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Tandem Flies to 95,085 feet!

Center camera  Side center camera 

Something new at the boundary of Earth and space

Balloon fill

PreLaunch  Launch    

The Tandem is launched out of balloon launch bags. This allow flight is adverse conditions.
We have launch balloons in 45 knot winds using thus system.

Away!  Tandem in Flight

From the flight announcement:

Saturday Morning October 22, 2011, The Tandem airship was launched from Nevada’s Black Rock desert.

Tandem is an unmanned twin balloon airship. The two balloons are separated by a thirty foot long carbon fiber truss. 
Two electric motors each spin a six foot long propeller. The propellers are specifically designed to work in the thin 
atmosphere twenty miles up. The airship weighed eighty pounds, twenty pound of which was the balloons. 

After fighting through extreme turbulence from 40,000 to 60,000 feet Tandem soared to 95,085 feet. Tandem 
flew nearly four miles higher than any airship before. The pilot on the ground then remotely turned on the motors 
and flew the airship through a series of maneuvers. At the end of its mission one balloon burst and the command 
was sent to release the other balloon. Tandem was then carried to a soft landing by a row of five parachutes.    

This was JPA’s one hundred and twenty-sixth mission.

“The big aerospace firms have been trying to do this for decades, spending hundreds of millions of dollars.
” Say John Powell, President of JP Aerospace. “We’ve spent about $30,000 and the past five years developing Tandem.”

Tandem is a general workhorse vehicle. A high altitude backhoe, It will be used as a launch platform for small 
research rockets, a mother ship for hypersonic test airships and all around tool for the Airship to Orbit program. 
Airship to Orbit is a project to build large V shaped airships that will fly to space.

Tandem is also a construction vehicle for high altitude research stations and eventually cities at the edge of space.

 

Tandem Class Airships           

 MicroTandem Tandem Heavy Lift Tandem
                        MicroTandem                                                         Tandem                                                        Tandem HL (Heavy Lift)
  
Tandems are twin balloon high altitude utility airships.  They operate between 80,000 feet and 140,000 feet.  
They are designed so perform a wide range of missions: 

                                             Telecommunication
                                             Reconnaissance
                                             Training
                                             Construction of High Altitude Infrastructure
                                             Rocket Launch Platform
                                             UAV  Launch Platform

When Tandems are launch they float up as balloons until they reach over 80,000 feet. Electric motors then drive propellers
for thrust and maneuverability.  

Twelve hour duration
Up to six knots forward speed
So cheap they are disposable
Scalable
All weather deployable


Tandem is the "backhoe" of upper atmospheric development.
 

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This page was last edited on October 25, 2011
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