# goodyear inflatable plane

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#### tomsteve

##### Well-Known Member
funny how I came across this while looking into something, and then couldn't remember what I was looking in to!

://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodyear_Inflatoplane

I found this stat

Maximum speed was 72 miles per hour (116 km/h), with a cruise speed of 60 mph.

probably led to this

the U.S. army ultimately cancelled the project when it could not find a "valid military use for an aircraft that could be brought down by a well-aimed bow and arrow".:jaw:

cool video

#### Peartree

##### Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Global Mod
In an era before hang gliders and ultralight aircraft, I could see that, if they existed, this would be something of interest to special forces and covert operatives.

#### BuiltFromTrash

##### Well-Known Member
That's cool. Now it needs to be covered in kevlar.

#### Kelley

##### Well-Known Member
I got an inflatable Goodyear blimp made out of the same stuff as beach balls. If that airplane kept air as well as it did, no wonder it was cancelled.

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I seen this on the History Channel.
It was cancelled after the loss of a pilot.
Seams like one of the cables broke and tore a hole in it and spun crashed.
A webbing was engineered into the wings to make them more ridgid as they fluttered.
It was designed for operatives to escape from behind enemy lines/borders, etc.
They also showed the vertical take off plane.
Looked more like a rocket with a prop on top.
Some of the gadgets they came up with for spying back then was quite fascinating.

#### georgegassaway

Around 1974 or so, my Air Force Junior ROTC class took a bus trip down to Fort Rucker, AL. Got to see a "live fire" of some 3" missiles from an Apache that flew about 200 yards past us at high speed, and we saw the warhead explode about a mile away.

Anyway, they also had a museum of US Army Aircraft. And an inflatoplane was one of them. Tonight, I looked it up, and sure enough.... it still lis there.

http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2008/06/weekend-wings-20-inflatable-aircraft.html

Now, these days, there would be no need for and inflatable plane for a "behind the lines" rescue. We have way better technology.

There was a Christmas video by Casey Neistat, who is a master at creating Youtube videos (He did a daily Vlog for nearly 2 years, stopped last fall). One reason he stopped was to be able to spend more time doing special videos requiring a lot of time and planning, the daily vlog grind didn't allow for that. He went to Finland to shoot this, at a "Santa's Village", and also no issues with the FAA outside of the U.S. The local authorities were aware and gave permission for him to do it.

Anyway..... he used a huge R/C Drone to pull himself along on skis, such as riding up a ski slope. But most spectacularly, HE FLEW!. There was a cable running down his arm to a body harness, though it looks in the video like he was just holding on by one hand. Anyway, the drone had over 1000 pounds of thrust, easily lifting him. The drone operator was careful not to carry him up TOO high.

You will need to go to youtube and search for "Human Flying Drone", to see that video. It is the one that runs for 4:13. There is a reason why I'm not posting the link directly, won't elaborate, so sorry for the need to search for it. But there's a good reason to bother, it's really neat (also see the pic at the end of this post)

What occurred to me later, is that drone had so much battery power to it, and so much overkill thrust, that something like that could be developed for military rescue. Perhaps have it fold up into a smaller package, so it could possibly be carried under the wing of an attack jet to overfly a downed pilot and be dropped from very high altitude like a bomb (a opposed to dumping out the back of a C-130, slow and risky). Except once it slowed enough and deployed, it could go to very low throttle and steer itself down to where it had been programmed the pilot would be (and/or capable of live updates from some other aircraft or possible beacon the pilot might have). Would not require a lot of battery power to fly itself down, unless for safety of the aircraft carrying it, it was dropped say 10-20 miles away (from say 30,000 feet) and had to travel horizontally a good ways. But it could be designed to use a "landing battery", so after landing that battery could be jettisoned.

The pilot would have to put on some sort of harness (the drone would bring it) and clip onto the rescue drone's cable. Then when he was ready, press a "Get me outta here!" button , stand to one side, and wait for the drone to take off and get high enough for the pilot to walk underneath so by the time the cable lifted the pilot up it would be a vertical lift. It would then automatically fly to a designated rescue landing location. Range could perhaps be 20 miles or more, would really depend on the battery capacity and efficient of the drones motors, props and such (Which would be pretty highly efficient for the right price).

Now if the range were only 20 miles, maybe that's not enough to fly a pilot back across the lines. But it would allow the capability to fly the pilot to a "safer area" with no known enemy anywhere near, and a rescue helicopter could fly to land there about the same time as the pilot did. In theory the downed pilot could be flying inside the rescue helicopter one minute after the drone landed.

Now, there are some real-world "rescue" drones being worked on for civilian uses, such as swimmers in the ocean or survivors of sunken boats. So the whole "fly a human back" rescue drone is not a new idea. Also, there have been several successful "climb aboard, sit in the seat, and fly yourself" drones. The one below is one of the earliest (Pilot controlling by holding R/C Transmitter in his lap) , if not the first, by "Volo", who has a much more advanced and robust prototype now, with cockpit.
See their site: http://volocopter.com/index.php/en/

But those "sit in" types are too bulky and complex to try to make into something to be folded up and transported rapidly.

But I have not run across anything about a possible military rescue as I just described. I'd expect something like that is being studied, at the least, if not already being prototyped. Could even be a DARPA thing. Although while DARPA is the tip of the spear of publicly known military R&D (not that they reveal THAT much of all they are doing)..... I'm not so sure how well rescue may fit in among their mission charter for researching advanced military technology. So it might be something more along the lines for a military branch to have an RFP for (though all branches would have a need for this), or for some company to secretly propose.

Also while this has focused on a downed pilot scenario, if those could be made 'cheaply" enough to have LOTS of them, then also situations where an army patrol of say 8 troops might be trapped...... send a "swarm" of these things in, hook everybody up to one, and fly 'em all out. If they could hole up in a small safe haven for long enough to pull it off and fly out in some initial vector that could avoid being shot at too easily (clearly not practical in all situations, but many times could be). Weather too bad for a rescue copter? Not these things! Some of the consumer Drones like the DJI Phantoms can hover over one spot, in 40 mph wind, with gusts. No visibility? Drones don't care....a lot can autoland blindly. Or if none of that might be practical, a pinned down patrol running out of ammo...... use powerful drones like this to precisely land ammo and other critical supplies when a regular air drop is no good.

Anyway, I was considering those things in December, and with a big reason for the inflatable plane being for rescue of people trapped behind the lines, thought I'd mention it.

BTW - below was shot using a 360 degree camera at the end of a stick he held with his left hand.

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#### Rex R

##### LV2
I would imagine that a chute harness could be made to work and since most downed pilots have one you could reduce the amt of payload delivered by the drone.
Rex

#### Kelley

##### Well-Known Member
I know this kind of strays away, but I was thinking for a while that drones could be used for model rocket search and recovery operations. some kind of hook to snag the shock cord, shroud lines, parachute. Camera and Gps. Someone is surly using them to search/retrieve their rockets. This might be a subject for a new thread.

##### Roger Smith
I know this kind of strays away, but I was thinking for a while that drones could be used for model rocket search and recovery operations. some kind of hook to snag the shock cord, shroud lines, parachute. Camera and Gps. Someone is surly using them to search/retrieve their rockets. This might be a subject for a new thread.
Right now at least, a typical multicopter isn't going to be able to lift more than a few ounces. So, it doesn't make sense to risk a multi-copter costing hundreds of dollars to rescue a rocket costing a few dollars.

-- Roger

#### BuiltFromTrash

##### Well-Known Member
Yea Casey's drone cost A LOT. Probably on the order of 3k. Not an ordinary drone. Still I think a drone with decent lifting capacity can be had for under 1k.

#### georgegassaway

Yea Casey's drone cost A LOT. Probably on the order of 3k. Not an ordinary drone. Still I think a drone with decent lifting capacity can be had for under 1k.
I do not know the exact circumstances, but some. That drone was developed 100% independently by a small group of experts. Somehow, that group and Casey got hooked up to do the video project (he had wanted to do it last summer but did not have the time, the daily vlog grind). Samsung was involved in sponsoring the cost of the whole video shoot.

Anyway.....that drone would at minimum cost more like $30k than 3K. Each motor alone may cost$1000 or more. And that's mostly the parts cost, not counting the R&D and assembly. I mean if a person went to them to buy one, the "fly away" price would likely be WAY past $30K. I will say the impression I got, is they did not just do this as a lark or a hobby project. They probably are developing this as a prototype for a commercial product, if not as a "here is and example of what we can make" public relations demonstrator of their capabilities. FWIW - below is a link to the xFold Dragon D11 drone for high-end camera use. Can carry up to 100 pounds, costs about$32,000. The one Casey used is a lot more powerful than that and likely bigger. But that gives a sense of price for something to lift 100 pounds and fly decently. And that's a "Mass market" drone probably produced in China.

Good idea about starting a separate thread on using smaller commercial drones for possible model rocket uses, let's do that (I'll start one unless someone beats me to it). So I won't get into that here, I was replying to the above to give a better impression about the cost for something with that kind of lifting power.

#### tomsteve

##### Well-Known Member
I was thinkin the inflatoplane could possibly be good for lookin for lost rockets. with Takeoff in 250 feet and landed in 350 feet plus the low cruise speed. if anything it would be fun lookin.

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I would think one of the 3 wheeled go cart thingys with a prop with the parachute would be more safer.
When I had the house, directly 14 mile West was the Old Air Port.
There was a few guys that had them and flew over the house regularly.
And if the engine failed, you just parachuted safely to the ground.
IF, you could find an opening in Tree Land.

#### Peartree

##### Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Global Mod
I would think one of the 3 wheeled go cart thingys with a prop with the parachute would be more safer.
When I had the house, directly 14 mile West was the Old Air Port.
There was a few guys that had them and flew over the house regularly.
And if the engine failed, you just parachuted safely to the ground.
IF, you could find an opening in Tree Land.
Right you are, and that's more like what special forces folks would use now (or just a motorized parachute), but remember that this was from the 1950's when ultralights like what you describe wouldn't be invented for thirty or forty more years.

#### Rex R

##### LV2
er the rogollo parawing was invented in 1948 , and was considered for gemini in 1964.
Rex

#### Peartree

##### Cyborg Rocketeer
Staff member
Global Mod
er the rogollo parawing was invented in 1948 , and was considered for gemini in 1964.
Rex
Really? I don't doubt you, but then why was it suddenly a big deal in the 1980's when people started flying ultralights and paragliders? And somewhat earlier round parachutes gave way to steerable rectangular ones?

#### Rex R

##### LV2
early weedwhacker engines were not the most reliable, as I recall ultralights got their wheels up in a big way in the mid 70's. much like the Wright Bro.s they needed a lightweight source of power.
Rex