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It's not a balloon, it's an airship!
November 7, 2006 5:00 PM   Subscribe

You can keep your Skycar, your jet pack, your helium guzzler. Give me a Personal Blimp, floating on hot air and pushed by electricity.
posted by plinth (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
wow, that is great!
posted by mwhybark at 5:15 PM on November 7, 2006


... or pushed off course by wind, the oldest problem. Give me a saucer shape with a big assed engine, and I'll get back to you.
posted by djrock3k at 5:17 PM on November 7, 2006


Oh the humanity...
posted by clevershark at 5:17 PM on November 7, 2006


I bet that thing is a ton of fun in 15 knots of wind!
posted by b1tr0t at 5:21 PM on November 7, 2006


205,000 cubic foot hot air blimp with a ribbed envelope for her pleasure.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:23 PM on November 7, 2006


Seems kinda big for just one person, yo.
posted by squirrel at 5:26 PM on November 7, 2006


Great post. Good job.
posted by winks007 at 5:29 PM on November 7, 2006


I'd prefer an enclosed cabin. It gets cold up there. Though I suspect this doesn't go too much higher than your average balloon.

And the fan in this image, is that really all they are using to propel it? I would think that would be woefully inadequate.
posted by quin at 5:42 PM on November 7, 2006


Ya it's cool and all, but I'd look like a total dork commuting to work in it.
posted by The Deej at 5:44 PM on November 7, 2006


Nice try, but I'm looking for something more like this.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:29 PM on November 7, 2006


Blimps, blimps, blimps, I love blimps. I love saying blimp and looking at blimps and thinking about blimps and flying my personal blimp down to Blimpie's for an Italian Combo and BLIMPS WHOOOOO EEEEEEEE POW!


thanks, this is cool.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:29 PM on November 7, 2006


too cool for words.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:01 PM on November 7, 2006


I'd like to have been sitting in on the meeting during that fleeting second? (minute?) that hydrogen gas was on the table. You know they had to have mulled it over.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:20 PM on November 7, 2006


Propulsion Type: Gasoline

Sorry.
posted by Eideteker at 7:55 PM on November 7, 2006


Though I'm sure the gasoline is used to do work pushing a motor that generates electricity. But electricity isn't a fuel; it's just a delivery system.

(I'm always cautious when someone says something is "powered" by electricity, because the fuel source could be chemical batteries, hydrogen (combustion or fuel cells), solar, or something else. The electricity isn't the issue, usually; some people say "powered by electricity" as if it's an environmentalist endorsement. Of course, they're not looking at where their electricity is coming from...)
posted by Eideteker at 8:02 PM on November 7, 2006


I must have one of these. To live. Seriously.
posted by jaymzjulian at 8:17 PM on November 7, 2006


Eid,
From the summary:

(Note: Initial flight tests are using a conventional gas-powered motor. Electric motors will be added once these initial tests are complete. Similarly, the initial flight tests are being made with conventional -- i.e. loud -- hot air balloon burners. Quiet burners will be added later.)

posted by Divine_Wino at 8:22 PM on November 7, 2006


...Which implies, but does not confirm, that electric battery powered motors will be used. I meant to add that. Blimpy, blimp, blimp.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:29 PM on November 7, 2006


The metal-plated tower on top of the building was planned as a zeppelin port but it was used for only one zeppelin landing because the winds were too strong at such heights making mooring dangerous. The golden age of zeppelins was also coming to an end.

<sigh>I <3 zeppelins</sigh> even more than flying cars and jetpacks combined.
posted by porpoise at 8:58 PM on November 7, 2006


I was just talking about this the other day. Why don't we all have blimps? Surely, if we poured some money in it, we could all be cruising in space-age zepplins*.

*good band name
posted by Bookhouse at 9:09 PM on November 7, 2006


You can keep your Skycar

I have a Skycar? Cool!!!
posted by pompomtom at 9:25 PM on November 7, 2006


Is it possible to build a helium-proof enclosure? 'cause while mooring a full-on blimp might be tricky in one's neighbourhood, I should think a personal-size ballon might not be too big. At least for those of us with large flat roofs...! :)
posted by five fresh fish at 10:00 PM on November 7, 2006


Can we buy 1000 of them, strap them together, and create a neighbourhood in the sky?

I would love that. Maybe some kind of solar powered who-ha for power.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:45 PM on November 7, 2006


Why don't we all have blimps?

Windage, storage space, and speed.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:52 PM on November 7, 2006


I'd rather have the jetpack, thanks. Um, one that doesn't incinerate my lower limbs would be preferable.
posted by Talanvor at 10:59 PM on November 7, 2006


Memo to SkyYacht marketing department

Re: Hindenberg incident
The third pic in your image gallery looks like the blimp is plummeting straight towards the ground. You may want to change that.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 11:57 PM on November 7, 2006


Actually the real reason that the Hindenberg incident happened at all was that the US, who controlled the world's almost-entire supply of helium gas at the time, was in a trade embargo against Germany at the time, so the Germans had to use hydrogen to keep the airship aloft.
posted by clevershark at 4:25 AM on November 8, 2006


Nice. And apt, esp. if you got to see NOVA last night. There was a nice bit about Santos-Dumont's flying his personal zeppelin from his apartment on the Champs Elysee to Maxims before the first war.

Simple days....
posted by IndigoJones at 5:20 AM on November 8, 2006


Synchronicity. Just last night, I took a cab back from Greenpoint because the F train was jacked for a change. On the way back to the city, the cabbie and I wound up talking about flying cars, and, yes, jetpacks.

F'ing weird.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:22 AM on November 8, 2006


It was done in Parisian style by Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont in his 1903 balloon No. 9, the Baladeuse:
Built to demonstrate the possibilities of urban travel, Santos-Dumont often used it to "drop in" on unsuspecting friends. Powered by only a 3 h.p. motor and a gasbag capacity of a mere 220 cubic meters, on many occasions the airship was flown from his shed to one of the Paris boulevards to have a drink - landing in front of the pub.
If you have the chance, don't miss the new PBS-NOVA show, Wings of Madness.

In more recent à la mode, there's the pedal-powered blimp White Dwarf, built for Gallagher in 1984.
posted by cenoxo at 1:46 PM on November 8, 2006


Makes me think of Chabon's novel Summerland, which is all about baseball and personal blimps. There was an article a few years back about the "future of travel", which predicted the return of the zeppelin as we increasingly focus on slow movements, and the journey-as-destination.

I'm still waiting!
posted by szechuan at 2:08 PM on November 8, 2006


I would love to do this to one of these solar powered airships currently being developed.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:33 PM on November 8, 2006


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