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High-speed vortex blimp

  1. Nov 16, 2008 #1

    I know this sounds crazy but I just found this really interesting idea at wwww.amasci.com. It's basicly a plan for a hovering heavier then air blimp, which can travel faster then the speed of sound, without making a sonic boom. It sounds like a UFO and I just want to know if its phyiscally possible.

    The page can be found at http://www.amasci.com/amateur/vortgen.html Under the the title HIGH-SPEED VORTEX BLIMP about half way down the page.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2008 #2


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    Welcome to PF, Rdunk.
    The guy uses a lot of fancy words, but I can't see any way in the world that the thing would even fly, let alone with the kind of performance he's proposing.
  4. Nov 17, 2008 #3
    Why wouldn't it work?
  5. Nov 17, 2008 #4


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    I'm an amateur, so I'm going to leave the analysis to the pros like Astronuc, Fred Garvin, etc.. It's possible that I'm wrong, but I don't think so. Call it a pilot's instinct on my part.
  6. Nov 17, 2008 #5
    Ok, I'll wait for the experts.

    BTW, thx for the welcome.
  7. Nov 17, 2008 #6
    I might not be what you call an "expert", but no this will not work. There's so many things wrong with this idea that I could go on for hours about how ridiculous it is. But since I don't want to go through trouble I will just state the the speed of sound (or any speed for that matter) can not be reached using any method of friction with air as propulsion. Second, lets say if you could, there is nothing about this blimp thing that would cause it to not break the sound barrier. If anything it would make an even louder sonic boom do to its poor aerodynamics.
  8. Nov 17, 2008 #7
    Ahh, of course the rotating "blimps" would be pushing air. So there would be no thrust.

    But then how does a smoke ring move thorugh the air? See the attached gif, this might explain how the craft can propel its self.

    Edit: Srry your're saying that there would be thrust right? But its not enough to break the sound barrier. Sounds fair enough. But then it could be argued that as smoke ring produces no drag, this craft would produce no drag, Maybe?? (afterall whats the difference between the craft and a smoke ring). And because it's allmost frictionless it would require very little thrust.

    Edit Two: In the gif the rotaing action of the ring itself provides practically no frition. I.e. the acutal otuside surface of the ring is not actually grinding aganst the air molecules but rather moving with them.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  9. Nov 11, 2011 #8
    I'm no expert, but I'm thinking you wouldn't get any movement out of it, because each "blimp" would have as much forward motion as backward.
    I.E. if the "blimps" are rotating inwards, then the outside of the "blimps" would be moving forwards.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the idea he got this from, smoke rings, are a result of air motion, not a cause.
  10. Nov 12, 2011 #9


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    I don't know why he thinks it would move particularly fast.

    Even if he could arrange it so that the forces and counter-forces do not balance out, what he's essentially got is a paddle wheel powered airship.

    I see what he's saying about the laminar flow but what makes him think he can move that huge mass air - from the front of the craft, around the sides and to back - for free.
  11. Nov 12, 2011 #10


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thankfully, this three-year-old crackpot link is now dead. Sorry I missed it at the time. Thread locked.
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