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back to article Germany tests tadpole airship

A German-American company has successfully tested a prototype unmanned airship of weird and wonderful design. The so-called "Stratellite" craft is composed of gas-filled segments linked in a chain, so it can flex and bend with the wind. Here's a company flight-test vid (you need Flash and YouTube privileges to see it): Like …

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Tom
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wot about h2o

I wonder if you could get condensation and split that to generate fuel. You wouldnt want to use hydrogen down here but up there its not likely to harm anyone - and its a lot lighter too!

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Alien

Close Encounters of the Bogus Kind

Get ready for a fresh rash of UFO sightings when this thing starts being tested. I can see the headline in the Sun now: ET Soars With Eagles!

But seriously, its just as well Concorde isn't still flying, I bet these things don't show up very well on radar.

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Alien

I forsee

a rise in UFO sightings over Germany - cigar shaped ones but pointing upwards rather than the tradional zep. ones (oh wait, is that what the UFO is, a balloon ?).

All hail our helium breathing overlords....

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My first thoughts were of this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk

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unmanned

If its unmanned why not opt for cheaper hydrogen?

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@Tom

You would need lots to fuel to supply the energy needed to crack H2O and make hydrogen fuel. It would be simpler to just use a perpetual motion machine.

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not like the old days

I keep hoping that airship technology will once again allow a civilised joruney from, say Buenos Aires to Berlin, leisurely sipping cocktails as we sail, nearly silent, across Brazel's forests, the Atlantic, and the Alps before making a civilised descent.

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Coat

Tadpole?

Not my first thought, but...

...mine's the one with the latex products in the pocket.

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Coat

Flying Spermatazoa

Presumably they make a giant condom shaped airship to catch them in.

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Happy

kinda sweet

i wish they'd draw a big happy face on the front of it.

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Eh?

"tadpole-like segmented design"

Since when were tadpoles segmented? I know it's Friday, but...

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Bring back the Zeppelin!

US military has been experimenting with high altitude baloons for years.

Cargolifter AG had been developing long distance zeppelin -like cargo transports , before they ran out of money. (Just like the original zeppelin maker - hence the REALLY bad sponsorship deal)

Since it is the greenest way to fly, and since Iceland has plenty of hydrogen (Volcanoes,produce energy, crack H2O) but no efficient way to transport it, I think we might see a lot more of these in the future.(Unmanned, of course..lets hope no-one jams their gps)

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Stop

I don't quite get it

Wait a second.... how far back in time exactly does it go? I mean if we were talking days or weeks I can see it catching on. But if it can only go a few minutes back in time then I really don't get the point of it at all.

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@smallbrainfield

You fargin' bastidge, you read my mind.

Brilliant bit of technology, I thought, but my brain can't stop it from looking like a goddamn' giant sperm.

On top of it, you spot one of these from the ground, flying at around 70k ft, and man, does it _ever_ start looking like a giant sperm. People really _will_ think we're being "invaded".

Oh, and I can't wait to see the first high-res orbital fotos from the ISS of one of these bad boys flying over water, while the crew and MCC joke about how it...

...ohh, never mind; the black trench, thanks.

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Joke

A bit low

65 feet is a bit low for cruising height

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Stop

Looks like a Tadpole? Not! It's a.....

Are we being politically correct on The Reg now?

So -this thing has a large white head and a flex-tail?

and it looks like a tadpole?

What were these chappies doing in Biology class?

It is without doubt or procrastination - a large Sperm cell.

[Shock -Horror]

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Go

What, nobody else?

None of you see the dreaded "planet eater" / doomsday machine that Captain Kirk bravely fought from his La-Z-Boy recliner many years ago? Hmm. Tadpole it is then.

If it really looked like a flying sperm cell, we surely would have been treated to a dozen or more Paris references by now. Tail's much too thick.

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Boffin

Venting off expensive Helium

Why go to the expense of using large volumes of neutral buoyancy gas for fuel when you could use cheap, low volume, high energy density petrol or LNG and compress the excess expensive helium into a tank, replacing it by pumping air into a bladder, to keep the buoyancy neutral.

This is not new technology, it is analogous to the way submarines vary their buoyancy.

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Dead Vulture

Sanswire, damn

Wow Reg editorial standards are really slipping first not calling it a giant sperm and then not googling Sanwire and Securities Fraud. This company is well know amoung airship enthusiasts, unforunately not for good reasons.

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Yes I thought Sperm

at first, but then I thought

"..add some wings and a forky tale-PUFF ! the magic dragon !"

This invention only has a future as a Children's Entertainer, if such a thing's still allowed these days.

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Whatcha whatcha gonna do

when the airworm comes for you?

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Boffin

@ James Pickett

Tadpoles have always been segmented... they have vertebrae ;-)

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