Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ultralight Airships?

So a couple of years ago, this man duplicated the attempt to fly with a bunch of helium balloons that was done by a man some years earlier...

... now, this isn't exactly the safest thing to do. This is mainly because the fact that even the most professionally manufactured hot air balloons can only control their vertical position. Hot air balloons must have a ground crew to follow them and literatly go wherever the wind blows.

"Lawn Chair Larry's" attempt to do this almost ended in the loss of his life, and made national headlines. He went into airspace occupied by commercial aircraft

But the success of Kent Couch proves that there is hope for this type of ultralight airmanship, if better designs are put into place. There are several ideas that come to mind:

Video courtesy of Journeyman Pictures

  1. Make this a structly indoor activity: There is a french inventor that made an indoor 1-person airship that allows a person to fly around like a bird. What if "indoor flight parks" could be made for people that want to make personal airships?
  2. What if Electric Duct Fan (EDF) motors could be made to help control the steering of personal airships of this type that fly outdoors?

Hang gliding once started out as this super psychotic thing that only the most hardcore thrillseekers did, and many of them got killed in the early days. But as time went by, the technology improved and organizations such as the USHPA began to develop a body of knowledge for pilots to enter the sport safely, and now hang gliding deaths are extremely rare.

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