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And now, the Weekend Whatziss!

Because I couldn't possibly give you another clue without *everybody* getting it.

So, here it is, and, quite obviously -- it's an aerostat.

Yup -- we have a gasbag with a sensor suite riding herd on the bad guys. Not a dirigible, 'cuz it doesn't have a rigid internal structure, and not a blimp, 'cuz it's tethered, rather than powered. For an idea of how big it is, that darker line with the teensy-weensy ladder on the north end is the work platform, and somebody six-foot-six could walk around on it and not bump his head on the radome on the belly.

This is what it looks like in its normal habitat:

Makes perfect sense to stick a balloon tied to a steel cable on an airfield where you're teaching student pilots,


but nobody's even come close to it -- yet. Of course, they'd have to be about 200 meters on the wrong side of the runway to do that in the first place.

Oh, yeah -- I mentioned a radome and sensor suite, huh? Well, just so you don't have to strain your eyes looking for them in the pic above -- ta-daaaaah!

No, that's *not* Carborundum hanging on trying to spot where I went after I took the pic...


Hair splitter.  Aerostat is *exactly* what I had in mind when I said "di-rigible THINGY."

I give myself constructive credit, and go to my room to sulk and suck my thumb.

Not that you could actually split any hairs, not having provided any for scale.
Oh, right.

And "rear sight for a Vetterli 1870/87 carbine" is exactly what Annabelle had in mind when she said, "It's for a gun."
UnkaBill - I know that you've been around for a loooong time; but some one should have told you that barrage ballons went out of fashion along with the Luftwaffe.
D'Oh!  I understand a couple of them have been run into, or at least the tethers for them.  BTW, if you ever fly into Kalsu (I don't recommend it - dismal place!) the morons there decided the approach to the runway was the perfect place for their Aerostat...
Don't you hold up a mirror and go "neener neener neener!" to me, old man!  I'll not have it! 
The Armorer missed the perfect opportunity to tell a TINS.  Something about an Army experiment we were in a couple years back when he ALMOST wrangled a ride on one of those dirigible thingys.  Something about ballast cancelled  the oppportunity.  Just sayin'.

Something about ballast cancelled the opportunity.

A weight and balance issue with the center of gravity, most likely -- the balloon would probably have folded in half, like a grilled brat with a trapped air bubble...

I've seen the Armorer do a lot of things, but I've never seen him fold in half........... oh, sorry, you meant the Aerostat!!!!
I ignore you all.
So that is where you store all the hot air from the PowerPoint presentations.
I ignore you all.

Says he, as he puts his bid on eBay for a copy of Jane's All the World's Gasbags...

When the 82nd Airplane Gang was running eastern Afghanistan last year, our DCG-O wanted to put one of those on every US post in our AO that was anywhere near the border.

It wasn't the cost or support manpower requirements that nixed the idea; it was that the Paks weren't too keen on us being able to see that much inside their country.
I quess it's not the new North Korean manned long range Ding-Dong missile they have been touting!
why would he pay money for something he gets for free in the comments?

Says he, as he puts his bid on eBay for a copy of Jane's All the World's Gasbags...

Which, I would add, features Bill's face on the dustjacket as an example entry...
Needs battledore ...

OMG, I am so dumb! And impercipient! I failed to notice that the thing did not have a squarely planar butt, but that our view of its butt was cut off by that building! Call me butt-head! Looks like an old-fashioned barrage balloon, except for prolly having been inflated with precious irreplacible helium. Hydrogen is plenty good enough for unmanned aerostats.
Which, I would add, features Bill's face on the dustjacket as an example entry...

For the benefit of those who might be browsing your local bookseller's. Ease of recognition, and all that.

Jello. Wall. Nail.

Jello. Wall. Nail.

Piffle.  Mad Science has covered this *extensively*.  No, I am not one of the contributing researchers.
Cap'n Heinrichs, that is one of my favorite books. I checked it out from the Georgia Tech Library several times when I was a student there. The use of water models  for guiding design in that book was right cool. Scale factors, and all.