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"The Flying Dutchman"

A floats-in-the-air ship-in-a-bottle.
  [vote for,

Balsa wood can weigh as little as 0.04 gm/cc.

Tungsten hexafluoride, a colourless gas, clocks in at .013 gm/cc.

Build your ship in a bottle, pour in some WF6 and cork it. Jiggle the bottle and watch a floating-in-midair Flying Dutchman crest invisible waves.

FlyingToaster, Jun 09 2011

... and I woulda got away with it http://www.youtube....watch?v=XjCmwuGKR6g
if it weren't for those pesky kids. [FlyingToaster, Jun 11 2011, last modified Jun 14 2011]


       Apart from the fact that WF6 is extremely corrosive and very damaging to organic tissue on even the slightest exposeure, there's nothing wrong with this idea whatsoever.   

       Could the model be of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701 ?
8th of 7, Jun 09 2011

       Well, you'd actually want to fill the bottle with very dry air before pouring in the WF6. Regarding the model, an hydrogen-free formula'd "anti-fouling paint" below the waterline should preserve it.   

       You'll be taking the "unfinished" model I presume, 8/7 ?
FlyingToaster, Jun 09 2011

       [+] sounds like fun! I'd like a little floating ballerina in mine, thanks!
xandram, Jun 09 2011

       Me too!   

       Although, I'll take mine floating face down.
rcarty, Jun 09 2011

       I love it. A scrolling background might be a nice touch.   

       I have to ask, was this inspired by the latest Pirates of the Caribian movie?   

       I'll take a kite
Voice, Jun 09 2011

       // taking the "unfinished" model //   

       Yes indeed, we intend to electroplate it with Unobtanium to give a long, trouble-free service life.   

       A very thin shell pressurised with gas would be even lighter.
8th of 7, Jun 09 2011

       Awesome idea, [FT]! Two buns up! [+] [+]
Grogster, Jun 09 2011

       You could use the much safer sulfur hexafluoride. While it only has a mass of about 0.006 g/cm^3, remember that you ARE building a boat after all. You could design the boat with an airtight air (or even helium) bladder, to keep it from sinking down to the bottom of the shallow clear sea.
ytk, Jun 09 2011

       // much safer //   

       What is this "safer" of which you hu-mons speak ? Your words are strange to us...
8th of 7, Jun 09 2011

       //Pirates of the Caribbean// umm, an attempt to defraud the Dean drive demonstration, from Vernon's ARTRR post a few months back actually.   

       //sulfur hexaflouride// *that* one'd be quite safe to build in a bowl. You could also suck some up in a straw and lower the pitch of your voice temporarily (reverse Helium effect). It's dielectric constant is quite low compared to air so you might be able to set something up for a "lightning storm" that only attacked the ship from above.   

       However, Tungsten hexafluoride's BP is 17.1C and its MP is 2.3C so with a bit of household level refrigeration trickery you could have it stuck in an ice jam or floating in a liquid, as well as floating in mid-air at room temperature.
FlyingToaster, Jun 09 2011

       Is this before or after it hydrolyses from atmospheric moisture, eats though the container its in, causes you critical burns and poisons you ?
8th of 7, Jun 09 2011

       [8th] That's the WF6 but there's no acid until *after* it eats some Hydrogen (HF) so as long as the air in the bottle is dry and the bottom of the boat has its "anti-fouling paint" applied before you pour in the WF6 there shouldn't be any problems.   

       SF6, which is what [ytk] suggests as an alternative, is quite safe without all the precautions (according to WP). But then you'd lose the phase-change possibilities of the advanced project. § x1
FlyingToaster, Jun 09 2011

       // there shouldn't be any problems //   

       OK, good, now we're totally reassured and happy.
8th of 7, Jun 09 2011

       Okay, beyond the fact that this is a really cool idea, this is weird, very very weird; I just spent the last few hours reading about the source(s) of the Flying Dutchman legend. I'm not kidding.   

       Also, I happened to catch the tungsten hexaflouride episode of Mythbusters not two weeks ago. Coincidence?
Alterother, Jun 10 2011

       I can't find any reference to a Tungesten Hexafluoride MythBusters' spot. I just found a YouTube clip of Adam lowering his voice a couple octaves using Sulfur Hexaflouride; I assume that's the one you mean (I'm not a regular watcher of the series).   

       //Coincidence?// This was posted about 12 hours ago, so you must be well tuned in to the HB zeitgeist.
FlyingToaster, Jun 10 2011

       Howabout just filling the ship with hydrogen, or would that be just too safe?
not_morrison_rm, Jun 10 2011

       Howabout about going all the way and making the ship a mini-vacuum-dirigible? Then all you need is air in the bottle?
sqeaketh the wheel, Jun 10 2011

       // ship a mini-vacuum-dirigib//   

       In that case does not need even a bottle, ship should be able to float in the mid-air just like that, which I doubt since the weight will surpass force of buoyancy.
VJW, Jun 10 2011

       I'm curious as to why no one asked for a *Flying Toaster*!! haha
xandram, Jun 10 2011

       I have an art-work which I made sometime ago which is a Submarine in a Bottle.... must post an image of it.   

       I actually have a few _ _ _ _s in bottles pieces. This is a good one FT - well done [+]
xenzag, Jun 10 2011

       [Toasty] yes, it was sulfur hexaflouride, not tungsten; they were using it to float a tinfoil boat on "invisible" water. My bad. I only watch tv once or twice a month myself, so I rarely remember specific details of the shows. It was just the 'hexaflouride' part that jogged my memory.
Alterother, Jun 11 2011

       They couldn't get it to float(?) There's one of a couple little kids who manage to do that... gah, 3 years ago <link>
FlyingToaster, Jun 11 2011

       I'd like a toaster in a bottle. Could be floating.
tatterdemalion, Jun 11 2011

       Yes, I've definitely got that self-toasted feeling. I'll hang onto it though: the post is superior in terms of artistic and potential antipersonnel functions.
FlyingToaster, Jun 12 2011

       Most of this discussion goes over my head. But wouldn't a simple solution be to use a mag-lev concept and float the boat using like polarities in the keel of the boat and a similar polarization in the skin of the bottle?
jurist, Jun 12 2011

       [jurist] faux "rocks" on the bottom of the bottle perhaps, but you wouldn't be able to get the thing to roll with the waves since there wouldn't be any.
FlyingToaster, Jun 12 2011

       I saw something quite similar although not as cool where someone had filled a bottle with two different oils and the boat floated between them.
mitxela, Jun 12 2011


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