lip, modulates the sound dontcherknow...   

       You could just tack on a load of big woofers and then generate all the noise you like, for example B1 bomber, steam engine, tractor, ice cream van, moped with no baffles etc. Also useful for playing the Ride of Valkyries if you're that way inclined.   

       ..hang on...if it's a stealth bomber, how come you could see it?
not_morrison_rm, Mar 27 2011

       You can only see them when it's Too Late, i.e. you are friendly forces and the USAF is about to bomb you ...
8th of 7, Mar 27 2011

       1967, at Davis-Monthan's Aerospace Days, the Vulcan did her routine. *With* a roll. I don't remember what it sounded like, but it felt like when my older sister would sit on me and pummel my chest with her fists.   

       The Vulcan came back in '68, as I did. With earplugs.   

       The USAF Thunderbirds finally caught up to that noise level in '69, when they transitioned from F-100's Supersabres to F-4 Phantoms.
lurch, Mar 28 2011

       [not_morrison_rm] The Stealth bomber's the B2; this was a B1. Interestingly, one of the stealth features of the B2 was copied -- sounds like -- from the (original) Vulcan, that is, the deltoid- without-tailfin shape that made it invisible to radar when seen edge-on.   

       Having perused the Wikipedia link, I now understand the idea better. From certain angles, the Vulcan indeed resembles a flattened blimp.
mouseposture, Mar 28 2011

       //Vulcan indeed resembles a flattened blimp//   

       hmm, maybe that's what made me think of it..no fiddly bits sticking out like a conventional airplane shape.   

       Anyway, decided to opt for the large speakers and ice cream van sound, so I can sell ice creams in my own time and still play a part in the defence of the realm. I can see the off-switch playing up on one bombing run, and the future Apocalypse Now film of the event will be be done with havoc on the ground to the enormously over amplified sounds of an ice cream van.   

       At a rough calculation, there's about 453m3 of volume in the shape, so 453 kilos of lift, surprisingly practical. Ok I might have to lose the whirlpool bath and the four poster..damn.
not_morrison_rm, Mar 28 2011

       //about 453m3 of volume in the shape, so 453 kilos of lift, surprisingly practical.// <link>
mouseposture, Mar 28 2011

       Sorry, I don't want a Vulcan thanks, but would settle for a BAE Hawk, or if pressed, a Grumman Goose, which come to think of it, is much more practical, to the extent where I could probably park it in the Thames.
zen_tom, Mar 28 2011

       An English Electric Lightning would be cool, although a Harrier would be more useful if I wanted to take off from my back garden.
hippo, Mar 28 2011

       I completely agree on the Lightning, very cool planes, but lacking in the necessary volume to get good lift, those wings too skinny.   

       I hadn't thought of floating, it would float (it's an airship) but then need good insulation on the electrics (or damn good way to stun a load of fish for the unsporting fisherman).   

       //They would also be able to pivot and give up/down// it can do VTOL as well dontcherknow.
not_morrison_rm, Mar 28 2011

       The 'Vulcan to the Sky' Trust run the last flying Vulcan bomber in Britain. They are looking for about £250,000 in order to fulfill their display schedule this year; that's about £50,000/show.
DrBob, Mar 30 2011

       //that's about £50,000/show//   

       I can do that for £20 and a packet of Woodbine. Ha! Let's see theirs (intentionally) fly backwards !!! Damn monopolists...
not_morrison_rm, Mar 30 2011

       //note the loud grumbles about the price of cigs.//   

       I have sworn a blood-oath that when it's my time, I'm the one who's going to be saying "Twenty Woodbine? They were [insert figure] in my day, but when you take into account both increase in prices and wage inflation, it's almost exactly the same percentage of average income" whilst pointing at a flipchart of costs/wages since the fourteenth century...
not_morrison_rm, Mar 31 2011

       I got to see / hear / feel one of the last flights of the Blackbird, at Oshkosh. That was impressive. I'd take one, although getting it into the air is not an easy job.
RayfordSteele, Mar 31 2011

       Now *that* I'da liked to see.   

       [nmrm] what kind of speed are we looking at here with that EHD drive? and how big would your project have to be in order to hold say a tonne (2 people, fuel-cell, fuel, structure, keg of beer).   

       It'd probably be better (and easier) to do it as a "BWB"d Vulcan: give it wings that encompass the fuselage: that'd make for a lighter structure with more room inside for lifting gas. Then later on paint in where the fuselage would be and add a bit of shadowing.
FlyingToaster, Jul 15 2012

       //For some reason I fancy having my own Vulcan bomber, as you do.//   

       misread: //,as do you.//   

       I thought, how did you know?
wagster, Jul 16 2012

       The real problem with the Blackbird, other than it being hideously expensive and obsolete, is not so much getting it into the air (which, granted, is an ordeal) but simply getting to to the runway without it pissing its fuel load all over the ground. Gaskets designed to seal tightly at 80,000' don't seal at all on the ground. The one at Duxford, even with bone-dry tanks and after however many scrubbings they must have given the thing, absolutely _reeks_ of jet fuel.   

       Having witnessed both the Vulcan and the B-1 in airshow fly-bys, the God of Thunder trophy definitely goes to the B-1, but the Vulcan looks cooler.   

       For my money, the most impressive sounding jet of any stripe is the A-10. The engines are rather pedestrian as far as skull-splitting roars are concerned, but those who've had the privilege of hearing that gun fired... There's no describing it. My grandfather took me to a test range at Andrews (or maybe Edwards?) when I was a little kid. I was two or three miles away from the airplane when the firing was going on, but even at that range it's one of those sounds that is just inherently terrifying.
Alterother, Jul 16 2012

       Yeah the gunfire on a A-10 is sweet. Have you ever sat in one though I'll a skinny 5' 9" and man is it tight in there. Though I say the same with the F-16 F-18 is not bad though I would not like to do a long fight in one.
dev45, Jul 16 2012

       The only fighter planes I've ever sat inside are WWII-era. I doubt if I'd fit into a modern one. I'm not in the military, nor am I a pilot, but I have great enthusiasm for history and its machinery, which my late Grandfather encouraged by using his security clearance to take me on sightseeing trips to various military bases where he worked, and once to a General Dynamics facility where neither of us had any business but were nonetheless given a guided tour by the plant manager. I guess if you sit on enough DARPA committees, all of that boredom and drudgery is rewarded by nobody questioning you when you bring your grandson to look at neat mostly-secret weapons that he will openly discuss on unregulated internet forums much later in life.
Alterother, Jul 16 2012

       Now with added video -> Link   

       The MIT head honcho speaks with a British accent..
not_morrison_rm, Nov 25 2018

       Forget the Vulcan and go for a Buccaneer. (see link)
xenzag, Nov 26 2018

       With that kind of video, [nrm], I think your place in history is assured. Possibly next to Icarus and Howard Hughes, but it'll be there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2018

       // an English Electric Lightning //   

       For sheer immersivity of experience, standing alongside a runway when a Lightning does a low-speed centreline pass transitioning to a full-afterburner tailstand is second only to being unhealthily close to a liquid-fuelled orbital launcher.   

       There is the sight of a large, heavy aircraft, apparently stationary, nearly overhead, the dancing diamonds in the exhaust plumes clearly visible; the smell of hot, unburnt kerosene; the near-hurricane of displaced air.   

       There is, however, no "sound" in the sense that the word is commonly understood- instead, there is a complex physical sensation akin to being inside a sphere moving freely within the cylinder of a powerful 2-stroke engine revving up to 12,000 rpm.
8th of 7, Nov 26 2018


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