#1484: Airslice

Airships are increasingly thought of as global transport vehicles for the future.

Today’s invention is a dirigible design which consists of a number of modules, many of which contain a vertical matrix of super-strong, partially evacuated tubes (the others would contain cargo or passengers).

These tubes can withstand atmospheric pressure but should some become damaged, the whole vehicle will remain aloft.

All these tubes are arranged so as to form a very tall, vertical aerofoil section. The pressure difference between top and bottom faces provides the upthrust required to support the ship (as usual) and the blade-like section minimises drag.

I imagine this would be driven by jet engines embedded in a subset of modules.

For flexibility of operation and safety, groups of modules might be extractable from the stack, rotated through 90 degrees to form a wing, and flown earthwards.

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