Buoyant Power!

When I was younger a TV show called Beyond 2000 ran a story about the Helistat Piasecki PA-97 prior to it’s testing. I never saw the episode, but I do have the book! For years I looked at this interesting concept, wondering if it was successful or not.

This was obviously before the internet and this was one of the first bits of research that I did once I had access. To my disappointment it was a failure, and a rather complete one at that. After only a few trials there was a ground handling mishap due to a gust of wind, and everything was destroyed. Sadly even the test pilot died.

This seemed to have the had the effect of killing the concept for some time, even though the fault was mostly attributable to the rough nature of the prototype; the frame was inadequate and all other parts were re-cycled. Even the name “helistat” has become a dirty word. But the concept of the hybrid airship is too appealing to resist. By combining the neutral buoyancy of a blimp/zeppelin with the lifting power of a helicopter allows you to cancel out most of the vehicle weight leaving you with a long range craft with the vast aerial lifting capabilities. Many industries need this; especially logging. But the advantages don’t stop there. The PA-97 disaster aside, “hybrid airships” would be much easier to handle on the ground due to reduced buoyancy, which also means that the ballast issues that make zeppelins and blimps impractical become a non issue. Also, unlike ships and aircraft, all they need is an roughly-prepared open area to load and unload.

Thus it’s hardly surprising that the idea has been revived. This is the SkyHook JHL-40, a joint Boeing – SkyHook International project that is aiming to achieve a 40 ton lift over 320 km (200 miles). No prototype is ready as yet; in fact nothing is likely to even be in the air until 2014. Hopefully it’s the first of many. I must confess that it’s a dream of mine that zeppelins have a revival in my lifetime; I think they have a potential to replace some aspects of sea and air transport, especially with odd shaped cargo.

DARPA are actually researching this right now, with a project referred to as Walrus HULA, but details are scarce on the project. (It may even be canceled.)

But for now it seems that the concept will just have to live on as a favourite Sci-Fi / Steampunk concept!

Love Space Ship: Happy Birthday Coll!

What’s better than the Love Boat? Why a Love Space Ship! This being ours it has some special features including side-by-side seating, a control system that requires both of us to work together for the ship to more, an excessive amount of controls, and a triple screen computer with a high speed link to the latest Manga. (Sadly there’s no room for much LEGO on the ship, but most of the time it’s going to a store to buy some…)

Stats

Range: Infinite. Love has no boundaries
Speed: Infinite. Love has no limits.
Endurance: …I’m sure you get the idea!

I wanted to make this to celebrate my wife’s birthday, but I only had a few hours to make it so I cheated by taking a design of a heart I found on Brickshelf made by maskatron, I then reversed it and “cut out” the inside. I wanted to make something like this for our 10th anniversary, but I didn’t have the time. Today I still didn’t have the time… but I made this anyway! I quite like how it turned out; I’ll have to put some more work into it later! (It needs more thrusters…)

Keyrings Off!

Here’s how to convert a Rock Monster keyring to just a Rock Monster. Grasp the keyring firmly and pull! You expected more? OK…


The key thing that I wanted to share is he’s not glued. I thought he was from the start so the first thing I did was try to crack the “seal” as I was concerned that I’d break the head if it was fixed from the inside. But this achieved nothing but damaging the poor fellow as I found that the mouth did lift a bit, just enough to show me that he’s moulded different to the regular figs. As you can see in the photo they’ve added an extra tube inside so they can use the normal pin and that’s how they kept the mouth closed.


The hole in the head is without glue as well. So all you need to do is pull/twist it out!


So there you are. A “new” Rock Monster minifig ready for…. dunno. He needs some love eh? Anyone know what colour paint Dark Grey is?

The Luvly Laady

I at last got around to adding the page for The Luvly Laady. Also, Classic-Pirates were kind enough to blog the Luvly Laady too!

Voting is going on now, but being a Sci-Fi MOC in a Pirate Forum I don’t rate my chances too high! (I don’t go too well in contests actually… maybe I should get a new hobby?)

Finishing it will be delayed until I need her. I have at least three MOCs needed for the next two parts…

…I’ll be back!

But it won’t be soon. It became clear to me last weekend that I was out of time, and highlighting the point, it took me several days to get around to posting here to say so! I’m moving in 12 days so finishing several MOCs, photographing them, and then editing the photos will take way too long and wouldn’t be smart. I still have loads and loads of LEGO to pack (I’m photographing and sorting as I go) so it looks like this’ll have to wait.

I’m not really surprised though; afterall, it’s why I posted half a comic in the first place. But sometimes I like to be wrong…

But wait, there’s worse!

For the many that think my ideas of what is Sci-Fi and what isn’t are a bit extreme, it seems my views are rather moderate! I just read this blog post on amctv.com and…. wow!

Personally I think she goes too far. I agree that Inter-Species Mating is pure rubbish, and that Precognition is probably better seen as fantasy, but questioning the believability of Godzilla is silly; it’s supposed to be a hybrid of a gorilla and whale afterall.

Most of all, her stance on “Ray Guns” is odd and rather simplistic. Straight away she pretty much says that all “Ray Guns” are lasers and then explains why they would make silly weapons. While I agree that lasers would have limitations, I disagree about the initial assumption as there are other “Ray Gun” options. Babylon 5 for example have a nice solution (and a cool looking effect in the first season) with PPGs (possibly the same concept is in Terminator and Aliens), and Nikola Tesla in the 1930s believed a Teleforce weapon was possible.

Even so, it’s nice to be on the other side for once!