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15 Responses:

  1. scullin says:

    Better in theory.

    • jwz says:

      That is both awesome and sad. I can't decide which it is more of. My awesome-sad needle is swaying wildly. It may lose structural integrity.

      • wisn says:

        In retrospect, a propulsion system that can potentially throw easily-shattered blades at high speeds in random directions didn't allow the giant bladder of helium in the middle to be the failsafe they were hoping for.

        • lionsphil says:

          Er. Given that the helicopters fell off the airframe first, I don't think it made much difference.

          Hell, it twists so much it could well have ripped the balloon itself.

    • latemodel says:

      Beat me to it.

    • pikuorguk says:

      Did they really need to build one to work out that it wouldn't work? Replacing the helicopters with purpose built caged fans might have worked a bit better...

      You know, I don't even want to think about the control system for it and the many points of failure in trying to make one human control four helicopters that he probably can't even see.

  2. mc_kingfish says:

    Where do I sign??

  3. saltdawg says:

    Before I worked on water-ships my "lottery dream" was to build a zeppelin and sail around the globe with whomever wanted to come along..scattering our ballast of silver dollars upon the people below (yes, I stole the idea from C. Montgomery Burns...) I wouldn't spend powerball cash on a zeppelin now, but they still fascinate me. Maybe I could hitch a ride on yours?

  4. bdunbar says:

    A company called AeroLift built something they called the Cyclocrane: rotated the lifting body for stability using four gimbaled engines , crew operated from a cab slung below the body.

    They didn't go anywhere with the idea - got to the tethered flight-test stage, ran into development problems, ran out of cash.

    Pity - it could have been cheaper to operate than a helicopter, was quieter, able to haul around comparable loads in an external sling.