Dynalifter Prototype Ready For Flight
The Dynalifter, a hybrid helium gas / gasoline-powered engine craft, is getting closer to reality. Bob Rist and Brian Martin will fly a prototype (the 2,200 pound Dynalifter Patroller) this spring.
(Dynalifter prototype unveiled)
The unique design uses helium to achieve 50 percent of its lift; the remaining lift will be from four wings and propellers. Inside the prototype is an aluminum spine running its length and two patented tower-like structures that support the spine, wings, gas-powered engines, cockpit, and landing gear, and lend stability to the design.
Helium stored in bags use up one third of the interior; a two-person cockpit is attached to the bottom. Larger Dynalifters will have holds for cargo. The Dynalifter Heavy Freighter will carry 160 tons of payload and travel at up to 100 miles per hour.
Part blimp and part dirigible, the Dynalifter has something extra - it will achieve lift like an ultralight craft or a Piper Cub airplane. It can take off and land in short distances - 4,000 feet - without ground crews used by blimps and dirigibles.
Science fiction authors have been thinking about ships like this for more than a century. In his 1893 novel The Angel of the Revolution, George Griffith wrote about war-balloons used to transport heavy loads of war materiel.
Writer Jerry Pournelle wrote about a heavy lifter called Skyhook in his 1976 novel West of Honor:
The choppers settled onto the bags. Up on top the helicopter crews were floundering around on the billowing stuff to make certain the fastenings were set right...
The troops outside were grinning at us as they cut loose the tethers holding the balloons. Nothing happened, of course; the idea of Skyhook is to have almost neutral buoyancy, so that the lift from the gas bags just balances the weight of the load.
(Read more about Jerry Pournelle's Skyhook)
Be sure to check out a similar craft in DARPA's Walrus and Griffith's War-Balloons. Read more in Following Wright Footsteps and Reaching for an airship revival. Thanks to Winchell Chung for the extra sf tips on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/5/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )
Related News Stories -
Solowheel Xtreme Heinlein Tumblebug Video
'The cadets 'stood to horse' alongside their poised tumblebugs...' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.
WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.' - Larry Niven, 1978.
Airbus E-Fan All-Electric Plane Now Ready
I couldn't believe it, either. An amazing technical feat.
Self-Driving Truck Corridor From Manitoba To Mexico?
This might be the safer idea...
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Turing's Nose - Was That Scent Real Or Artificial?
'Rippling arpeggios of thyme and lavender...'
Xian'er Buddhist Monk Robot
'Getting to his feet he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'
AnBot Security Robot WILL Tase You, Bro
Michael Crichton right again.
Hover Camera - Unfold Drone, Shoot Selfie
'He set his camera to follow him...'
A Baker's Dozen Of Autonomous Car-Related Revolutions
'Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars.'
Would You Date A Robot? 1 in 4 Say 'Yes'!
'My hands touched a great keyboard, whence, perfect through long practice, I could direct lifelike motion.'
Sophia, The Personable Robot From Hanson Robotics.
'The de luxe model... has fifty different facial expressions...'
Swimming, Slithering Snake Robot
John Connor, how do you feel about swimming snakes?
The First 'Drone Cafe' Started By Dutch Students
'It was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor...'
Astronaut Tim Peake Completes Space Marathon
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses...'
Aerojet Rocketdyne 'Ion Drive' To Reach The Asteroids? (Update!)
'It has its own ion drive...'
Beatie Wolfe's Album Is A Deck Of NFC Cards
'The greater trumps ready to step right out through those glistening surfaces.'
Is Social Media Saving Space Travel?
'Officially, they were delighted to share their experiences with the public.'
iBubble Scuba Drone Follower
'Hovered behind him like a large tame bee...'
Ironing Robot May Fulfill Russian Science Fiction Dreams
Sometimes, the old inventions are the best.
Organic Photonic Skin Display
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories