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 -
Calling Google's RoboTaxi
'The taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings...'- Allan Dean Foster, 2006.
Hyperloop Transport Proposed By Tesla's Elon Musk
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... of such dimensions as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'- George Medhurst, 1812.
Evacuated Tube Transport Idea Is 200 Years Old This Year!
Take a look at the financial calculations behind this idea; one-tenth the cost of high-speed rail!
myTaxi iPhone App May Transform Taxi Business
Let's start combining these modern developments to get the services we want.
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.
New Video Of Arducorder Mini Open Source Science Tricorder
Perfect for exploring our planet.
E-Delicious Machine A Food-Tasting Robot
'Why the nuisance of bringing food to the mouth to taste?'
Nexus 6 Phone Vs. Nexus-6 Android Comparison
It has 'ten million possible combinations of cerebral activity'. Now, that would be a smart phone.
Robot Handwriting Via App Better Than Yours
Don't get caught with fake handwriting.
MIT's Latest Biosuit For Fashionable Astronauts
'You'd need a space suit to make any kind of a successful trip outdoors.'
Diamond Nanothreads For Space Elevators?
'Continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal.'
3D Printing With Moon Regolith Simulant (Moon Dust)
Don't forget, it costs about 5k dollars to lift one pound up from Earth.
Liquid Metal Technology Now Exists
'A mimetic poly-alloy.'
Sense.ly Virtual Nurse Will See You Soon
The virtual nurse is IN.
China's Crab Walker Robot Tank In Firing Mode
'The mechanism was to consist of eighteen segments, each equiped with a pair of legs...'
'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty
'Well, isn't that quaint!'
Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
Automating lip reading.
MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'
Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.
Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'
Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories