About a century ago giants in the air captured the skies to accomplish an imparishable spadework for aviation. To relieve the fascination for aeronautics from its golden past, we design the silent_runner. This small airship is, thanks to modern materials and electronic extremely efficient and can carry payloads such as cameras. Contrary to copters the silent_runner is quiet, has long endurance and does not crash.
Even after a 100 years Zeppelins are inspiring aircrafts and carry an unbroken fascination. Everyone who has ever seen an airship slowly raising and silently crossing the skies, can imagine how much potential this extremely efficient way of flying bears. In this project we connect the historical idea of “lighter-than-air” flying with the most modern materials and electronics to reach performance that was never achieved before. The silent_runner airship is designed for high speed and long endurance. At the same time it has a specific payload capacity. To share these innovations with everyone, we plan a do-it-yourself kit, which contains everything you need to simply build your own airship. The open source project with earlier iterations of the silent_runner is already online and can be found here: www.silent-runner.net
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
The aim of this campaign is to finance the development of the silent_runner kit. With your support we can bring the design to perfection, optimize the production processes and can make it way cheaper. The silent_runner is aimed towards RC hobbyists. At the same time the airship is capable to replace Copters as it flies stable and quiet which makes it ideal for videos and photography, even indoors. Of cause you can also fly it in trade fairs or malls. The open source documentation and the RC interfaces allow to use the airship in science projects such as autonoumus navigation. By the way, the thing does not crash! Video: http://youtu.be/hxzcVQ3_3TU
Why would you support this project?
We are tinkering for more than 3 years with the silent_runner and had good fun with the development, test flights and some real applications. In the meantime so many prototypes have flown on airship regattas and maker faires, that we think the airship is ready for operation. Whoever enjoys this almost vanished way of flying, can support our project and hopefully very soon see his own ship raising to the skies. Current performance data of the silent_runner iteration4:
Mass: 250 g
Speed: 4 m/s
Endurance: 60 min
Battery: 2S 500mAh
Payload: 40 g (Mobius Cam)
Length: 2 m (Fits in a car)
The parameters might change during development a bit and we are happy for feedback of your possible applications. However the design of the silent_runner is aimed towards robustness and efficiency.
Note: As the costs are calculated very tight, for shipments outside of Germany you will have to add the "international shipping" reward to your list.
Helium: The lifting gas is usually available in 10-20 L bottles (fills your ship 10-15 times) from the gasshop, hardware store or party/ballooshops. Sometimes chemistry teachers or universites are willing to share their ressources for a cool airship as well :)
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
The fundings of this campaign will directly go towards the production of the silent_runner kits. Our workshop will be complemented with a few machines that allow us, to manufacture quickly and precise the necessary parts. We further can mass-buy ultra-light weight components directly or let them produce towards our specifications. We also try to find a manufacturer that can make the high quality envelope of the airship in large numbers for a good price.
Who are the people behind the project?
The Windreiter are a student project from Germany and design, construct and test since 2007 innovative airship designs. We have collected quite some experience with camera and racing airships which gathers now in the development of the silent_runner. The core of the team are: André Sobotta, Clemens Mayer, Thomas and Andreas Burkart
But we are supported by lots of friends and helpers which are too many to call all of them. But here at least a few: Hannes, Martin1, Martin2, Lars, Rebecca, Anke, Maike, Kathi, Oliver, Tobi, Yannick, Sandra, Thomas.