The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team would like to raise a pint or two today to David Windestål - a Swedish radio-controlled aircraft enthusiast who recently pulled off an impressive "Space Glider" flight from a dizzying 33,000m. David's audacious mission involved taking an off-the-shelf Muliplex FunJet (picture …
Great little mission and a good video of the entire adventure..
It's amazing how ingenious some people can be, using an over the counter RC plane, Helium weather balloon, and other available gadgets, including the GoPro camera to achieve the kind of feats that were limited to science labs and universities a decade or so ago.
The reasonably priced and rugged GoPro camera has really revolutionised video footage for amateurs undertaking high altitude adventures like this,
Thanks ElReg, for not letting the Scandanavian's little experiment go unnoticed..
Indeed - amazing!
But check out the colour of the top of the gas tank - that's not helium, it's something lighter ...
And why use helium - hydrogen is perfect? Its no more dangerous than helium in this sort of situation and a lot cheaper.
11 out of 10 for the man.
ooooh - you don't want to say that in front of the SPB! They get a bit tetchy ...
I am wondering, as I do, that I'd like to do it as a series of balloons, all with the bare minimum of lift (allowing for leakage etc) so that as the altitude increases, the balloons go up way higher, before popping, or needing to be cut loose.
I also think that at that altitude, with enough balloons, etc., it may be possible with a rocket, to achieve orbital velocity.... if only half way around the earth.
Or to buy a roll of the plastic film that dry cleaners use to make covers from, and to weld up a HUGE balloon from it......
Ooooooooo this is an itch I just have to scratch....
It was the Space Wars shows I saw as a kid on TV....
"That's not helium, it's something lighter"
This high-altitude stuff is turning out to be quite a popular hobby in all it's different versions... Landing right at his feet would have been the highest of fives, mind - quite literally still something worth aiming for :-D Well done!
No legoman or playmobileman pilot? No wonder it almost failed, this time he was lucky.
Have an upvote, Mr Windestål.
wow what a pic.....
Well done that man!
Glad they waited for a foggy day
indeed... without the clouds/fog it might have been easier/possible to navigate to his feet
you missed the bit about the loss of communications and the lake then?
Well done that man, very enjoyable video too!
How long before some ties themselves to a weather balloon and glides back down to Earth in a glider suit?
For the next flight, has the SPB considered using Hydrogen as a lifting gas rather than Helium? Far cheaper and saves the scarce Helium.
//playmonaut not a smoker, is he?
Re: LOHAN II
re: Pic 6, clearly a frightening experience... #wetspot
Re: LOHAN II
As usual, the SPB is ahead of the curve!
//I stand corrected, thanks
Could combine this with James May's GPS controlled balsa glider crossing of (a section of water the same widths as) then English Channel .... I'm sure he could spin that out into a program reclaiming the UKs space heritage along with a link with some toy of the past ("Remember when you were a child and you had one of those stomp rockets where you stamped on a pump to launch a rocket which went up and then landed back beside you ... did you ever wonder about being able to launch it all the way to space? ....."). Ok, BBC, over to you now ... just put in a "from an original idea by ..." line in the creedits please!
that's exactly the sort of line May would say. If he's not available how about you act as a stand in?
Skål, David! :-)
Well done, that was awesome.
The footage was incredible.
Excellent Footage and Narration
It's also interesting to see how quickly the horizon adopts its curvature at high altitude.
Thanks for the link.
Re: Excellent Footage and Narration
The fish-eye lens on the camera was responsible for almost all the curvature you see in the video.
Re: Excellent Footage and Narration
"The fish-eye lens on the camera"...was doing some very weird things to the impression oh horizon curvature. It appeared to be flipping between convex and concave in very trippy way.
Icon...for the trippyness.
He deserves a coveted SPG T-Shirt as a fellow traveller, surely?
He does. However, there are only three in existence. Maybe it's time to look into a short production run...
@Lester Re: T-shirt
"a short production run"
Would that be a production run of a limited quantity, or production run of apparel aimed exclusively at Geordies?
<--<--<-- icon used in an ironic way, as everyone knows Geordies don't wear coats
Re: @Lester T-shirt
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting a t-shirt from El Reg - It's been five years since I won the WiReD contest and I still haven't got mine!
Did really like the KISS release mechanism!
A resistor and a matchhead. I'd wondered if the match would've got too sogy to ignite. Maybe that was the delay that caused the latex to flap around for a bit -- match had to be dried out for awhile, before it'd burn.
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