#1474: FuelFloat

Refuelling between ships at sea or between planes in flight is not new.

Now that there are plans to built ultra-fast seagoing vessels and airships for stately global transport, another possibility opens up.

Today’s invention is a way to refuel one’s transoceanic airship from a fast-moving tanker ship.

These ships could slowly patrol underneath known flightpaths. Airships would carry only limited amounts of fuel at take-off in order to minimise manoeuvring fuel usage. When en route they could call on a tanker to accelerate and rendez-vous. Then they’d descend a little to allow a reinforced hose to be dropped to the ship.

A massive pump on board would deliver the fuel upwards, allowing much longer journeys than would otherwise be possible and providing a source of extra support in any emergency over the sea.

One Comment:

  1. It’s left as an exercise for the reader to calculate the optimal combination of airship and tanker numbers in order to maximise the mass transported per unit of fuel.

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