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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Airships   19.02.08 15:43

I'd like to suggest a clean transportation system for cargo: Airships. They don't need roads, a big plus, and don't require as much fuel. They could be used for busses as well. Coaches.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Airships   19.02.08 23:26

I've been thinking about this as well. I remember reading a few articles in Popular Science about the resurgence of the airship. Giant modern helium airships were envisioned, and even hydrogen ones for transport of heavy cargoes. I particular like the latter idea, as heavy-cargo lifting airships could be extremely useful for the construction of the city-state. Perhaps entire houses and other large features could be pre-fabricated and lifted into place as a completed unit; thus speeding and cheapening construction.

Do you know of any good links to this sort of thing?
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   30.06.08 4:55

Just an odd thought, but how expensive does a barrel of oil have to be before electric airships become economically viable compared to the conventional airliners?
They'd be slower for sure, but there is no replacement engine technology for the hydrocarbon jet engine save for the Scimitire which no one is funding, airships on the other hand can be far more flexible in engine choice.
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Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Airships   01.07.08 0:23

That is a very interesting observation, lkm. I wonder if this is being discussed elsewhere on the web?
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   04.07.08 14:32

Once it reaches the point at which businesses will find they can't pay for all their flights?
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   06.07.08 17:21

Businesses already have a decent alternative to flying, Telepresence. It's everyone else who can't really take a holiday remotely or visit relatives by email.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   11.07.08 14:53

I'd say they were at that limit already.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   20.07.08 11:15

well there's certainly a few US airlines posting substantial losses so far, but it seems likely the oil price is going to drop in the coming year so they may have a reprieve to get their act tgether.
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davamanr
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PostSubject: Re: Airships   10.09.08 23:05

Airships are still a great transportation option. You wouldn't need an expensive airport runway to land, and they get much better fuel economy than aircraft. It's not even that slow. Trains travel at about fifty miles an hour on the ground. An airship travels around 100 mph in the air. It doesn't have to go up and down and around terrain so 100mph in the air is probably equivalent to about 130mph on the ground. Twice as fast as a train, half (at least) as cheap as an airliner. Unless it absolutely has to get there overnight, airships would be a very attractive option, even if gas prices drop.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   12.09.08 16:19

Unless you live in a country with a decent railway and terrible weather, in which case your trains are pushing 200mph and your airships are grounded.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   12.09.08 18:36

lkm wrote:
Unless you live in a country with a decent railway and terrible weather, in which case your trains are pushing 200mph and your airships are grounded.

Granted, it's not a universal transportation system, but in many, not all, but many, applications it can be a very practical and inexpensive alternative. Also it is practical for many, not all, deliveries to remote locations. There are a lot of locations that can only be accessed by helicopters, and there is a limit to a helicopter's payload. For a fraction of the fuel, an airship could deliver even larger payloads than the helicopters.

Just want to make sure there is no misunderstandings. My point of view of this topic is as a stand alone, clean-slate issue, as opposed to using this idea for establishing a clean-slate city-state. As a transcontinental or overseas transportation system, airships could work. But for a small city-state, obviously it's not very practical
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   13.09.08 8:54

Sorry, just being argumentative.
If you read the car thread you can see I quite fancy the idea of small personal hybrid airships, something about the size of midibus with lightweight construction a small negative bouyancy and moderate lift. VTOL to level flight transition using full electric thrusters and drive. Think of it looking like the shuttle craft in firefly, switchblade wings would be a good addition. I really think it could work.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   13.09.08 9:15

The important thing for me is to keep an open mind. Being a little argumentativa can be a good thing. It challenges ideas and opens up new ones. Your post on the other page about a battlestar style landing pad for an airship is very imaginative. It got me thinking about an airship with a hole right down the middle of it. I don't know about a landing strip, but I'll bet that there could be an innovative use for that space!
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   18.09.08 6:36

A really giant turbo fan. Solar panels on top, CN blades, electrical heating in place of combustion. I have no idea what you'd use it for , except for a giant airliner.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   18.09.08 8:38

Well, at the very least keep it on the drawing boards and see if somebody comes up with some wild idea that nobody considered before.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   19.09.08 5:08

If you a couple on a really high aspect ratio wing you could have a really slow high altitude loitering airplane, with very little noise.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   19.09.08 13:26

Ok, there's one idea. Good start.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   23.09.08 6:03

Having reviewed the TV program I watched with the floating wind turbines, they were having difficulty with the stability of the design they were using. This idea of an airship with a hole in the middle would be a very viable solution to this issue. Install a turbine in the hole and the airship would be self correcting and would be stable.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   23.09.08 6:09

Wouldn't attaching wind farms to massive sails be somewhat couterproductive?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   23.09.08 6:34

These floating turbines are up around 1000 feet so there would be no competition for the same wind. Aground mounted turbine capture air up to around two or thee hundred feet, the floating turbines operate at whatever height they need to. So off of one mount you would essentially have two turbines and if these are mounted off shore you can even mount tidal turbines. Three times the power from the same structure.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   27.09.08 10:41

Maybe attaching Helicopter blades to a wing shaped blimp with overall negative bouyancy to allow it to hover over an area but use it's wings while flying.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   27.09.08 12:51

My concern with the floating turbines, if I understand them correctly, is that if you have a large blimp at a thousand feet and you put turbines on it, when the wind blows and you wish the turbines to move instead the blimp will as it has such a large sail area. What movement you will get from the turbines will be greatly diminished by the reduced relative windspeed. Now, assuming the blimp actually tethered to the ground you will still lose power until the tether slack is taken in, if the tether has no slack then effectively you have a bouyancy supported tower. all in all you might well have been better off forgoing the turbines entirely and just take your power from the pulling on the tether.
All of which puts me in mind of something else entirely: Airyachts.
Take a rigid blimp, put a mast and a keel on it, unfurl some sails, hey presto, sailing the wide blue yonder of the skies. What could possibly go wrong?
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   29.09.08 15:47

I like it. In fact I can see a market for vacationers using this. Sending passengers on an air cruise as opposed to a sea cruise. I would like to have a little more control while cruising. Perhaps solar panels to power propellers the same way a yacht has a back up motor for travelling in no wind.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   29.09.08 16:23

I was rather thinking of an around the world airyacht race, broadcast live by chase blimps, with huge corparate logos plastered on the blimp as it rides the jet stream. I'm sure an airyacht could do the race much quicker than a sea yacht making it a much easier proposition for TV.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   29.09.08 16:27

Sounds like a money maker to me. The other advantage with racing is it will advance the technology at an accelerated rate.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   29.09.08 16:36

"Tired of seeing all your millionaire friends with super yachts just like yours? Yes? Then buy an Airyacht and join the sport of billionaires, and be the envy of all those six figure losers all over again!!!
Buy one TODAY!!!"
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   29.09.08 17:19

Brilliant!! Why aren't you in advertising or marketing?!?!? LOL
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   30.09.08 5:21

It's just occured to me that the only reason to have a keel is to conterbalance the tipping forces from the sails, but an airyacht could just as easily have two masts, one above, one below, doubling the sail area.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   30.09.08 7:08

Why not horizontal sails? Four times the sail area as well as altitudinal control.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   30.09.08 12:46

Winds, in my experience, are strongest in the horizontal. While you could sail in a following wind with horizontal masts, you might find it difficult to do anything else.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   30.09.08 13:22

I was thinking that the vertical sails would handle the left and right movement and the horizontal sails handle the up and down. Also four sails would increase the forward motion potential.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   30.09.08 14:15

I'm not quite sure what you mean by left and right and up and down, the purpose of a sail is to convert wind blowing across a range of directions into a forward motion as close to the desired direction as possible. The direction itself is set by the rudder, I'm not sure how, or why that should be the job of the sails.
You could have four masts but, as I said, the horizontal ones could only really add sail in a tail wind at which point I'd be worried about the sail interfering with the vertical sail. You could, I guess, decide to fly your spinicker horizontally and your head sails vertically for engineering reasons.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   30.09.08 17:01

I think you're thinking two dimensionally instead of three dimensionally. For the same reason that a ventral sail would add to the sail area the horizontal sails would add on as well. Sails essentially act as wings creating lift across the surface, which is why they can make some forward progress even in a head wind by zig-zagging. It wouldn't matter if a sail was on top, bottom or side it would still create motion/lift in the same way. So in this case four sails would create four times the motion.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   06.10.08 13:26

I've tried to think this thing out clearly because I wasn't sure that you weren't right. It's been a while since I was out on the water but this is how I remember it working, forward motion can be produced in a roughly 270 degree arc opposite the direction the wind is coming from, motion is fderived either by sailing with the wind behind you and just pushing the sails, and thus the boat, or by sailing, to some degree, into the wind and setting the sails such that they act, as you say, like aerofoils generating lift with a directional vector perpendicular to the sail and thus with two components, one directing the yacht forward through the water and the other pushing the boat sideways against the water, hence on a close hauled yacht on a fast tack you lean well over in the water.
On an airyacht a horizontal sail will be capable of being let out to capture a following wind and derive forward motion, I think we agree on that. However when sailing into any sort of head wind which is blowing horizontally the sail would also have to lie horizontally and thus produce a force with only an upwards lift vector so the only way to derived forward motion from that would be to tack on the vertical plane, i.e always be sailing upwards or downwards, never at a set altitude. Perhaps that's what you mean by thinking 3 dimensionally, to me that sounds more like a recipe for motion sickness. Given that you'll have to be making the same tacking maneuvres on the horizontal plane a four mast airyacht sounds like it would be 'interesting' to sail, if not a lot alot of fun and downright terrifying.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   06.10.08 14:04

I was referring to three dimensions with respect to the wind approaching the yacht from the top, sides as well as underneath as opposed to just the top when it is on the water. Since we're not in water but in air the same principles can be applied to all four sails in the same manner.

There are a great many yachts today that use computers to adjust the sail rigging for optimal performance. It might be a more complicated algorithm, but I'm sure a program could be developed for this application, thus keeping in the fun but minimizing the terror!
Also, using computers we could go with a three sail configuration with the sails spaced 120 degrees apart.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   08.10.08 9:07

I wasn't think for the life of me of having men running about doing this stuff by hand at 3 000 feet up, I was more thinking of being in a tin can moving in every which way but a straight line. The interior would have to resemble the golden age scifi space ships full of gimbled seating and hand holds.
On another matter, have you ever seen those inflatable balls you can climb in and then roll down a hill side? Zorb balls they're called. Well how about filling them with helium and using them instead of a parachute, a 4 metre sphere with a 10 kg negative bouyancy would have a terminal velocity of less than 20km/h. You could coat it with radar absorbing material and line it with kevlar, plus it would be even more fun going down a hill in. You could have rows of them as escape capsules on your airship carrier, you just open the hatch and drop down into it, and away you go.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   08.10.08 22:21

Sounds like next generation bungee jumping! Not only could they be safety devices, they could be recreational devices!
You might also be able to use them for disembarking passengers. Without having to land you just drop the passenger and his bags out the hatch.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   09.10.08 3:58

I was thinking they might be fun for a game of boules, either by droping them from a hieght, or by rolling them down a convenient hill.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   09.10.08 13:08

Do you realize how many potentially lucrative ideas we have come up with in this forum? If we were to start a CSCS, we would never have any financial problems! We would make RONCO look like amateurs!
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   11.10.08 6:06

I've gotta get me one of those balls to fill with Hydrogen, or even better, electrons!

SkySailing? Sounds good, we already do it slightly using the tailwind on Aeroplanes.

I've been wondering about using ball shaped Airships as transport. I want to make one that is capable of carrying me to a decent height (100,000 foot+) then releasing Hydrogen through a valve to return.
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   11.10.08 8:52

I've often wondered if you couldn't build a semi-rigid airship rocket, with pressure fed variable thrust gO/gH engines. Released from the ground pointing straight up the airship rises through buyancy, as it rise the gas bag preasure equalizes with the external air preasure by feeding hydrogen to the engines to be burnt which increases the lift, which increases the presure which increases the fuel flow and thus the thrust, and so on until the air becomes so thin that the lift provide by an equivalent volume and pressure of hydrogen is less than the mass of the structure and the thrust of the engines is less than that requires to continue upwards, at which point it stages and a conventional dense fueled second stage makes it to orbit. Or something like that. Think of it like this, the hindenburg carried 179,060kg of hydrogen, a delta IV medium only masses 70,000 kg more. Just file this one under crazy.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   12.10.08 0:55

NoMoreLies wrote:
I've gotta get me one of those balls to fill with Hydrogen, or even better, electrons!

SkySailing? Sounds good, we already do it slightly using the tailwind on Aeroplanes.

I've been wondering about using ball shaped Airships as transport. I want to make one that is capable of carrying me to a decent height (100,000 foot+) then releasing Hydrogen through a valve to return.

Instead of just releasing the hydrogen or helium what about recompressing it back into a tank to be used again later?
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BrianSle
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PostSubject: Rocket Powered Hybrid Aircraft   12.10.08 4:41

We are currently in the R&D Stage.
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BrianSle
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PostSubject: I tried to post a link to Escape Velocity's web site   12.10.08 4:48

Is that allowed? The concept uses hybrid rocket powerd airships to boost 2nd stage for orbital insertion. The current design would also support a lot of functionality for other areas already discussed in this thread
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Redsand11j



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   12.10.08 9:03

yes

and could you tell me more about that balloon filled with electrons? Is sounds interesting.
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NoMoreLies



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   12.10.08 10:19

All it is is an Electrostatic Balloon filled with electrons to maintain its shape.
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BrianSlee



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PostSubject: Not sure what you guys are looking at try this link   12.10.08 10:55

"www.escape-velocity.biz/LTA_Orbital_Launch_Systems.html"
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   12.10.08 13:49

Very, very cool. Seriously.
My first gut reaction to it is to ask why, given you seem to have a 50m ram scoop and 400m of possible engine length, you haven't considered the possibility of a scramjet faze between mach 5 and 15 for a stupendously high risk profile.
As I, limitedly, understand it the main obstacles to scramjets are getting enough air and getting it to combust in such a short space of time. Your design seems to rather bypass those design constraints spectacularly, so much so that it might give you a significant boost in payload. The only issue you'd still have to face is that of the intense heating associated with hypersonic flight in the atmosphere, which you'd have to face anyway for a mach 6 ramjet.
May I also suggest you consider reaction engines scimitre engine design, they are hydrogen fueled precooled combined cycle turbojets. They are designed specifically to enable SSTO operation, being efficient turbojets up to mach 5.5 before transitioning to LO/LH rockets. They use the crogenic hydrogen fuel to precool the air to near liquid before burning it at high pressure. The design has a theoretical thrust to weight of 14 and may help save mass by enabling a single engine choice and a single fuel.
I take it payload is held at the front, but how is it released?
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BrianSlee



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PostSubject: LTABS Animation   12.10.08 14:41

If you click the link at the top right of the home page it brings up an animation.
www.escape-velocity.biz/index.html
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Airships   12.10.08 17:20

LKM, This design sounds very similar to the idea we were batting around with the airship with the hole in the middle. Here is another applicaton for this same concept. Clearly brilliant minds think alike! I'm very curious as to what other applications can be applied to this concept.
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