Airships were quite the thing back in the day, however, they were usually built with most basic materials that can very well be termed as scrap. Well, not anymore. Meet a Chinese engineer who has reinvented the airship after an effort of 20 years. His creation is an indestructible and inflatable plane that can be folded up and placed in a suitcase when not needed.
The 69 years old engineer, known by the name of Zhang Bingyan, claims that his plane can be used for a myriad of missions and it won’t break even if it falls out of the sky. Zhang began working on the designs back in 1993 at the Henan University in Xinxiang, China. The result of his 20-year research has been unveiled at the Tianjin International UAV Exhibition. The soft body airplane is named Sf-1.
Sf-1 has an average speed of 190 Km/h and can fly up to 10,000 ft. with a maximum load of 55 lbs. Apart from the engine used to power a propeller located at the rear and the wheels at the bottom, the airplane is made up of a rubber composite and a high strength fiber material. The cost ranges between $32,400 and $48,600.
Zhang said, “I developed a special high-strength fibre material which has a tensile strength of 10 to 15 times that of steel. No matter what happens, the aircraft will not be damaged in a collision under any circumstances and that’s the best way to protect human life.” He graduated from the Beijing Institute of Technology back in the 1960s and was then assigned to the Chinese Commission of Science and Technology and Industry for National Defence to be committed to an engine research.
The latest design by him is the juice of all his experience and hard work. His inflatable aircraft is basically capable of carrying higher load as compared to conventional aircrafts all the while being flexible and equipped with high impact resistance. This is truly wonderful!