He was, after all, the leader of the Vulture Squadron.
It's official: We here at the Vulture Central Science Bureau have had enough of writing about space shuttles, orbiting Japanese laboratories and Chinese taikonauts, when the best the UK's space programme can offer is to lose touch with a 300g wedge of Somerset farmhouse cheddar somewhere over the south of England. Accordingly …
A name, hrm, the Bulgarian Funbag express? Though that would look bad for future generations of history students...
I am reliably informed that the Spanish for Vulture is Buitre, so, El Buitre? Cept then we have the problem of pronunciation, darn foreign words! It really is hard to think of a name!
The BAFH? Bastard Airplane From Hell?
The Labour Party Express - watch that plane drop as far as Browns popularity!
As for crafting it, it really is a giant boys toy (and girls toy, at least the sort of girls toy that they can pull out and use in public without an article on El Reg), and luckily I'd guess the main demographic of El Reg is.... male.
I fully agree with the fact that balsa would redifine it as a paper aircraft
But you could create struts by folding the paper tightly and wetting it then letting it dry.
I dislike the idea of balso otherwise its just a lightweight glider.
But then again is it likley that you can load equipment onto a paper plane
hmm what about the printable batteries i saw on here a week or so ago.
that would be good for powering a gps unit.
Strip down a old phone and nab the optics for photographing the flight (would prolly be easiest and safer to store locally rather than transmit the data)
You could also use arials for struts (its cheating to a degree but you could get away with it)
Name: Bee line
Paris (she's good at going down)
Heart of Gold (we need more Douglas Adams references)
"Mechanism to release aircraft from balloon at preset altitude (relying on balloon burst not a good idea). "
You'll also want to monitor altitude in case of premature descent - you want to release from the balloon if you start going down before the preset altitude.
I remeber reading ages ago about a japanese science experiment using a special sort of paper, that would release paper planes from space, and have it re-enter earths atmosphere (with all the crazy heat and forces that entails) to land on the ground, still I guess el reg's effort will be impressive still , even if it is from 1/3 rd of the height.
Problem with history books is they were always defaced when I were a lad. So, while El Reg is forging ahead with the revival of the UK's dreams of space flight, why not beat the future generation to it? Why not call it:
your mom (or yo momma) 'cos nothing goes down longer'
or 'Bungles Finger'
and while we're at it, try to use some paper from a tacky skin mag and have a snapper showing on the wing somehwere, saves time for the kids drawing one on if a photo ever makes it into the curriculum....
Paris...... any why not?
The use of balsa wood won't make it a paper aeroplane any more! A cleverly-designed cardboard frame should be able to provide sufficient strength.
It could be tough to make sure the aircraft continues to fly (rather than just falling out of the sky) all the way down, particulary with air currents. Making it heavier will help (more momentum therefore less affected by changes in the air around it), but then of course it'll need to be bigger overall to produce the extra lift. Or how about adding some control surfaces and an inertial measurement unit linked up to an autopilot?
On-board photo/video is a must!!!
I for one will happily volunteer my time to this worthwhile endeavour!
Since "high-altitude glider" abbreviates to HAG, why not the Vulture HAG?
I don't think we should be so pedantic about the fine points of wood-vs-paper; that is, unless the electronics you're inserting into it are ALSO paper.....? Surely the plastic, metal and glass are a bigger deviation from the ideal than a few balsa and/or basswood spars? Finally, to keep the weight to a minimum, experiment with muscle wires rather than electromechanical servos.
Basswood/balsa composite, by the way, would be a far better choice than balsa alone. Using built-up members with balsa in tension and basswood in compression, and your strength-to-weight ratio should double at least. Use cyanoacralyte superglue for lightweight joins, and saturation with a thinned white or carpenter's glue where stresses are concentrated.
In keeping with the 'paper airplane' theme, the skin of the plane could easily be doped tissue-paper.
am I being thick here, or does GSM / 3g coverage not extend to a sufficient altitude for such a device to be be used for real time data relay to VultureCentral? surely it will have to be satellite / rf data relay?
or maybe we should just link up some x25 cables and have a 'fly by wire' system?
... Calling the balloon 'WHITE LIGHTNING 2', and the aeroplane 'SPACEPLANK 2'?
You've got to name both of them ... the balloon's doing most of the leg work!
Oh and don't forget to start a spin-off company called ...
.. and you'll need some help converting the local bus shelter into your dedicated Space Port too :-)
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