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Old 08-04-2009, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Something different - Solar powered blimp!



Yup, they lined the outside with light weight solar cells. Supposed cruising speed of 40 mph (seems fast for a blimp IMO). Sure sounds like a nice fun ride to me.

Solar Blimp to Fly from NYC to Paris, Rests on Land or Water : CleanTechnica

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Old 08-04-2009, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Waaaah!! WANT!

Er, sorry, that just came out. The Internet is rubbing off on me, I guess...but OH GOD that looks like fun! Maybe a low-budget personal model would be-

(counts money)

-ummm no.

Sigh.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That is SO steampunk.

Er, Cyberpunk?

Too many sci-fi stories coming to mind here.

Blimps do have a lot of surface area, so it makes sense.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool. Too bad it's only on the drawing board - if they ever get funding, we'll see if it can fly. We'll also see how fast it can go at night - a 40mph transatlantic flight would take four days if it doesn't slow down in cloudy weather.

Actually, if you really need a green blimp, why not use hydrogen fuel cells? You could even store the fuel in uncompressed form.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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40mph airspeed? With a tailwind, it could be faster. Sailing ships used the air and water currents to their advantage.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When fuel gets expensive enough, the airship will come back. Its only a matter of when.

I love the solar cells though. Would make one hell of an RV.
If you could find a way to capture water directly from clouds, the only limiting factor would be food.
A person could literally live in the sky!!!!!!
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Think how much you would save on rent
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A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This whole Airships To The Rescue thing may be pie in the sky.

The critical path/element of course is helium.

In commercially meaningful quantities, it comes from just one place on earth...
Texas.

The issue being that we may be at or beyond "Peak Helium." For real!

In my own direct experience, in the last 3 years the cost of helium has about doubled.

Then there's the relatively easy to make hydrogen, even lighter than helium...

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Old 12-14-2010, 08:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hydrogen is going to need PR after the Hindenberg, but it wasn't really the cause of that accident.

The ship wasn't properly grounded, and it was coated in flammable material. It was likely paint or fuel which initially caught fire, which then spread to the hydrogen. At least that's what I heard on a PBS special about it. Wikipedia just confirmed that. Besides, most of the people on board survived.
Think of how many horrendous plane crashes there have been, but people keep flying planes.

I say, bring on the hydrogen!
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A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I really do love lighter-than-air craft.

There is something elegant about them.

As a kid, I read a book about a bunch of people who lived on an island, and all had balloons of various types for transportation. I can't remember the title, but it may have been THE TWENTY-ONE BALLOONS.

In Wisconsin, we have the annual meeting of the Experimental Aircraft Association. I wonder if any of those guys ever made their own blimp?

I remember one of my older brothers building a tissue-paper hot air balloon. It was powered by a cotton ball, soaked in alcohol, and lit on fire.

Come to think of it, ANY metal mixed with ANY acid will make hydrogen gas as a byproduct. I wonder what it WOULD take to make a small blimp...
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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...uh, 'daylight-only' operation would seem to be kinda limiting wouldn't you say?




P.S.--the 'devil' in "Devils' Advocate" made me say that (wink,wink)!


Last edited by gone-ot; 12-15-2010 at 07:10 PM..
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