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.


(Dynalifter concept)

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

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...

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Ignition Interlock Devices Stopped 1.7 Million Drunken Tries
'Maybe the car was right...'

Man Filmed Sleeping In Tesla On Autopilot
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Otto Self-Driving Truck Kits
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

Humans Help Robots Identify Recyclables
'You give it a good look... then press the right button and in she goes.'

Is This Robotic Hand As Quick As Yours?
'V-Stephen's surgeon-hand, a self-contained robot of precision quality...'

DARPA's XS-1 Spaceplane
'They were more airplane than spaceship...'

Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.'

OMG! DIY Arduino Robot Vacuum Cleaner Like Bradbury's Mice
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

NASA Culturing ISS Walls For Microbes
'Collect organisms and dust for study...'

Siemens 3D Printing Robot Spiders
'The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately...'

Implants Melt In Your Brain, Not In Your Hands
Implant and forget - they melt in your brain, not in your hands.

Baby Boomers Will LOVE Autonomous Cars (Trust Me!)
'Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars....'

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet Tests His Suit
'The interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

DIY Method To Summon Tesla With Amazon Echo
'Thomas focussed the violet beam of a hand flash on a plate...'

AI Lawyer 'Ross' Gets First Job
'Why don't we just feed the bloody thing to LEX...'

MIT's Second Skin Enhances Original Skin
'I must care, or I wouldn't live in this lying skin suit...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.