Man Builds Garage-Sized Remote Airship

Man Builds Garage-Sized Remote Airship

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After three tries, a history buff has successfully recreated a (scale-model) piece of America's past that looks like it was taken from Crimson Skies.

When most people retire, they take up hobbies like bird-watching, golf, and watercolor painting. For retired computer engineer Jack Clemens, though, making scale-model replicas of the USS Macon (a helium-filled Navy airship that was wrecked in 1935). The latest version is twenty-feet-long, radio-controlled, and fills up his entire garage.

Clemens was inspired to start making the replicas because he used to regularly commute past the Macon's old hangar in Moffett Field, California. Eventually, the man decided he wanted to create a scale model that he could return to the hangar (few remains from the Macon are still around, since the airship crashed in the ocean and the wreck's location is kept a secret). Clemens decided that his replica had to be as accurately-detailed as possible, so he requested the plans from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Clemens then set about building the replica; it took him three separate tries. The first time, his cat jumped on the model from a high shelf and wound up ruining the ship's hull (thus proving that the full-size airship would fare poorly against giant monsters). The second time (in 2008), Clemens completed the replica but it was destroyed during a particularly windy test flight. This is third time Clemens has worked on the replica, and it seems like it's the charm: Not only is the replica totally detail-accurate (having been completed from thousands of pieces of balsa wood and sheathed in mylar), but it only needs a single 2.5 oz battery to power the eight small propellers that allow it to fly.

Clemens' replica is housed in his garage, where he claims, "It's the bane of my wife's existence." However, he's offered to donate his creation to a museum that's currently being constructed in Moffett Field. He's also hoping that he'll get to fly the replica in the Macon's original hanger. Here's hoping his dream comes true.

Source: PopSci via io9

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That is so awesome, congrats to him for building such an awesome model.

vansau:
The first time, his cat jumped on the model from a high shelf and wound up ruining the ship's hull (thus proving that the full-size airship would fare poorly against giant monsters).

Bahahahaha. That made me laugh quite a bit. Cheers <3

This dude just went beyond the impossible when it came to airship model making.

DO WANT. Seriously, that is bad ass.

(I will not deny I'm a bit of a Crimson Skies fan boy :P)

I love Air Ships. Aparently there set to take over commercial planes in the future as a way to save money and no longer rely on fossil fuels. I cant wait.

I dont know if anyone has been to Disneyland Paris but they have these Victorian images of the future that make me weep there so awesome.

Wasn't anyone else expecting him to be in it? As cool as it is, I feel disappointed.

I was a little disappointed when I saw this, as I thought when you said air ship that it'd be a Final Fantasy-esq air ship. Which would have been bad ass.

But I digress, that is still a very, very, VERY impressive model. And Im glad he was able to get it functional too.

I wonder if he'll make a Hindenburg replica, only to have it snag on his neighbors HAM radio antenna...

That's some damn good work. I tip my hat to you good sir, and hope he makes many more (though I bet his wife doesn't)

The Gentleman:
I wonder if he'll make a Hindenburg replica, only to have it snag on his neighbors HAM radio antenna...

I would love to see that if only to shout "Oh... the miniature Humanity!!"

That's some tenacity and attention to detail, admirable traits for any hobbyist :)

(^^)=b

thenumberthirteen:
That's some damn good work. I tip my hat to you good sir, and hope he makes many more (though I bet his wife doesn't)

The Gentleman:
I wonder if he'll make a Hindenburg replica, only to have it snag on his neighbors HAM radio antenna...

I would love to see that if only to shout "Oh... the miniature Humanity!!"

That made me laugh more than it should have. Oh, and if you want miniture humanity, I direct you to The Mythbusters

Now this is cool. I wonder if he could make the little parasite fighters the real one had too...

It's really such a little thing but it really is a beautiful dream. Good on him for his achievement.

aashell13:
Now this is cool. I wonder if he could make the little parasite fighters the real one had too...

I'm picturing a bunch of rubber band-powered guillows planes

vansau:
The first time, his cat jumped on the model from a high shelf and wound up ruining the ship's hull (thus proving that the full-size airship would fare poorly against giant monsters).

I think it more of just a case of rediscovering facts that have been lost to history. Think about it did you see any airships attacking King Kong back in the 20's. They obviously knew of that fact back then.

This man is awesome.

I mean that model is just so damn cool words do it no justice.

Very nice Skill; when I retire and get enough money I wanna make models like that but of airplanes and subs and ships.

I wonder if he could make the Pandora if he was paid too?

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OT: Can be all agree a Crimson Skies 2 would be all around wanted?

Awwh when I read the title I thought a man had built an airship out of his garage...But this is nice to.

 

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