I live in NYC, where one of the biggest obstacles to owning a car comes down to parking. Even a bike would take up precious living space. I would love a vehicle that I could deflate and store in a closet of sorts -- all of a sudden my building would be able to offer "parking" to all of the tenants if the parking were stackable.
Inflation takes a long time.
Deflation takes a long time.
Folding it back up neatly is impossible.
Leaks appear out of nowhere and are tough to patch reliably.
It's really heavy and floppy to carry around.
Leaks and weight are still a problem. Although, you could take the bounce house approach and always run the inflator and not fully seal (may reduce the effectiveness of power deflation).
Now they’re li-ion based, charge over USB and astutely let you put the valve on the inflate side or deflate side.
One of these or its clones are awesome: https://www.amazon.ca/FLEXTAILGEAR-Portable-Rechargeable-Lig...
Source: have one for a giant inflatable floating that holds 8 adults and weighs 70lbs dry. And had lots of juice left to make new friends pumping up their smaller floaties on a camping trip.
But yes, they never fold like they did from the factory.
Easily my biggest issues with any inflatable item I've ever purchased.
You'll never get it back into the box it came in, and you're folding is almost always going to be awful. Like trying to fold a fitted sheet before watching that one youtube video/someone who knows how to do it. If a leak appears I just consider it a lost cause, I don't think I've ever fixed a leak in an inflatable item that I was sure would allow me to use it confidently.
I'd be surprised if you can fit any kind of deflatable vehicle into less space than it takes to store a folding bicycle.
I ckuckled as I recalled that inflatable costume Woody Allen wore in "Sleeper" which essentially would be to a wingsuit what the inflatoplane is to a regular plane:)
Personally, I think there is a big opportunity for inflatable/dynamic/pressurized airfoils. I'd love to have a blow-up glider that would stay aloft for days, just to have a way to communicate with the home base .. Until then, I remain convinced that the real shit is the Klein-Fogelmann realm, i.e. rigid planforms, adjustable.
Plus, gargantuan power systems of course .. which is something the Inflatoplane also exploited, it has to be said ..
In the mean time, I've found /r/weirdwings to satiate my "crazy airplane prototypes" addiction.
This Inflatoplane is more of a precursor to modern "tensairity" designs (e.g. some of Prospective Concepts designs). While certainly interesting, pressurized bladders in aircraft have so far been a dead end due to practical limitations (catastrophic modes of failure, wear, altitude pressure differences IIRC). The only flying wings where inflatable bladders are successfully used are kitesurfing kites. But those don't normally carry people up high.
Parafoil based designs on the other hand are now everywhere. Paragliders, parachutes, parafoil kitesurfing kites, even parafoil sails (SkySails).
Yes, babe. Yes, I guess it is.