June 12th, 2006

  • roybot

Ch. 13 of Aeronautical Design Textbook: Failed Innovations in blimp design

Chapter 13 - Failed Innovations in Blimp Design

For various reasons, ideas that seem fantastic on the drawing board, often do not work out in real life. We provide you here with a number of examples, in the hopes that you acquire a sense of what can go wrong, and which ideas will not fly.

  • Balloon-mounted rocket cannon
    If it had succeeded, it would have been in great demand, but sadly, none of the test pilots survived.
  • Invisibility cloak
    One word: Seagulls. And, if that doesn't make it clear, another two words: Passenger Jet.
  • The "Hindenberg Button"
    The idea seemed to work, but testing was difficult and legally costly.
  • Built-in Restaurant
    Potential restaurant clientele found it difficult to fufill their reservations.
  • Titanium, bullet-proof gondola
    This idea never got off the ground, due to weight issues. Also noted was the lack of a bulletproof balloon negated the benefits of a bulletproof gondola.
  • Plastic-ball filled balloon to provide day-care for children of pilots
    Kids and helium don't mix.
  • Digital display on balloon for ads, as opposed to paint
    Pilots could not resist changing the display to naughty words.
  • Cash bar
    Pilots demanded a free bar.
  • Tractor beam
    Blimp tended to be drawn towards the target object of traction, rather than the desired (opposite) effect.


For more information, please refer to "Pimp My Blimp," vols. III-IV

Posted by Reverend Tedward Q. Porktanker