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.
Denisovans, Neandertals... And Us?
'But in far realms, among strange hominids, you couldn't shun each other, either.'
Patented! Google's Autonomous Delivery Trucks
I hope Google's trucks can find my house!
3 Parent Embryos Approved By Bioethicists
' A tkan merely courts a mlenb and is attracted to a good guur...'
DIY Armed UAV (Toy)
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'
Tired Of Speeders On Your Block? DIY Speed Tracker!
'There is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that allowed in the section in which it happens to be...'
Centriphone Whirling Selfie Camera
''Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me,' he told it...'
Eagles Vs. Drones
'Moon bird's view was... partly blocked by the pyramid, so that he did not see the bird-things dark against the brilliant sky...'
SCiO Scanner Wants You To Be Spock
Almost as easy as a tricorder?
Self-Adapting Composite Heals Itself
'...Could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.'
Rigid Clothing, Or Wearable Furniture?
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'
Swarming Intelligent Aquatic Surface Robots Ahoy!
'A remote-controlled emulsion, as it were, with uniform center...'
SuitX Cheap Medical Exoskeleton
'... standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'
Harvesting Energy From Internal Resonance
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'
Sticker Harvests Energy From Your Skin
Another way to harvest power from the body.
Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
Myo-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
'Sensitive actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories