LDF Powered Balloon Program
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS HANSCOM AFB MA
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The report describes POBAL, a test flight to demonstrate the feasibility of accomplishing station-keeping by powering a 711,000-cu. ft. free balloon against the wind in the minimum wind field near 60,000-ft altitude. The propulsion system, fabricated from off the shelf components, incorporated a 35- ft diameter helicopter rotor and an 8-hp electric motor powered by Ag-Zn batteries. Line of thrust was controlled by a 9-ft high rudder, steerable either by radio command or by autopilot. POBAL was flown from Holloman AFB, New Mexico in September 1972. System components, flight results, recommendations and feasibility studies for a long duration POBAL system are discussed.
- Lighter-than-air Aircraft