August 18, 2016
September 08, 2013
October 19, 2012
January 10, 2008
Of course there is another "peoples car" that it might also emulate.
Time will tell.
I'm rooting for the Tata's.
Wait...that's not what I meant!..er..to say out loud.
November 17, 2007
The Zeppelin NT airships have had a superb saftey record thus far and are quite fuel efficient.
They are also fricking Zeppelins...which makes them trancendentally cool.
This type of Zeppelin is interesting because it generally operates slightly heavier than air. It gains the few hundred pounds of lift it needs from its fins or its vectorable propellors, though by dropping ballast it can float like a balloon if necessary. The design allows for far better foul weather performance and, as a bonus, a ground crew of as few as 3 which is a huge improvement over previous designs. Because of their rigid construction and compartmentation, Zeppelins are more robust than Blimps (which have no internal bracing).
If approved by the San Fransisco city council, this will be the first rigid airship to be based in the US since the decomissioning of USS Los Angeles (ZR3), and the first to be comercially operated.
Besides the retrocool cool factor, Airships, because of their fuel efficiency have a lot of undevelloped potential for ultra low pollution comercial air travel, although they are slower than planes (about 120 kts max). They can also cary fairly heavy loads to remote areas and so have some potential as freightliners.
On the military side, airships have great potential for Search and Rescue, Airborne Early Warning, Antisubmarine and mine clearance both at sea and, interestingly, over land using a big ground penetrating radar and other sophisticated sensors. The mines could be destroyed with cannon or if detected near a civillian dwelling a BD team could be landed. I read recently that one company (Airship Industries of the UK I think) did some considerable work in this arera but there were no takers. This last option gives the potential to clear large areas of landmines quite efficiently.
Pic via Modern Airships which has scads of links concerning...well...modern airships.
October 24, 2007
July 31, 2007
Don't go roaming with the i-Phone.
I'm glad I'm not rich...or I'd be broke.
HT: Jerry Pournelle
...probably because most of them just creeped people out.
HT: Rand Simberg
July 17, 2007
With a name like United Nuclear you know its gotta be good!
Radioactive decontamination spray (?!)
FREAKING TESLA COILS!!!!*
And thanks to Don for pointing out her blog!
*tesla coils do not actually freak
June 27, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 17, 2007
In fairness this is the name they give their product.
It is true that the terms were clarified in the 50s or thereabouts to refer to jets as air-breathers, and rockets as those that carry their own oxidants, the terms were once interchangeable and the propulsion (as opposed to fuel details) are pretty much identical (turbofans notwithstanding). However the capabilities of the systems are vastly different. Rand is absolutely right that a real jet pack would be much cooler than this as it would have orders of magnitude more range.
I want one!
June 13, 2007
He is not enthused.
HT: Jerry Pournelle
May 15, 2007
One important point he makes, that many predictors overlook, is the track record of past predictions...which, as the absence of a jet pack in my closet and a flying car in my driveway attest...is spotty at best.
The privacy implications are troubling as is the prospect of disastrous single-point failures if things like driverless cars really are mandated, but read the whole thing.
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