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Environmentally Friendly Aviation

 
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Currently we see on our evening TV news snippits of the 2019 International Airshow being held in France -  
Some aviation manufacturers it seems are focusing on creating E-AVIATION engines for the next generation of passenger aircraft. The engines will be greener and quieter.

Listening to the news item sparked a memory for me of a moment in time back about 1974/75.  Back then things we a whole lot different than they are today.
At our International Airport in Auckland, New Zealand - one could stand outside on an open deck to watch as the passenger jets landed.

I recently uploaded a VHS tape - to YOUTUBE showing two PAN AM passenger planes landing that I had filmed with my Super 8 movie camera.

They were flying in from Los Angeles however to get to New Zealand - they flew five to six hours Los Angeles to Honolulu, where they re-fueled to be able to fly the nine odd hours to New Zealand.

The Youtube video shows how  normal passenger jets landing were back then with their swirling exhaust fumes. We knew no different as we didn't have Air Quality standards. We lived with the pollution  

Gosh how the world has changed..Back then the USA was testing Nuclear bombs on Amchitka Island and the French were testing their nuclear bombs at Mururoa Atoll in the Pacific. By the way the young boy sitting on the ladies lap is now 44 years old.

 
pollinator
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I would say the planes themselves output far less then those of previous generations but that is dwarfed by the exponential growth in the number of flights. And cruise ships and cars of course.

To illustrate the point:
http://cbc.ca/news/thenational/national-today-newsletter-tourism-solar-power-1.5178099

 
pollinator
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Imagine something the size of an ocean-going freighter, with a cargo capacity alone of a thousand tonnes.

Now imagine it sailing through the sky thousands of feet above us.

The cost and subsidy thing will get this thread moved to the cider press, so if anyone wants to discuss specifics there, I'm game. But suffice it to say, I think that if the political and social will moved in that direction, we could easily see solar-electric heavy-lift cargo airships using hydrogen lift bags in helium envelopes (like the Hindenburg was designed to operate) providing neutral buoyancy, with water and solid ballast and a thermal lift outer envelope for variable lift, and a profile that changes to accomodate wind direction.

With all the surface area required to contain that much lifting gas, solar panels will only have to keep from being prohibitively heavy. I'm not going to suggest that you could use the strips from calculators, but there would definitely be enough room for solar that the individual panels won't need to be the highest-yielding.

Imagine such a behemoth powered only by the sun. And no deafening ocean life with giant engines and prop noise.

-CK
 
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Chris, how about hot air?  Buckminster Fuller figured out a long time ago that if you build a geodesic sphere large enough, solar heating of the air inside will be enough to make it fly.  No exotic or flammable lifting gasses needed.  There's a nice article here.  We know Buckie's domes work; there's no reason to think his very large sphere designs would not.

Steering them, now?  That might be another engineering challenge.  I'm no engineer, but I figure if you wodge a few of them onto a sufficiently robust spar, dangle a bunch of pusher props below the spar, bung solar panels all over the place to feed the pusher props, and turn the top of the spar into a big promenade, you've got yourself one heck of a dirigible.  If your domes are big enough, you essentially don't have a mass limitation on your design.  See the world!  

Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin might start spinning in his grave so fast that he autorotates right up into the sky to join the crew, but would that be so bad?
 
Donald MacLeod
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Dan Boone wrote:Chris, how about hot air?  Buckminster Fuller figured out a long time ago that if you build a geodesic sphere large enough, solar heating of the air inside will be enough to make it fly.  No exotic or flammable lifting gasses needed.  

When I began the Forum Article (I wondered if it would be an appropriate article for this site and might indeed be moved) It was about showing the whirling exhaust fumes coming from the Jet engines back in the 70's - of how it use to be back then - and now the possible use of electric engines on Aircraft seems to be the future .

"The Quote above" is about the possible use of Sun heating the air inside of a sphere - and using that as the lifting  medium.

It so happens that back in the 70's I too experimented with Solar energy.. building a large tetrahedron out of black polythene.. It worked.  I looked through some boxes in the garage for some photos and info of the experimental Solar Balloon I built.
It appeared in Newspaper reports and some Aviation magazines.
Cannot believe those were the shorts we wore back then.

Solar-001-(Copy).jpg
[Thumbnail for Solar-001-(Copy).jpg]
Solar Balloon
Solar-Balloon-002-(Copy).jpg
[Thumbnail for Solar-Balloon-002-(Copy).jpg]
Newspaper
 
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Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts
 
master pollinator
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Chris Kott wrote:
Imagine such a behemoth powered only by the sun. And no deafening ocean life with giant engines and prop noise.



I love it!  Solar Punk!
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
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Dan Boone wrote:Chris, how about hot air?  Buckminster Fuller figured out a long time ago that if you build a geodesic sphere large enough, solar heating of the air inside will be enough to make it fly.  No exotic or flammable lifting gasses needed.  There's a nice article here.  We know Buckie's domes work; there's no reason to think his very large sphere designs would not.

Steering them, now?  That might be another engineering challenge.  I'm no engineer, but I figure if you wodge a few of them onto a sufficiently robust spar, dangle a bunch of pusher props below the spar, bung solar panels all over the place to feed the pusher props, and turn the top of the spar into a big promenade, you've got yourself one heck of a dirigible.  If your domes are big enough, you essentially don't have a mass limitation on your design.  See the world!  

Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin might start spinning in his grave so fast that he autorotates right up into the sky to join the crew, but would that be so bad?



I like his bucky ball design for the helium outer lift gas bag structure. The inner bladder would be for the hydrogen, which I believe has 12% greater lift capacity than helium. The helium is essentially a non-flammable protective gas bubble. Helium is inert, and so any accidental spark would be extinguished by the helium.

I would use steam as a lifting gas, as it has a greater lift capacity than hot air, but only for variable lift; the helium-enveloped hydrogen bags would be adjusted to provide neutral buoyancy, compressing hydrogen to reduce lift, expanding the bag with more hydrogen for increased lift, and venting it directly above as one of many emergency systems in the event of necessary reduction in lift.

The ship itself might be steam-electric in terms of motive power, induction elements heating water in a ferrous pressure vessel or distributed tube vessels at point-of-use, to avoid the weight of running steam infrastructure all over the place.

Also, imagine it designed to mimic some sea life for motive design, and whales for control. In other words, imagine a heavy-lift cargo airship as described, with an outer envelope that can change shape, within reason, to make itself a control surface. Imagine something usually whale-shaped, swimming through the air, but also intaking air directly in front of it through a giant maw powered by a giant turbojet engine (or a pair, through two separate channels) that then expels the compressed air out its ass, perhaps through a con/di nozzle (I think that's what they're called, the nozzles on rocket engines), if that could be made to function properly.

I mean, with something that maintains neutral buoyancy, I suppose you could design the flexible outer envelope to incorporate control fins and a giant tail, and have it swim and manoeuvre like a whale does, but I like my idea. I like the idea of these things going near as fast as jets. Why rely on economy of scale and cost-free operation to beat airplanes when you can outcompete them, too?

-CK
 
gardener
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Nikola Tesla was working on a way to transmit electricity through the air, but different than static electricity and lightning bolts that we are all familiar with. In a documentary I watched about him years ago, he had a vision and dream of having transmitters stationed around the globe to transmit electricity into the air for free, and airplanes, dirigibles, and other flying craft would use this endless supply of power to fly about the globe without having to carry their own fuel or batteries. He built the Wardenclyffe tower to work on this concept. This was funded by J.P. Morgan, and one day Tesla opened his mouth and told someone about this idea of transmitting power for free. JP Morgan heard about this and immediately pulled the funding and stopped the project in its tracks. The Wardenclyffe tower was abandoned and eventually demolished. And to thicken the plot, the day Tesla died in his hotel room, "men in black suits" as described by hotel staff, entered his room and confiscated all of Tesla's papers.

I don't want to derail the this thread into a discussion about Tesla or conspiracy theories by any means. I just want to share a story of a concept of environmentally friendly aviation thought up over a hundred years ago by one of the greatest minds that has ever lived.

 
Donald MacLeod
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Mark Silvert wrote:Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts



Mark - Thank you - Something over the past few days has come to mind: I did think back then - that a Solar Balloon could maybe used in those countries ( Which I believe are more or less in the Nth & Sth Poles regions ) where the sun shines 24 hours per day for a good number of weeks / months above the clouds and I envisged the Solar Balloon could go round and round as a less expensive type satelite or some such other flying scientific equipment.  Forgive me if I have my memory facts wrong - as it was way back some 47 years ago.
Regards
Don
 
The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
Taylor&Zach’s Bootcamp Journey
https://permies.com/t/115886/permaculture-projects/Taylor-Zach-Bootcamp-Journey
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