GENERAL PROGRAM FOR THE FUTURE
In the long term the Flying Kettle Project has two aspects: the Steam Balloon and the Steam Airship.
Realistically the Steam Airship, although a charming and intriguing concept, must be deferred for the time being. There are two reasons for this.
First is the question of cost. The expenses of leisurely development of a Steam Balloon are within individual capacity on a hobby basis. But the cost of development of a Steam Airship can be expected to be an order of magnitude higher, even without allowing for blind alleys and false starts. Corporate funding will be almost essential.
Just as important, however, is the requirement of logical order.
The use of steam as LTA lift gas, by itself, is problematical in the sense that it has never yet been done. Breaking new ground is not easy, because unforeseen snags and hitches may always arise. Prediction based upon the principles of physics is effective, but only within limits; at some stage you have to shift out of the virtual world and try to implement the reality. And discretion advises not trying to learn about more than one new thing at a time.
Therefore we propose to continue steady development of a Steam Balloon - i.e. of an aerostat - while keeping the Steam Airship in the background for the future. As far as can be seen at the moment without concrete flight experience (because it new), the Steam Balloon can be a practical and beneficial product in its own right. After gaining a couple of years' experience with flight using steam in balloons, and when we fully understand both the bright side and the dark side of steam lift gas, we will be ready to consider the question of setting out to make a powered Steam Airship, both steam-lofted and also steam-driven.
This step-by-step program also coincides with sound business planning. At the moment the concept is visionary and unproven. The very mention of the idea of a Steam Balloon or Steam Airship to the average man in the street provokes amusement and even derision. We do not view this reaction as a negative sign. On the contrary, it is very positive. It indicates that, when an actual first attempt at human Steam Flight becomes imminent and can be announced, the public profile of the Flying Kettle Project will rise dramatically. That is what a corporate sponsor wants to hear - publicity is what they pay for. If properly promoted, a first Steam Balloon flight has the potential to become international news. Further flights will continue to attract widespread coverage. Since no world records in the Steam LTA field have ever yet been set, they are obviously all available for the taking. If the Project develops to the Steam Airship stage, the publicity for our Sponsor will be massive and ongoing. And we will need a Sponsor!
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The next section discusses what we are actually going to do.....
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This page has been viewed times since its creation...