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Project Orion
2010-Aug-26, 05:25 AM
I saw this in a book about early flight. The guy who thought of it tried to claim the title of first winged flying machine or something. I just know it looked like monumental fun.

He used a large helium balloon to lower his weight. With help from a sort of glider type of apparatus he then repeatedly jumped great distances and glided back down.

I think it could be the next big craze. I'd love to give it a go. It might not be true flight but by jove it would feel like it.

By flapping the wings it actually looked like he was flying.

Should make it an olympic event. It would be more entertaining than ping pong.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-26, 05:55 AM
I would call it real flight. Putting on scuba gear can result in real swimming.

Jens
2010-Aug-26, 05:59 AM
I would call it real flight. Putting on scuba gear can result in real swimming.

It seems tricky to me. If you get into a 747 and flap your arms as it take off, I think it's pretty clear that you're flying but also pretty clear that your arm movements have very little to do with the flight.

Ara Pacis
2010-Aug-26, 06:32 AM
It seems tricky to me. If you get into a 747 and flap your arms as it take off, I think it's pretty clear that you're flying but also pretty clear that your arm movements have very little to do with the flight.

Different situation. I'm referring to the concept of alteration merely of one's bouyancy in the fluid of choice.

invisible
2010-Sep-03, 12:52 AM
http://www.ueet.nasa.gov/StudentSite/images/flight/glider-2.jpg

Sounds like using a trampoline on the moon. I can just imagine myself jumping 50m into the air and slowly gliding back down to earth. Where do I sign up?

Jens
2010-Sep-03, 04:02 AM
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Sounds like using a trampoline on the moon. I can just imagine myself jumping 50m into the air and slowly gliding back down to earth.

You'd have to jump a lot further than 50m to be able to glide back to earth. :) But I don't know if I can suggest anything better. "slowly gliding back down to moon"?

Ara Pacis
2010-Sep-03, 07:46 AM
Can't glide on the moon. No air.

Jens
2010-Sep-03, 09:20 AM
Can't glide on the moon. No air.

Yeah, that too! :) There are a lot of words that will end up being problematic. "I don't like the atmosphere of this place" "He's a down-to-earth guy." "I need to go out and get a breath of fresh air."

SkepticJ
2010-Sep-03, 09:13 PM
They used that technique to film certain scenes in From the Earth to the Moon, to simulate Lunar gravity.
They did it indoors (aircraft or airship hanger) so the balloon wouldn't be blown by the wind.

I bet that must've been really fun.

ShinAce
2010-Sep-03, 09:46 PM
I anticipate one small problem. Speed!

We'd love to think of a traditional ballistic trajectory, but I've only seen helium balloons rise slowly. They have so much drag that they're really for buoyancy, not so much lifting. So I don't expect you to be able to jump as high as a back of the envelop calc would suggest. The harder you jump, the faster you take off, and the less the balloons will keep up.

I gotta admit, I want to be the first to try it out if we set this up.

Hornblower
2010-Sep-04, 12:41 AM
I anticipate one small problem. Speed!

We'd love to think of a traditional ballistic trajectory, but I've only seen helium balloons rise slowly. They have so much drag that they're really for buoyancy, not so much lifting. So I don't expect you to be able to jump as high as a back of the envelop calc would suggest. The harder you jump, the faster you take off, and the less the balloons will keep up.

I gotta admit, I want to be the first to try it out if we set this up.My bold for reference. If a buoyant balloon is raising a heavy payload into the air, I would say it is lifting the payload.

Ara Pacis
2010-Sep-04, 06:08 AM
I think his point is that even if the bouyancy can have a positive effect in offsetting gravity, it has a negative effect in all other directions due to it's propensity to act as both a sail and an anchor in the working fluid.

Solfe
2010-Sep-04, 05:58 PM
Nine Inch Nails used a balloon like camera mount and lost it. It was recovered by a farmer and turned in to the police because it depicted a dead person (presumably Trent Reznor) under a tree.

I can't find any good references on the web, but there is a brief mention of it here:

http://digg.com/news/entertainment/Nine_Inch_Nails_Music_Video_Mistaken_For_Murder_Ev idence

invisible
2010-Sep-13, 03:54 AM
I don't think speed or efficiency should be considerations in this venture. We aren't going to challenge British Airways for supremacy of the skies.

Nicolas
2010-Sep-14, 12:28 PM
ShinAce has a good point: as you jump off, the balloon wire will not stay taut (it doesn't rise as fast as you do when jumping) and as such you will likely not jump very high.