What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

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What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby bachaddict » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:55 am UTC

Balloon Car

Image

At least the world wasn't destroyed. Unless an airplane carrying a ton of antimatter hits them. Say, what if that happened?

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A cool quote, but I'm having difficulty parsing the last sentence.
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby paha arkkitehti » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:22 am UTC

Obvious solution is to use a wing shaped balloon. That way you get the safety factor and zero-speed flying cabability of buoyancy and the speed from the Ferrari.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:28 am UTC

I found the style of this one quite endearing. Also it gave my force->horse filter a good workout :D
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby rhomboidal » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:41 am UTC

The silhouette of a giant helium balloon carrying a little girl in a chair tethered to a Ferrari floating against the full moon was awesomely beautiful -- until it collided with the silhouette of a telekinetic extra-terrestrial riding in a crate with a boy on a bicycle being levitated through the sky away from chasing police.

But to be honest, it was still pretty awesome.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby kventin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:30 am UTC

If the objective was for a girl to get high and enjoy accompanying various sensory inputs by means of hard-to-get gaseous substance while on a scenic ride by her boyfriend in ferrari, I find the final suggestion """see if your dad will take you parasailing""" a bit lacking.

Of course, parasailing rocks.

Come to think of it, let's ditch the kite too -- what could ( ferrari + suitable tether + _wingsuit_ ) give you? ... apart from a nasty initial road rash ...

take 2: how about ( _power boat_ + suitable tether + wingsuit )

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby leeharveyosmond » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:10 am UTC

One of the illustrations has mouseover text "LATE TO AN ILL-ADVISED DARTS-THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTY", which I thought was a bit hard on Bob Fish et al.

https://www.google.com/search?q=bob+fish+darts

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby armandoalvarez » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:56 am UTC

Wonder why he mixed metric and Imperial.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby NoMouse » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:11 am UTC

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby DaveMcW » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:13 am UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:Wonder why he mixed metric and Imperial.


Thats what they do in the UK.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby cellocgw » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:41 pm UTC

Hey, wait...

FRIST ERROR FINDRRR!!! The link to average weight (http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/2000growthchart-us.pdf) is for the US, but the gal who posed the question is in the UK. Total fail :twisted:


BTW, if Scotland secedes (I haven't peeked at the news yet), will everyone in the UK weigh less? :mrgreen:
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby TimS » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:58 pm UTC

13.9 meters is about the largest the balloon can be to not lift the car off the ground (although it'd probably lift the back wheels off - I'll ignore that for now). Then at about 23 mph you'll have the balloon at a 45° angle. A 13.9 m sphere has the volume of 351,500 4 liter balloons. So there are some answers: 350,000 balloons at 23 mph.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Zassounotsukushi » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:58 pm UTC

I think that the best solution is a compromise between the two ideas. Have a minimally buoyant balloon, but also an upward sloped surface to catch the wind as the car drives. This will hopefully avoid the deadly red lights while also maintaining a good view. An airship, if you will.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby CharlieP » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:17 pm UTC

DaveMcW wrote:
armandoalvarez wrote:Wonder why he mixed metric and Imperial.


Thats what they do in the UK.


In eight months' time it will be 50 years since we decided to go metric. Maybe one day we'll finish the job. :?:
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby cellocgw » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:22 pm UTC

TimS wrote:13.9 meters is about the largest the balloon can be to not lift the car off the ground (although it'd probably lift the back wheels off - I'll ignore that for now)


Why not do what lots of New Englanders will be doing in a couple months (too lazy to convert that into NewPix): put a couple hundred kilos of sandbags on/into the car. :P
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby crashnelson » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:23 pm UTC

Also, wikipedia link for "catenary" in the footnote is actually two wikipedia links: "cat" and "canary"...heh

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Pascal » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

Have you ever run with a balloon? It doesn't point straight up. The air rushing past you pushes it down:

When standing still holding a string attached to a balloon the balloon will normally sit on the floor. If you run with it the air rushing past you pushes the balloon up, to the height of the point at which you are holding the string.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:31 pm UTC

Pascal wrote:
Have you ever run with a balloon? It doesn't point straight up. The air rushing past you pushes it down:

When standing still holding a string attached to a balloon the balloon will normally sit on the floor. If you run with it the air rushing past you pushes the balloon up, to the height of the point at which you are holding the string.


Helium balloons, being lighter than air, do not.
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:48 pm UTC

kventin wrote:Come to think of it, let's ditch the kite too -- what could ( ferrari + suitable tether + _wingsuit_ ) give you? ... apart from a nasty initial road rash ...

Add roller skates to the equation. Now you have takeoff/landing gear. (Apparently rollerskating from a tether behind a car is a thing people actually used to do. My mom skated down CA-1 from Monterey to Ventura tethered behind a car when she was a teenager).
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby cellocgw » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:14 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
kventin wrote:Come to think of it, let's ditch the kite too -- what could ( ferrari + suitable tether + _wingsuit_ ) give you? ... apart from a nasty initial road rash ...

Add roller skates to the equation. Now you have takeoff/landing gear. (Apparently rollerskating from a tether behind a car is a thing people actually used to do. My mom skated down CA-1 from Monterey to Ventura tethered behind a car when she was a teenager).


In our frozen climes, kids occasionallly catch a ride w/ just shoes when there's enough snow or slush to provide a slick surface.
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby forbiddenSpell » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:15 pm UTC

Did anyone else notice that the youtube link's search results include several shots of people in the hospital?

Parasailing Gone Wrong!!
Parasailing Crash Survivor Recalls Horrific Accident
Parasailing Accidents and Fatalities -- A Simple Solution
Parasailing accident
Parasailing FAIL!!!
Parasailing behind Car (actually relevant to our interests)
Parasailing accidents, pretty cool

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Eutychus » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:48 pm UTC

Came here to point that out. Leaving satisfied (and feet firmly on the ground).
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Pascal » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:42 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Pascal wrote:
Have you ever run with a balloon? It doesn't point straight up. The air rushing past you pushes it down:

When standing still holding a string attached to a balloon the balloon will normally sit on the floor. If you run with it the air rushing past you pushes the balloon up, to the height of the point at which you are holding the string.

Helium balloons, being lighter than air, do not.

Correct, but the word helium appears nowhere in the paragraph I quoted.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Flumble » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:05 pm UTC

Pascal wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
Pascal wrote:
Have you ever run with a balloon? It doesn't point straight up. The air rushing past you pushes it down:

When standing still holding a string attached to a balloon the balloon will normally sit on the floor. If you run with it the air rushing past you pushes the balloon up, to the height of the point at which you are holding the string.

Helium balloons, being lighter than air, do not.

Correct, but the word helium appears nowhere in the paragraph I quoted.

If you want to discuss how and when to apply assumptions, please see this (horrid) topic.

Nigh needless to say: in the context of floating it is implied that any balloon is a lighter-than-air balloon unless stated otherwise. :wink:

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:16 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
kventin wrote:Come to think of it, let's ditch the kite too -- what could ( ferrari + suitable tether + _wingsuit_ ) give you? ... apart from a nasty initial road rash ...

Add roller skates to the equation. Now you have takeoff/landing gear. (Apparently rollerskating from a tether behind a car is a thing people actually used to do. My mom skated down CA-1 from Monterey to Ventura tethered behind a car when she was a teenager).


In our frozen climes, kids occasionallly catch a ride w/ just shoes when there's enough snow or slush to provide a slick surface.


In BttF, it's a skateboard (or a hoverboard in the future - next year!)

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby kventin » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:35 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:In BttF, it's a skateboard (or a hoverboard in the future - next year!)


wouldn't a skateboard fall off after liftoff?

hoverboard, however, sounds feasible (hypopotamely). although, weren't there some issues with water areas?

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby ThatPITA » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:52 pm UTC

I read John McPhee's "Deltoid Pumpkin Seed" years ago; AERON 26 was a lifting body that used helium to reduce the power needed to keep it aloft. Worst of both worlds - a lumbering gasbag that needed a runway. Wikipedia reports that the rototype was woefully underpowered; a Ferrari might fix that nicely.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Mirkwood » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:02 pm UTC

The writing style for this What-If was, surprisingly, quite patronizing.

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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:43 pm UTC

kventin wrote:wouldn't a skateboard fall off after liftoff?

That really depends on the amount of ducktape and superglue used.
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby aquatoad » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:43 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Pascal wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
Pascal wrote:
Have you ever run with a balloon? It doesn't point straight up. The air rushing past you pushes it down:

When standing still holding a string attached to a balloon the balloon will normally sit on the floor. If you run with it the air rushing past you pushes the balloon up, to the height of the point at which you are holding the string.

Helium balloons, being lighter than air, do not.

Correct, but the word helium appears nowhere in the paragraph I quoted.

If you want to discuss how and when to apply assumptions, please see this (horrid) topic.

Nigh needless to say: in the context of floating it is implied that any balloon is a lighter-than-air balloon unless stated otherwise. :wink:


Either way, it's not getting pushed up or down; air resistance causes the balloon to exert a reaction force in the opposite direction of travel. The force generates enough power to lift the tether (string) until it's parallel to the vector. The balloon doesn't generate lift, just drag.
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:45 pm UTC

What if you used a bubble car?
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:38 pm UTC

Randall shouldn't have just searched for "parasailing"...

Parasailing behind car. The videos are just... just beautiful.
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Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Postby hamjudo » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:10 pm UTC

Most powered lighter than air craft are shaped like blimps, not spheres. It allows a higher buoyancy to wind resistance ratio. They all have control surfaces near the tail. Some also have control surfaces near the center of gravity. Likewise, permanently moored high flying advertising balloons are also shaped like blimps. It lets them fly higher in the wind.


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