LOHAN flashes fantastical flying truss
Experimental Vulture 2 launch platform
It's taken us a while, and a not inconsiderable amount of head-scratching, but we've finally come up with a design for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) launch platform.
Those of you who've been following LOHAN will recall the invitation to our beloved readers to present their best ballocket launch concepts, which attracted some top-notch ideas on the best way to carry our Vulture 2 vehicle aloft.
We took all these suggestions on board, and found further inspiration here, following a tip-off from a reader who reckoned a triangular truss suspended between two balloons offered the best solution.
We were inclined to agree, and in the best garden shed boffinry tradition, set about putting together a model of a LOHAN flying truss. Cue some 6mm balsa wood dowels, and the Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) jig methodology deployed on the construction of our Guinness World Record Vulture 1 aircraft:
Here's one face of the truss progressing nicely. We used Super Glue to speed up the build, but reinforced the joints after assembly with PVA wood glue...
A sheet of balsa provides a platform for mounting test equipment...
...as you can see here on one finished face of the truss (two metres long, in case you were wondering):
What's the likelihood of that beam actually being horizontal when attached to two ballons?
Good to see that pipe-smoking hasn't died out among the boffin fraternity.
Despite the reservation about stability
Two balloons seems more fitting for LOHAN
I know, I know, I'll get me coat
Keeping it Horizontal.
As others have pointed out, this will likely end up vertical if not stabilised. I suggest a string from each end going to a single weight so it forms an inverted triangle with the beam at the top, and the weight at the centre at the bottom. The weight could be useful stuff like batteries.