Tandem Flies to 95,085 feet!
Something new at the boundary of Earth and space
The Tandem is launched out of balloon launch bags. This allow flight is adverse conditions.
From the flight announcement:
Tandem is an unmanned twin balloon airship. The two balloons
are separated by a thirty foot long carbon fiber truss.
Two electric motors each spin a six foot long propeller. The propellers are specifically designed to work in the thin
atmosphere twenty miles up. The airship weighed eighty pounds, twenty pound of which was the balloons.
After fighting through extreme turbulence from 40,000 to
flew nearly four miles higher than any airship before. The pilot on the ground then remotely turned on the motors
and flew the airship through a series of maneuvers. At the end of its mission one balloon burst and the command
was sent to release the other balloon. Tandem was then carried to a soft landing by a row of five parachutes.
This was JPA’s one hundred and twenty-sixth mission.
“The big aerospace firms have been trying to do this for
decades, spending hundreds of millions of dollars.
” Say John Powell, President of JP Aerospace. “We’ve spent about $30,000 and the past five years developing Tandem.”
Tandem is a general workhorse vehicle. A high altitude
backhoe, It will be used as a launch platform for small
research rockets, a mother ship for hypersonic test airships and all around tool for the Airship to Orbit program.
Airship to Orbit is a project to build large V shaped airships that will fly to space.
Tandem is also a construction vehicle for high altitude research stations and eventually cities at the edge of space.
Tandem Class Airships
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page was last edited on October 25, 2011
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