Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"...in fifty years, do you believe that people will be recognizably human?"
- Greg Bear

Crash Balloons  
  Inflatable bags that would both cushion and hold a flycycle driver in the event of a crash.  

For his novel Ringworld, Larry Niven came up with the idea of a flycycle to cover great distances in reasonable style. They resembled flying motorcycles; what would happen if you lost control or were about to crash? Flycycles were open to the sky like a motorcycle.

His 'cycle slammed hard up against him, as if he'd been booted in the butt by a giant foot. An instant later the power cut off entirely.

Crash balloons exploded before and behind him. They were shaped balloons, and they interlocked around him like a pair of clasped hands. Louis could not so much as move his hands or turn his head.

From Ringworld, by Larry Niven.
Published by Ballantine in 1970
Additional resources -

It happens that flycycle also were equipped with automatic deceleration in the event that a crash was imminent.

In rereading the novel, I wondered if perhaps Niven had stumbled onto the idea of a car air bag. However, I'm pretty sure that airbags were available in some form in the late 1960's. Also, inflatable bags were proposed for aircraft during WWII, so it is an idea with a long history. If you're interested, take a look at how airbags work.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ringworld
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Ringworld
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Articles related to Engineering
Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
Smartflower Solar Panel Unfolds In Video
3D Printed Prosthetic Coral

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'

Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'

Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'

Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.