Human powered and one/two person blimps.
Robin Whittle email@example.com 30 August 2002 (Minor updates 2008-01-14)
Back to the main First Principles
site, for the world's longest Sliiiiiinky and other show-and-tell items.
This page has:
Search engine bait: pedal powered airship, pedal powered blimp,
lighter than air craft, LTA, helium, mylar, carbon fibre, carbon fiber, human
powered aircraft, human powered vehicle.
- Links to sites regarding small (one or two person) lighter than air
craft - typically blimps.
- Some ideas of mine, which I discuss on the Little Blimps mailing list.
Please let me know new links to add, and any broken ones. Old references
may be findable at the Internet archive: www.archive.org .
- White Dwarf
the world's best known pedal powered blimp. Unfortunately, the
White Dwarf is no longer flying, due to the envelope rupturing during a
pressure test in late 2007. home.teleport.com/~reedg/whitedwarf.html
Some photos from October 2006 are here: rides.webshots.com/photo/2053470180044753829sNkxXS - these were discussed in the Little Blimps mailing list message here: lists.topica.com/lists/LBlimps/read/message.html?mid=1720615983
- Little Blimps Mailing List: lists.topica.com/lists/LBlimps Discussion of small blimps.
- John Ninomiya's cluster ballooning
. Tie yourself to enough large helium balloons and . . . . . This
fab site has lots of pictures and a history of this form of flight,
which goes back to 1937, and is perhaps best known because of the flight by
Larry Walters of California, in 1982, to 16,000 feet in the maiden voyage
of his lawn chair, with 40 balloons.
- Pedal powered blimp for the Sydney 2000 Paralympics http://www.eng.newcastle.edu.au/community/engnews/200011/01.html
5.5 metres (18 foot) 15 metres long (49 foot) long.
- A "multiple sausage" pedal powered blimp from Switzerland http://www.myairship.com/database/sblimp.html
This is part of the excellent http://www.myairship.com
Airship and Blimp Resources site.
John Dziadecki's extensive AIRSHIP site.
- The 400 cubic metre D-4 electically powered "airship" (really a blimp,
since it had no internal rigid structure in the envelope as far as I know)
was flown over the rainforests of Sabah, Malaysia in 1995 as part of an orang-utan
research project. Dr Graham E Dorrington's page http://www.eng.qmw.ac.uk/dorrington.shtml
has pictures. He is also researching a new version of D-4, with a
fuel-cell power system - and lightweight fibre-enforced envelope material
with low permeability to helium.
- Photos of the Air division http://www.ihpva.org/Air/ of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association
- but there were no lighter than air pictures when I last looked.
- Text report of an 18 metre long 165 cubic metre pedal powered blimp
in the UK in 1992. http://www.soton.ac.uk/~newrep/vol9/nxab003.htm
- An Azerbaijani postage stamp (as at the top of this page) commemorating
an American pedal powered "airship" from 1909. http://nestor.minsk.by/fsunews/azerbai/1995/az237-43.html
- A commercial Russian single-person blimp: http://www.rosaerosystems.pbo.ru/english/products/au11.html
- Robert J. Recks has a 225 page book Muscle
Powered Blimps which is widely regarded as the bible in this
field. It is available from the author at <r.recks (at) juno.com>
(replace " (at) " with "@"). He also has a book Building small sport Blimps.
- Search Google Advanced http://www.google.com/advanced_search.html
for phrases such as these. :
Most forms of flight involve high minimum speeds, improbable
takeoffs and problematic landings.
But lets say I want to float around the tree-tops, or cruise along a valley
and maybe over a crest of hills into another, just as one does when snorkelling
or on SCUBA . . . the options, considering we are not birds, include:
- Hot air balloons. Big, noisy (at times) and with navigation
primarily vertical - with horizontal being at the mercy of the elements chosen
by the pilot.
- Helium balloons, likewise, but much less opportunity for vertical
navigation, except by dropping ballast or releasing gas.
- Internal-combustion engine powered blimps - noisy, heavy . . .
- Human and/or solar powered blimps . . . . this is my field of interest,
especially for just one or two people.
The pages below are for my ideas, as part of discussions on the
Little Blimps mailing list.
- robin-1 Carbon fibre keel and tilting pilot
seat frame linked to tilting propeller.
- electrolysis.html How much
electricity, and what sized cells, would be needed to fill a one person blimp
Copyright 2002 Robin Whittle, but if you want to use it, let me know.
For the purposes of patent law, this should constitute publication.
- 2002 March 04 Page established with links and robin-1 directory.
- 2002 March 11 Minor addition to links.
- 2002 August 30 Added the LB list message on electrolysis.
- 2008-02-14 New link directly to Little Blimps Mailing List.