[Lab] thought about flight

Jason Cobill jason.cobill at gmail.com
Wed Mar 18 17:17:38 EDT 2015

   It doesn't take much (chemical) energy to heat the air enough to go
buoyant, there's an old cub scout trick where you hang a tea light candle
under a garbage bag (see also Tailand's festival of lights
<https://youtu.be/N9Ko-yvJzHU>) and it'll float away for hours. (Before
landing in a wooded area and lighting the countryside on fire)

   Getting enough heat output from a candle to lift equipment, a camera,
fans, rudders, might be challenging. What about a small fuel canister -
something like a can of spray lubricant or the tube they use in
super-condensed camping stoves? I wonder what kind of energy to weight
ratio you could get? Now you've got basically a miniaturized traditional
hot air balloon. Think of the places you'll go!
   Generating that kind of heat electrically makes me wonder if the lift
you produce could ever exceed the weight of the batteries. Maybe if you
"warmed it up" from a plugged-in source, then used the batteries to
maintain the heat of the envelope? Even without doing the math, I'm

   Before you build this thing - consider that there has to be some kind of
law against flying canisters of petrochemicals around, particularly near
airports. Or not? I leave this as a legal research exercise for the reader.

   -Jason Cobill

On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 12:24 PM, Darcy Whyte <darcy at inventorartist.com>

> I love all the new movement towards quad copters and stuff.
> They need quite a bit more energy than fixed wing so I've been thinking
> about buoyancy. Then there's the helium/hydrogen problem.
> Has anybody entertained using hot air? I wonder if the hot air came from
> electricity it would be better or worse than a quad... Perhaps a closed
> container...
> My intuition says it's worse but it's a thought...
> --
> Darcy Whyte
> Art+ inventorArtist.com <http://inventorartist.com/> | Aviation
> rubber-power.com
> Contact: darcy at inventorArtist.com | 613-563-3634 by appointment (no text)
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