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  1. MikeK

    World's Largest Aircraft (Stratolaunch) Flies for the First Time

    I think this is a fine thought experiment, good to move forward in air transport. I just wonder how much servicing a passenger plane needs, besides the usual cabin cleaning, refurbishing, etc., as far as the aircraft itself between flights. Personally, I would want the plane looked over...
  2. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    Thanks a lot for the contacts, I definitely will contact him.
  3. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    Thanks, Aesquire, for the good post. It is actually something I'm considering. I don't think the standard blimp shape is great for dirging, that's why they put wings on the one shown. For dirging, a Turtle or Deltoid Pumpkinseed shape is probably better. Those shapes are easier to hangar, too.
  4. MikeK

    World's Largest Aircraft (Stratolaunch) Flies for the First Time

    Thanks, Marc for the good post. From tv videos and movies, it seemed that they turned really soon. I remember hearing something about 'rotation' in the shuttle launches. I think that's when the shuttle rolled over with it's back to the Earth, and seemed not to be going straight up anymore...
  5. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    So there you go, Vince. I see so many tv shows with helicopter or drone video, but they seem to have to zoom away too quickly, don't take the time to really investigate the places they fly over. As long as it doesn't look like a predator, I expect wildlife to ignore something silent in the...
  6. MikeK

    World's Largest Aircraft (Stratolaunch) Flies for the First Time

    It's an amazing accomplishment, and my friends at Scaled should be proud of it from a technical standpoint. But I'd bet a lot of $$$ that it'll make a few more flights and then end up outside at some museum forever, like the Spruce Goose (but taking up way more space). Marc, your concern with...
  7. MikeK

    World's Largest Aircraft (Stratolaunch) Flies for the First Time

    OK, wonderful aircraft, but what is it for? OK, sorry, I went back to read the report. Actually, it's what I have always supported, flying up to space as opposed to the standard Saturn 5 type of launch. Richard Branson pioneered this system, and I'm glad to see it catching on. I would think they...
  8. MikeK

    Copy Right Infringement...in another country

    I really don't understand how US Patent lawyers can offer services with a straight face. They charge something like $10,000 for patent help, and then the US Patent Office wants more! Meanwhile, the Chinese flagrantly copy anything they like, undersell the original builder, and there is no way to...
  9. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    ....................................................... Enclosing the cockpit inside the hull will certainly reduce drag. Side windows are still a good idea. To simplify construction, build the cockpit inside the Norge-style triangular keel. You probably only need a keel 2/3 the total length of...
  10. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    Excellent post, Scott. Long ago I started a book about my adventures in an airship. Perhaps I should pick it up and see just how much I could write. I know nothing about getting published, though. Your ideas of blogging and livestreaming are great. The right person in the pilot's seat is the...
  11. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    I'm hoping to keep weight down to the absolute minimum, with only one motor, a very spartan cabin, and yes, it would be interesting to see if shifting my weight within the little cabin area centered in the ship could actually affect trim. I plan to mount the motor on a section of center tube...
  12. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    Cost is very important in my project. The heavier envelope, due to the thickness of the plastic, and a motor, controls, even the simplest pilot accommodations, all add up to making the ship larger than a cloud hopper. I'm trying to make this an economy version, if that's possible, while...
  13. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    I hope to lift one person and enough ballast, probably about 50 lbs, to fly one day. Each day any lost gas is replaced, and ballast re-filled. Water makes sense there. I used to have the specs, but have misplaced my notes from the 'Small Blimp Forum'. That was a great forum, good conversations...
  14. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    I've seen too many videos of balloons hitting power lines, with deadly results. Any flying contraption has to have a way to avoid power lines. With mine, as a last resort, I can use the 'chein-de-mer' ( sailing device, like an underwater kite) as an emergency anchor. It's hook-shaped, should dig...
  15. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    Not that I expect my ship to go fast enough to over-pressure the nose, I still plan to make that section out of slightly thicker plastic, since it is the most likely panel to suffer collision. Vacuum-forming is a simple process, I made nose and tail sections for my model.
  16. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    I think those were called 'cloud-hoppers'. Cheap and simple way to get aloft, certainly to get a good view. At the current cost of gas, a recovery system would be nice. Bag it up, take it home to fly another day.
  17. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    Tim, what you mention is what Dan Nachbar did with his Alberto. It had pvc tubes inside, something like an umbrella. He had it flying, but this was a while back now. I don't know of much new from him, have not found a contact.
  18. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    A lot of good points to consider, Riggerrob. Trying to maintain envelope shape through internal pressure while not venting valuable gas is a daunting task. I'm sure it would occupy a lot of the pilot's attention. Maybe a micropressor and a pumping system could handle it. That's why I'm really...
  19. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    It was probably that book that got me interested in airships. Safety was highly stressed, and that appealed to me. I made model planes, and when the styrofoam ones came out, the simplicity was impressive. Even Wonder Woman's airplane was intriguing, it seemed to be made of clear material, and...
  20. MikeK

    Airship builder in Bristol, Tennessee

    While living in Norristown, Pa., I met a man who said he invented styrofoam. He said he had to go around the country and help producers with the recipe. Apparently different altitudes affect production of styrofoam. It made me wonder if it could be made with hydrogen instead of the usual gasses...
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