the man who fell to Earth
Sometimes i feel like that [he].. If you remember the film, he had several marketable inventions which he used the profits from to build a spaceship to return to his home planet.. But unfortunately, the government intervened, he got depressed, and never made the return journey. :( Poor alien ;) [he] There was one memorable moment in the movie which i can never forget.. He came from a desert planet and so when he saw all the water on Earth, he swooned, sat down next to a lake, took a dip with a cup, put an antibacterial in it, then sipped the water as if he was never able to drink a glass of water on his home planet.. It was quite effective in the plot (convincing us he was really an alien from a desert planet).
The inventions were also a convincing part of the plot.. So it makes me wonder if i'm somehow living out the movie in my life ;) 'Problem' is, i could choose more interesting movies to 'live' (as i've mentioned before): Lathe of Heaven or Hitchhiker's Guide.. or even Forbidden Kingdom ;) Not really for myself but the kind of universe portrayed in each is preferable (in the very least) to one devoid of any spirituality.. ^^ In Lathe of Heaven, God actually cares about us.. In Hitchhiker, the universe is too silly to worry about ;) And in Forbidden Kingdom, the Monkey King represents a kind of divine innocence which again is preferable to no spirituality whatsoever.. ^^
Back to inventions ;) i have several ideas i'd like to present humanity and ask for anyone who'd like to participate in any of them – to please contact me off-forum :) Not all of them are inventions as you will see.. Several are 'adventure ideas' mentioned in previous posts.. ;) For many of the ideas, it's a matter of talking to the 'right people' (people who are interested in similar things).. All i ask is please don't 'cut me out of the loop' (don't push me away; allow me to participate).. i'm sure there are some ideas where other's have already 'considered this angle' but.. i ask again: please allow me to participate :)
Hangglide/ridge-soar the Andes mountains
This expedition/adventure appeals to me for various reasons.. Non-powered flight for such a distance, i believe, has never been attempted.. It's so enormous we'd need to pre-place resupply stations along the route :) so logistically, this would be interesting/challenging :) Ideally, it would be a tandem kite / harness so two pilots would fly a single kite taking turns piloting :) We'd need official permission from the various associated countries (the boring part;).. We'd need backers/sponsors and a coordinating team :) A good example is rush labs: http://rushlabs.com/ i've contacted them about this idea but no one has replied yet.. If you're interested and think rush is a good choice for coordinating, please contact them specifically about this project. :)
Kayak, circumnavigating Antarctica, the Antarctic ocean
This is also a candidate expedition for rush labs if anyone's seriously interested :) Why do such a thing? To prove it can be done for one thing ;) But much more – to show what the human spirit is capable of with determination :) The kayak would have to be specially fabricated/insulated.. 'Live off the land' would be our motto on this trip :) We'd need super-reliable distillers and backups for everything.. Ideally, we'd perform some biological field work surveying the ocean :) so the trip would have several functions :) Both expeditions should be photo-documented in the very least..
A second generation hybrid design
Mechanical engineers should be interested in this project :) Anyone interested in improving hybrid efficiency should be interested.. As explained previously, the current problem is efficiency / energy storage.. High efficiency batteries are one approach toward solving this problem but they don't address the fundamental issue of energy lost via transformation. Let's back up a little.. There are two fundamental issues in mechanical engineering: translation and transformation. Translation refers to moving energy around.. Transformation refers to changing the form of energy. ^^ Energy is always lost in every non-quantum system (not involving superconduction or super-fluidity) regarding translation or transformation. Let me repeat that cuz it's an unavoidable concern: energy is always lost during translation or transformation. :( But there's hope :) First let's briefly examine the alternatives: chemical storage of energy (batteries), biological storage (such as wood or alcohol), pressurized air tanks, and flywheels.. i didn't mention oil/gasoline (a biological storage) because we specifically desperately need to wean ourselves off that particular consumable :( Like now. Back to alternatives: so.. unless we have a super-efficient battery laying around (which seems to be extremely difficult to fabricate), we're left with little choice considering the inescapable factor: energy is always lost in transformation. ^^ Sorry to beat a dead horse but it ain't gonna fly – not today. ^^ We need to reconsider the flywheel concept in the following configuration. Place the flywheel coaxial with drive shaft so very little energy is lost in translation (no pun intended;). A third generation may encase the flywheel in a magnetically levitated vacuum chamber (levitating the flywheel not chamber) ;) but one step at a time ;) ECVT will be the translating device employed in the second generation attempt. The computer controlled ECVT will apply decelerating torque on the drive shaft translating it to the flywheel during braking. During acceleration, the reverse occurs. :) It's actually quite an elegant solution to the problem. :) i believe the reasons it hasn't been seriously considered before are two: reluctance to reconsider flywheels for energy storage and ECVT is a technology that only recently has been commercialized.. ^^ i've contacted a couple local universities about hosting the project but don't expect any positive interest.. If any readers have a mechanical engineering background and access to design/simulation software, plz contact me off-forum about this project :)
Five flight-related projects
Let's start simple and move to complex ;)
A modified hangglider
i'm not especially happy with existing control frame structure and reliability.. i believe there are more robust configurations :) There's a crucial joint i'm referring to which seems suspiciously prone to structural failure under extreme flight conditions.. Any HG pilot will know what i'm talking about ;) An immediately obvious modification in 'standard design' is to change the shape of the control frame and attachment points. Instead of a dubious inverted triangle, i propose an elongated 'V' design where there are two attachment points, strategic placement to allow torque with minimal effort, which would allow extreme maneuvering (such as in aerobatics/competition) without fear of structural failure. ^^ It seems like such a small thing but why not try it out? Perhaps you can win your next competition with a suitably modified control frame. :) It should be clear we need to 'think outside the box' with everything! :)
A modified jetliner
i usually spend a few moments each day watching the approach of jets on their final toward the local airport. To recap for newbies, there are three stages to landing an aircraft: downwind, base, and final. Final is the last leg of your journey before touchdown :) i've had some private-pilot training and for myself – the most difficult part of flying is landing! :) [he] Even as a HG pilot, the most difficult part of flying is landing gracefully! :) ^^ Try it if you don't believe me! :) So when i watch pilots land their aircraft, i'm always watching the control surfaces as they attempt a graceful land. ;) But think about it.. when you compare say – a fish – to a plane, what's the difference? Planes are missing a crucial 'back fin' for stability during landing! Most aeronautical engineers would dismiss this as unnecessary but most engineers are NOT pilots! [he] So i suggest a (retractible?) vertical stabilizer specifically intended to increase landing stability – the most difficult part of flight! :) Would it hurt to try? No. i guarantee you, most accidents occur during landing because of stability issues; research it. ^^ Suggest to airlines they improve their failure rate by modifying jetliners to have a 'back fin' similar to a shark fin. [he] Jaws in the air – perhaps a safer idea than you imagine.. ;)
A unique powered bi-sailplane
This is specifically for recreation flight so those uninterested, plz skip this section.. Remember when you made paper airplanes back in grade-school? There were two kinds.. One was the 'standard fold and fly' kind which any child can copy and glide :) There are variations which are aerodynamically interesting but.. There's a version which i call 'ring plane' which perhaps even now – i'd have trouble constructing by hand ;) But it's the basis for the following design :) Take a flattened ring, shift the top back (for various reasons;), 'V back' top and bottom, add a vertical spar for strength/stability, this is your wing, attach the underside to the top of your fuselage – an elongated 'sausage', in the rear is a motor – a pusher-prop, sticking out the backside of your sausage is a spar to v-tail which is your rear control surface, a retractible wheel is below your compartment,.. This is the simplest, most compact, most flight-stable configuration i can envision for a sailplane. We need to build toy RC versions to prove the concept, but i guarantee you, people will buy both toy and full-sized versions. :)
A unique space-tourism concept: rocket-sailplane
As you can see, the ideas get better and better ;) i've detailed this elsewhere and performed an initial cost/feasibility study but i'd rather present a brief overview here :) Basically during launch, this 'critter' looks like a rocket with wings folded back alongside. 8) A solid propellant is housed in the larger vertical tube. In the smaller passenger module, there are six rocker seats and one pilot seat forward. Aft is an engine similar to that used by X-prize winner SpaceShipOne. ^^ It's a variable thrust motor controllable by pilot. After leaving our atmosphere, wings can be extended and locked into flight mode. They allow a controlled gentle extended reentry rather than quick-and-dirty fierce burn :) So no heat-tiles required.. Rocket tail-fins double as control surfaces during reentry :) Retractible gear extends for a comfortable landing.. We need to build RC prototypes of various scales. i've estimated the cost per passenger to be less than $10,000 so this is a feasible venture business with definite return potential. :) i propose to use any profits for the following project.
A fusion engine for interplanetary spacecraft
Detailed elsewhere, this idea has been 'in the works' for many years.. i believe i have the major components / overall design worked out.. There was a major revision a few years back but one stickler which needs some constructive input/insight :) Ergo, my re-request here ;) The problem relates to one raised earlier: energy transformation. Suppose we can initiate and sustain fusion that can be used for two things: propulsion and shipboard energy requirements. So imagine a chamber that uses superconducting magnets to contain the fusion mix and guide products away as propellant. ^^ The issue becomes 'energy recycling' very similar to the hybrid problem above: how do we extract the energy produced largely in the form of heat (a low quality form) and convert it to 'high quality form' (used by the magnetic fields required for confinement and pinch, the lasers used to initiate fusion, and any 'secondary equipment' (pumps, rf-generators, etc))? There's no 'miracle device', other than a thermocouple, which comes to mind.. Even that's used for instrumentation – not energy conversion/production.. ^^ So some constructive input is required here ;) Some collaboration ;) Essentially, we need a device/invention which converts heat directly to electricity ;) Sound impossible? ;) Again, i guarantee you, if we apply ourselves, nothing becomes impossible. :)
i ask again: please don't cut me out of the loop ~ allow me to participate :) if only for the symbiotic inspiration :) ..i've recently written The Mars Society about collaboration / some kind of bartering but they've declined (again) :( i believe the root-cause is that we need to embrace the spirit of cooperation / collaboration vs the spirit of competition.. ;) with Love, sam :)