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The Gravity-Powered Aircraft

Article #152 • Written by Alan Bellows

The Fuelless Gravity Plane Concept
The Fuelless Gravity Plane Concept

Our world is certainly not left wanting for free sources of energy. The sun vomits an absurd amount of energy upon the Earth's surface constantly-- up to a thousand watts per square meter during the daytime; the planet's mantle writhes with heat energy, up to 4,000 degrees Celcius; and a tremendous supply of energy saturates the entire planet in the form of gravity. The difficulty has always been in finding ways to capture such energy usefully. Solar panels have had some success snatching up sunlight for conversion to electricity, geothermal installations use the earth's heat to create power, and hydroelectric plants tap the potential energy of gravity. Currently a Nevada-based aviation company is exploring another creative way to utilize gravity as a power source-- combining some very old ideas with some very new ones-- to produce an aircraft concept which might one day tote people and cargo great distances without the need for fuel. The project is called the GravityPlane.

The idea sprung from the brain of Robert D. Hunt, a theoretical physicist and inventor who founded Hunt Aviation to develop his patented "gravity powered hybrid aircraft" concept which operates on the principles of buoyancy, aerodynamic lift, and gravity. It uses a cycle of climbing and descending to maintain its lift and forward speed, mimicking the behavior of the bodies of warm and cold air which make up the weather.

In order for the GravityPlane to become airborne, gas bags inside a pair of rigid, zeppelin-like structures are filled with helium from storage tanks inside the vehicle. This causes the aircraft to become lighter-than-air, and it rises from the ground. Compressed-air jets on the sides of the craft add further propulsion, pushing the vehicle skyward and decreasing the craft's overall weight by releasing the stored air which acts as ballast. Once the craft reaches the altitude where the helium is no longer lighter than the surrounding air-- theoretically as high as ten miles up-- it is unable to climb any further. Some of the stored compressed air is then expanded into the dirigible areas, decreasing the buoyancy effect of the helium and starting the aircraft's descent phase.

As gravity pulls the plane towards the earth, the long wings are moved to the swept-back position to reduce wind drag, and air turbines mounted on the top of the craft capture some of the forward momentum and use it to drive air pumps which can refill the on-board compressed air storage tanks. In this gliding mode, the aircraft achieves aerodynamic lift for a gradual descent at high speeds, and can travel in this configuration for about 400 to 600 miles. At the end of the gliding phase, the wings are redeployed. The compressed air can once again be forced out through the compressed air jets, pushing the vehicle upwards and increasing the vehicle's buoyancy to lighter-than-air once again, beginning the cycle anew. This process can be repeated as many times as needed to cover the required distance.

Left-to-Right: Joe Chomko (Vice President), Robert D. Hunt (Inventor), and Gene Cox (President)
Left-to-Right: Joe Chomko (Vice President), Robert D. Hunt (Inventor), and Gene Cox (President)

If the concept ever leaves the drawing board and becomes a prototype, it will be massive. Much like the zeppelins of old, the volume of helium needed requires a very large gas bag area. But hypothetically, this design could allow the aircraft to travel practically any distance with no fuel. It would expel no polluting gasses, and it would be virtually silent. It would also have some interesting features for such a large craft, including vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), and the ability to set down on land or at sea. Additionally, its buoyancy would allow it to hover in the air if needed, even in the event of total power loss.

Considering the GravityPlane's simplicity, its environmentally friendly propulsion, and its freedom from heavy and expensive fossil fuels, this concept could completely revolutionize aircraft design in the coming decades if it proves viable. And using non-flammable helium means that a Hindenburg-style disaster is not a risk. Can Hunt Aviation deliver the sparkling, rigid-airship future that zeppelins promised us so long ago? Time will tell.

Article written by Alan Bellows, published on 31 March 2006. Alan is the founder/designer/head writer/managing editor of Damn Interesting.

Article design by Alan Bellows.
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67 Comments
aladfar
Posted 31 March 2006 at 11:19 pm

Fascinating concept. Perhaps a smaller version would allow for cheap surveillance aircraft that could remain aloft indefinitely (which, though interesting, isn't really a pleasant concept). But I don't think this would work well for travel or freight - the amount of helium required to lift any serious cargo would be positively enormous. I don't think it'd be practical at all.

Sure would be interesting to be proven wrong though.


stahlsau
Posted 01 April 2006 at 03:24 am

mmh..even if this article is dated on March 31st, i think it's an April Fools Joke.

This process can be repeated as many times as needed to cover the required distance.

Afaik the perpetuum mobile hasn't been found by now.

Anyway, i may be wrong, so please correct me if.
cheers
stahlsau


Marius
Posted 01 April 2006 at 06:30 am

I just watched the video, and unless someone has waaayy too much money and time on their hands I don't think it's a joke. The concept seems sound enough, but one very important issue is not mentioned. The vehicle doesn't seem to have any means to generate power for life support. Traditional aircraft cruise at approximately 7 miles up or so, and need extensive environmental maintenence equipment to keep people alive. At ten miles up the problem is worse. I would imagine that batteries sufficient to accomplish the task would be prohibitively heavy, so some sort of engine, albeit a relatively small one, would be needed.


1c3d0g
Posted 01 April 2006 at 06:35 am

Interesting...but I'm concerned about the excessive Helium use; isn't it a scarce matter as it is? How long can we really expect these types of projects to depend on Helium before the world runs out of it? :-/


Furnace
Posted 01 April 2006 at 06:43 am

"The sun vomits an absurd amount of energy..."

Ha ha haaa! The next time I'm in a meeting at work, I HAVE to use, "Let me vomit some ideas on you."


andrew
Posted 01 April 2006 at 06:55 am

stahlsau:

"perpetual motion" doesn't allow the input of energy to the system. In this case, gravity is constantly adding energy, some of which is converted into other forms and used later at lower efficiency. I don't think this is a hoax, although it does set off my "omg thats brilliant!!1!" warning system a bit too strongly to be sure. :-)

And hey, Alan... There's still some uncertainty about blaming hydrogen for the Hindenburg. In any case, this craft would no doubt have sturdier gas bladders. I suspect they've avoided H2 because of public perception, and the awareness that if their tests work with He, they can easily improve performance by switching to H2.

Enjoyed the article.


davida
Posted 01 April 2006 at 08:48 am

I couldn't be more proud of these guys getting "out of the box"...even if it's on paper for now. I wish there was some "superfund" that was dedicated to breaking the mold, killing the status quo...etc. I wonder if there is a "top 10" list out there for engineer rule breakers......maybe we could complile it. The "mechanical" boat lift was incredible.

http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=432


Armani
Posted 01 April 2006 at 09:54 am

What if a strong wind hits the plane from a different direction and blows it out of control?

the picture of the designers look so cheesy lol.


tasha
Posted 01 April 2006 at 10:05 am

Lighter-than-air (LTA) craft are notorious for being at the mercy of the elements. The winds high aloft are prodigious and all evidence is pointing to a more energetic atmosphere in the future. Having worked on Goodyear-sized blimps for 15 years, I can tell you first hand that nature always wins, and particularly so where LTA is concerned. I wish them the best.


Alfonz
Posted 01 April 2006 at 10:44 am

Whenever I hear of a process that requires no energy, I am very skeptical:

"But hypothetically, this design could allow the aircraft to travel practically any distance with no fuel."

Really? How is all that compression and decompression of air going to be achieved without any fuel?


samk
Posted 01 April 2006 at 01:06 pm

"Really? How is all that compression and decompression of air going to be achieved without any fuel?"

According to the video, it'll use compressed air for power. And it'll get the compressed air as it descends. This definitely feels like a hoax. If this were really possible, you could set up hundreds of these to just go up and down all day collecting energy.


student
Posted 01 April 2006 at 01:34 pm

Ain't the energy required supplied by the helium which needs to be replinished?


wh44
Posted 01 April 2006 at 01:37 pm

Re: Perpetual Motion / Energy Input

My take:

In a 'climateless' environment, this plane would be what is commonly known as a "friction machine" - the original energy of the compressed air is being converted into gravity energy and back at an efficient rate, but not lossless. Eventually there would be enough lost energy, that it would cease to work - like a pendulum swinging back and forth, it could go on for a long time.

In reality there is, of course, a climate. Depending on the weather - higher and lower pressure areas, tail wind vs. head wind, etc. - the plane could gain energy, or could lose it faster. Perhaps with enough weather information, it would be possible to keep the energy balance positive. Even if not, this 'friction machine' is likely to be a lot more efficient than a normal airplane.


Nastimann
Posted 01 April 2006 at 04:42 pm

Gravity is not energy. Gravity is a force. You gain energy by gaining altitude. Work is force over a distance, so gaining altitude takes work. There is no free lunch, and there is no perpetual motion. The best we can hope for is a very efficient glider that might be able to take extreme advantage of atmospheric thermals, but that would not be very practical for commercial aircraft, if that is the goal.


Metryq
Posted 01 April 2006 at 05:57 pm

Andrew, most "perpetual motion" machine concepts draw on power from their operating environment in some fashion. I have yet to see one that does not purport to recycle power in some way. The problem is that all such systems operate at a loss. You can't argue that this design is not an attempted perpetual motion machine.

As for the non-polluting, no-fuel-needed claim, I often hear it from alternative power advocates, like solar power. Mining and processing the materials requires a lot of power and produces pollution. If a more-power-out-than-we-put-in system is ever possible, perhaps fusion, we will still be siffoning off power from somewhere. The trick it to find a system of profits and losses that works for us.

This must be an April Fool's joke. The plane uses far too much compressed air for everything from lift and maneuvering to generation of electricity and compression or more air! Even if the design works, some concepts are "impractical." This plane sounds like it would have less payload than a rocket.


andrew
Posted 01 April 2006 at 06:59 pm

I disagree that this is a perpetual motion machine. It is not a closed system -- the addition of energy by a number of mechanisms (all products of the force of gravity, which is effectively unlimited) establishes this. There will be inefficiencies at every conversion, but no one is claiming that the craft would circle the world perpetually -- just far enough to be viable for some purpose.

Using the force of gravity to accelerate toward the ground is easy. Using it to accelerate away is also easy. Using it for both requires the availability of materials suited to your environment (this may be the real reason to use He...H2 might not work at all or require a very different cresting altitude)..

Also, remember that it's free to create potential energy via air pressure differences ("compressed air")...as long as you're ascending and descending in the atmosphere. Does anyone know if the mechanical equivalent of a full-wave rectifier is practical?

Weather does seem like it would be a problem, and of course payload capacity is an open question.


stahlsau
Posted 02 April 2006 at 09:20 am

Well, i'm not fully convinced if this is an aprils fool or not. Anyway, imagine how much pressured air one would need to create enough backstroke to lift a whole PLANE, even if it's a superlight one. This air itself would have to get stored inside the plane, and this storage would have an immense weight too (think about gas bottles and stuff, they are really heavy).


wh44
Posted 02 April 2006 at 10:37 am

andrew said: Also, remember that it's free to create potential energy via air pressure differences ("compressed air")…as long as you're ascending and descending in the atmosphere.

The point is it is not free: you have to reduce weight or increase volume to go up, and increase weight or reduce volume to go down. This requires considerable energy - according to the law of conservation of energy, this energy must be more than the potential or kinetic energy gained. As long as you are keeping the plane near neutral buoyancy, this will not be huge amounts of energy, but it is still no free lunch.

I think the folks working on it are either a) not well versed in physics or b) deliberately being misleading in order to gain funding. Either way, I stand by my original take: this is a neat friction machine, but unlikely to be 'fuelless' unless they find some way to extract energy from weather systems the plane crosses.

Another way to look at this, is that it is something like counterweights for elevators - an elevator with counterweights requires much less energy to run, but it still requires energy.


shanachie
Posted 02 April 2006 at 01:54 pm

This technology is very similar to that used in some Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). They use bouyancy control to rise and fall in the water column and wings to transform that into forward motion. Their energy consumption is so low that they can be deployed for months on oceanographic missions measuring salinity, water temp, currents, etc, occasionally surfacing to "phone home" their findings through satellite communications.


bug
Posted 03 April 2006 at 02:46 am

How is it a perpetual motion machine? Have you ever heard of a glider, flying on the thermals for considerable distances? The energy is essentially free for the craft, since the pressure systems are creating lift for it, although i'd imagine it needs some form of input greater than the lame compressed air to get very far. Either way, there's no point applying basic physics models to this, since the Earth's climate and atmosphere is much more complicated than "energy in, energy out".

There's no doubt the idea could work, but it couldn't lift enough or be reliable enough for frieght or commercial use. Also its not that environmentally friendly; it still needs power to compress the air and get the helium before launch, which is a lot considering how little it will be able to lift. Sure jets burn a lot of fuel, but balloons arn't going to save us.


SparkyTWP
Posted 03 April 2006 at 09:47 am

Even if it's just a really efficient glider that uses buoyancy and the force of gravity to do it's work, I'm still not convinced that it will ever take off, pardon the pun.

One thing the article didn't mention is how long it would take for this thing to travel those 400-600 miles. Currently the best blimps travel at about 75MPH. Since efficiency is key here, I'm going to bet it'll be slower than that. Thanks, I'll stick to my car or airplane.

Another question that popped into my head is if this is such a simple concept and it's great, how come submarines don't use it? This sounds like it would be almost completely silent (At least moreso than a propeller, not sure about a pump jet), and fairly simple to integrate. Surely the government would be clamoring for this if that were the case.

There are other issues that I can think of that I won't bother going into.

I've learned over the years that the aero industry is filled with lots of crazy ideas and few practical ones. Maybe he's figured out ways of doing it that are practical, so I guess I can't pass judgement, but I seriously I'll ever see this used.


guney
Posted 03 April 2006 at 05:26 pm

No offense to anyone, but I'm having a little difficulty understanding how anyone can fail to see that this is a perpetual motion machine. If something claims to be able to keep doing something indefinitely without any input of energy, that's a perpetual motion machine. There are no ands, ifs, or buts...

The "glider" analogy doesn't apply, since this plane does not claim to use thermals to gain altitude. It claims to use only gravity. Like Nastimann already pointed out, gravity is not and cannot be used as a source of energy. So, gravity is not a valid source of energy input into the machine either. Which leaves no other input. It's a perpetual motion machine.


Anonymous User
Posted 03 April 2006 at 05:37 pm

guney said: "Like Nastimann already pointed out, gravity is not and cannot be used as a source of energy. "

gravity can be used as an energy source indirectly...... look at hydroelectric power. and i dont think these guys are claiming that it can fly forever, just for a _very long time_ between compressed air refills. but i could be mistaken.


guney
Posted 04 April 2006 at 11:39 am

Anonymous User said: "i dont think these guys are claiming that it can fly forever, just for a _very long time_ between compressed air refills. but i could be mistaken."

If the claim is not of unlimited flight, then I have no objection. However, in that case, the concept is no longer a plane without fuel. It simply becomes a plane that substitutes compressed air with liquid fuel as its energy source. Nothing extraordinary. But the sentence "This process can be repeated as many times as needed to cover the required distance" sounds quite a lot like "unlimited" to me. It seems like, while writing the article above, Alan Bellows interpreted it the same way, too, since he writes "[...] hypothetically, this design could allow the aircraft to travel practically any distance with no fuel."

Anonymous User said: "gravity can be used as an energy source indirectly…… look at hydroelectric power"

We really have to be careful in taking into account the whole system when talking about a source of energy. With hydroelectric power, the energy does not come from gravity. It comes from the potential energy of the water stored in the dam. The ultimate source of the energy used in hydroelectricity, therefore, comes from the mechanism that puts the water up there to begin with. Since water goes up there in the form of rain and since pretty much all weather on the planet is driven by the sun, the ultimate source of the energy in hydroelectric power is the sun.

I'm not saying that gravity cannot be a piece of an energy recovery system. All I'm saying is that it can never be a true source of energy in itself. I don't think this website claims that gravity is the plane's ultimate source of energy, but some of the postings here seem to have suggested that it is. The title and first paragraph of the Damn Interesting article does so, too.

The following sentence is from that website:

"[...] Other environmental energy sources will be harnessed by the gravityplane and used in conjunction with the dual properties of gravity, such as solar power, thermoelectric power generation, temperature differentials, current differentials, and pressure differentials, etc."

As soon as they start talking about supplemental sources of energy like solar radiation and temperature differentials (which, in turn, are also caused by the sun), then it ceases to be a perpetual motion machine. I would therefore retract my claim that this is a perpetual motion machine.

The problem is, there is not a single mention of the utilization of these supplemental energy sources anywhere in the basic description of the concept, in the Damn Interesting article above, or in the instructional video linked above. I'm not sure why that is, but it's certainly misleading. Perhaps it's because this makes it sound more exotic and miraculous, or perhaps it's because they want to stir up some controversy for publicity by sounding like a perpetual motion.


Pops
Posted 04 April 2006 at 11:49 am

I'm with guney. If it works, it's a solar plane, not a gravity plane.

And about using up the helium -- it's really hard to use up helium, since it's an inert gas. About all you can do is collect it, play with it, and release it.


Alan Bellows
Posted 04 April 2006 at 12:22 pm

guney said: "The problem is, there is not a single mention of the utilization of these supplemental energy sources anywhere in the basic description of the concept, in the Damn Interesting article above, or in the instructional video linked above. I'm not sure why that is, but it's certainly misleading. Perhaps it's because this makes it sound more exotic and miraculous, or perhaps it's because they want to stir up some controversy for publicity by sounding like a perpetual motion."

You make lots of good points, guney. I have a fair bit of skepticism regarding the design's viability, but I didn't communicate that in my article very well. It's a neat idea, but it reeks of "if."

Regarding the other energy sources, from what I can gather, the original design wasn't going to use helium, but rather an unidentified "prorietary gas" which condenses into liquid at the lower temperatures found at higher altitudes. The ambient temperature at low altitudes was intended to keep the lighter-than-air gas in vapor form during the climb, and the condensation of the gas would reduce buoyancy and trigger the descent phase.

They probably ran into the obvious problems with that approach... temperatures in the atmosphere vary so much that you can't depend on specific temperatures at specific altitudes; and this mysterious gas (if it exists) probably doesn't have much lifting power compared to helium or hydrogen. So it appears that they revised the design to use helium and compressed air.

I may be wrong about the earlier design, details are sketchy. But if it's true, there are such large oversights in the original design that it makes one question the credibility of its designers.


bigtech
Posted 04 April 2006 at 02:05 pm

>> gravity can be used as an energy source indirectly…… look at hydroelectric power

Is this accurate? In my mind I'm thinking the energy comes from lifting the water up in the air (i.e., solar power).


Khaos
Posted 10 April 2006 at 11:31 pm

Ok, Im no physics genius or anything but will someone tell me if this could be how it works?
Allright...So from the ground it inflates its tanks with helium, and rises to say 10 miles high in the atmosphere. Since it has 2 chambers in each tank (1 for helium and 1 for air) If it then filled its air sacs with air so it was full to capacity, and then descended to say 5000 feet, wouldnt the air in its tanks become more compressed at the lower altitude and therefore be able to provide the propulsion they need?

Or i could have it totally backward and they inflate then at low altitude and it compresses the higher they climb, but either way it seems that from rising and falling in altitude and using the compressed air they could theoretically fly forever. correct?


guney
Posted 14 April 2006 at 02:34 pm

Khaos said: "If it then filled its air sacs with air so it was full to capacity, and then descended to say 5000 feet, wouldnt the air in its tanks become more compressed at the lower altitude and therefore be able to provide the propulsion they need?"

Disregarding for a moment the question whether this is even how they claim the plane works, the problem with that idea is that, if you're using only atmospheric pressure differentials for "compressing" the air, you cannot obtain any pressure level higher than the atmospheric pressure at your current altitude. So, when you reach the ground, you cannot end up with air pressure higher than the atmospheric pressure ground level, which means you don't have compressed air. The compressed air has to be at a pressure higher than the atmospheric pressure in order to be usable for performing work.

Notice, however, that this is *not* how they claim the plane repressurizes its air tanks. If I'm not mistaken, they say they use the plane's gliding motion and the speed of the air rushing past the plane as a result of it to compress it (by means of a turbine, propeller, etc.). So, essentially, they're talking about reconverting the potential energy the plane gained when it reached higher altitude to repressurize the air on the way back down; not atmospheric pressure differentials.

Khaos said: "Or i could have it totally backward and they inflate then at low altitude and it compresses the higher they climb, but either way it seems that from rising and falling in altitude and using the compressed air they could theoretically fly forever. correct?"

Not correct. There are probably more mistakes in that than I would care to enumerate. Keep in mind that any time you mention "pumping in helium", "pumping out air", etc., you're talking about energy-consuming processes and you have to ask yourself where that energy is coming from. If you do the math, it's a safe bet that the "losses" column will far surpass the "gains" column in the energy tally.

As a general rule, the word "forever" should always raise a red flag whenever you're talking about an energy-consuming process working in a closed system. There *has* to be continual energy input from outside the system for the process to compensate for its consumed energy and keep functioning. Otherwise, there has to be an expiration date on that process, no matter how far in the future it may be. There is no other way. The universe is simply built that way, and no one can go against that. That, in itself, is enough to prove your last paragraph to be false.


Byrden
Posted 15 April 2006 at 01:32 pm

I'm not impressed by the article; the terms 'power', 'temperature' and 'energy' have clear and distinct meanings in physics, but they are mixed up freely by this author.
Gravity is described here as a "supply" of energy (like the sun); but it's not. In practical terms: you get warmed up by the sun on a sunny day, but not by the gravity all around you!
And Hydroelectrics does not take energy from gravity as the author states; it takes energy from the sun.

With regards to the plane concept, I feel sure it's unworkable, though I'm not going to do the sums. Look at what happens in a 'cycle' of travel: gas is expanded and compressed again. You can't do that in practice without losing energy (as heat).

And as for external turbines that collect energy during the descent phase: excuse me, but that's the same energy you provided by lifting yourself up in the first place! You'll not get anywhere near 100% of it back!

Plus, just how fast is this thing supposed to descend? Remember it's not a faller, it's a floater, only marginally more dense than the surrounding air - and if the crew aim to cover maximum distance, speed will be VERY low.

This has to be an April Fool's article.


micknz
Posted 23 April 2006 at 12:34 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Byrden has it wrong. I do believe that every hydroelectric plant in the world is located at a water source (hence HYDRO and hydro-electric dams) and derives its energy from the gravitational (or other forced) compression of water. I don't think hydroelectrics derive their energy from the sun at all. Also, you don't have to be warmed by gravity for it to be considered an energy. But I'm neither an engineer or a physicist.

Next, in response to the earlier question: "How is all that compression and decompression of air going to be achieved without any fuel?" I read recently an article about the U.S. Air Force testing a ramjet engine for supersonic flight. Basically, your speed forces a volume of air into a mouth which then channels that same volume through a progressively smaller throat, effectively COMPRESSING that air into a storage chamber for later use or, as in this case, channeling it through a small nozzle to use its stored energy as thrust. "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction", remember? The only outside expenditure of fuel I see is that required to get up to speed in the first place. Can some of this in-flight derived energy be stored for use for the next take-off? I believe this "gravity plane" is possible, if perhaps not highly probable.


guney
Posted 24 April 2006 at 01:13 pm

Well, Micknz, I'm afraid you're wrong on both counts; that is, assuming your posting is not a troll in the first place. I'll humor a response assuming that it's not...

When speaking of how hydroelectric plants generate energy, what physical process takes place in the plant does not give you the whole picture. Yes, the plant creates electricity by (sort of) the downhill flow of water as facilitated by gravity. But that does not identify the source of that energy. To find the ultimate source of the energy that is recovered in that mechanism, you should ask yourself "what keeps the system going?" What keeps the water coming? How does the water get uphill in the first place? The answer to that question is the ultimate source of your energy. And the answer is the sun. Here's a URL I've found with an explanation of this, in case you don't believe me: http://www.darvill.clara.net/altenerg/hydro.htm.

As for ramjet engines, they use fuel over the ENTIRE DURATION of the flight just like every other airplane engine. Any explanation of the ramjet engine technology will make this clear, but here's one for you as an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramjets.


JJ
Posted 18 May 2006 at 05:07 pm

Furnace said: "Ha ha haaa! The next time I'm in a meeting at work, I HAVE to use, "Let me vomit some ideas on you.""

Hahahahaaaa! Brilliant idea.

But yes, onto the article. As people have said before, it does seem to have many problems, but hopefully they can be overcome, and we will have a brand new way to travel! Buy me a ticket, I'll be ready when it is.


micknz
Posted 22 May 2006 at 07:43 pm

To Guney: I went to your link on the ramjet engine and I was indeed wrong, kerosene, hmmmn. However, I also went to the links you provided for the hydroelectric power and I did not read anywhere that solar energy is used for anything other than natural refill through precipitation. And why do you say "how does the water get uphill in the first place?" ? I don't get your point. Water is stored in a reservoir. At depth there is great gravitational pressure, therein lies your energy. The water flows through turbines (flows) which turn shafts connected to magnets which spin inside copper coils to produce electricity. Then the water basically is allowed to continue on down the river.Read your own links. " How does the water get uphill?" you ask? Maybe I should humor you.


micknz
Posted 22 May 2006 at 07:51 pm

To Guney again: If you were talking about mother nature and evaporation and condensation (how does water get uphill in the first place?) as the source of energy for hydroelectric plants, you really do need to be humored.


kcameron
Posted 15 June 2006 at 04:32 pm

As has been pointed out by others, there's no energy in gravity itself. One needs a falling body to pick up energy from a planet's gravitational field. Raising it back to where it started requires energy: at least as much as one could extract from the fall. Any losses have to come from an outside external source and gravity can't be the source.

Literally thousands of other "perpetual motion" machines have been devised over the last several centuries to extract energy from gravity. Perhaps someone will eventually find a new property of gravity that allows one to continually extract energy in this fashion. It's extremely unlikely that just rearranging basic mechanical components that behave according to Newtonian physics fill find such a new law.

Either the "inventor" is grossly ignorant of physical laws or he's a scam artist. I'd vote for a scam but, on the other hand, there's an old saying: "be careful not to assume malice what can be attributed to simple incompetence".


W.Webber
Posted 20 June 2006 at 11:56 pm

Ref: http://www.fuellessflight.com/index1.htm
If you look at the link you see that this plane is not powered by gravity but gets its power from sun using the temperature difference between the ground and the upper atmosphare (10 miles up). A second source of power is the wind. Hence its only claim is that it is a more efficient glider or hot air balloon.


kcameron
Posted 21 June 2006 at 04:06 pm

I did view that video. I just viewed it again to make sure I didn't miss something. There's no mention of using solar energy or temperature differences. If that's their intention, they should describe how it works.

Using "the wind" as a power source also bogus since any movement of the ship relative to the air must come from energy that the ship produces or captures from some other source.

I stand by my evaluation.


W.Webber
Posted 21 June 2006 at 05:20 pm

The answer is not in the video but in the text on the page.
"Robert D. Hunt, the Chairman of Hunt Aviation, has filed for international patent protection for an innovative new phase change hybrid airship design powered by the thermal energy in the air. The energy to power gliding flight is obtained from the atmosphere itself. An efficient power cycle is created using the natural temperature difference from a low altitude to a higher altitude. Heat energy is taken from ambient temperature air at a lower altitude to power the GravityPlane and heat is rejected to colder air at high altitude to complete the power cycle. This Atmospheric power cycle can be repeated indefinitely to allow the craft to stay aloft virtually forever."
For example: Take a well insulated balloon filled with a gas that is less dense then air at room temperature. Release the balloon and it will rise. Once it reaches a height where the temperature is low remove the insulation. The balloon will cool down. If the gas turns to liquid at this new temperature the balloon will get smaller increasing its density. Replace the insulation to keep the liquid cool and let the balloon decend. If the density is reduced enough the balloon will decend to the ground where you can let the liquid heat up and turn to gas. The energy for this process come from the sun in heating up the air at ground level. The amount of energy that can be recovered is dependent on the temperature difference between ground level and at elevevation level. The plan also calls for using the wind in the atomosphere (not the movement of the plane) for additional power.


kcameron
Posted 22 June 2006 at 01:19 pm

Fair enough. I didn't see the text that appears under the video. It is, indeed, possible to create a system that uses the temperature differences between high and low altitudes to drive the aircraft;
though it has almost nothing to do with the video and absolutely nothing to do with "extracting energy from gravity" as is claimed in other portions of the web site.

Using a low vapor temperature fluid is a reasonable way to do it but one must remember that the temperature differences are rather small. Temperatures for the standard atmosphere are 15C @sea level and -57C @15000 meters (about 50000 ft). The Carnot efficiency would be (15 -(-57))/(15+273)=0.25. So, of the heat that's absorbed in the lower atmosphere, one could convert at most 25% to mechanical or electrical energy. A real machine would only get about 1/2 of that so the efficiency would be about 12%. That's probably enough to drive the aircraft though it would be slow.

The idea of extracting substantial wind energy from the movement of the craft through the air is still wrong. Again, such movement must come from the craft's power source anyway. At best, it might work for powering the aircraft's internal systems. It can't work for providing power to drive the thing through the air.


LVLTA_Designer
Posted 22 June 2006 at 04:38 pm

The Hunt Gravity plane sure sounds like a copy of this.

I would say that this guy had the idea for the repeatable cycle unit first and holds the patent for the most important system.

A flying wing design also eliminates the weight and complexity of the swinging wing shown in the Hunt design.

--------------------

http://www.freshpatents.com/Systems-for-actively-controlling-the-
aerostatic-lift-of-an-airship-dt20060330ptan20060065777.php?
type=description

-----------------------

The HY-SOAR B.A.T.

Lighter-than-Air Solar (LTAS) Corporation's
HYbrid SOARing Buoyancy Activated Transport
(private pilot magazine 1996)

The thoroughly modern HY-SOAR B.A.T. is actually an old idea made
new. A flying craft which employed the same aerodynamic principles as the B.A.T. was actually flown as a full scale manned aircraft over 40 years before the Wright brothers made their first flight near Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903.

Postulated by Dr. Solomon Andrews in the early 1850s, the "AEREON
axiom" was first demonstrated in his unpowered airship "Aereon" which
made its maiden flight on June 1, 1863.
Later with improvements on September 4th, 1863 it made an out and back
loop from Albany, New York down the Hudson Valley several miles and back again.
Encountering winds both favorable and> unfavorable, the Aereon
demonstrated it=s airworthiness in both circumstances.
A reporter from the New York Herald, was so impressive, the newsman
wrote, "With such a machine in the hands of Jefferson Davis, the armies around Washington would be powerless to defend the Capital".

The general principle demonstrated by Dr. Andrews= airship was that
an elongated body, if made buoyant, will not rise straight up if its
weight is offset from center towards the rear. Instead, he proved, the ship would rise along the path of its least resistance, along an inclined path.

He further demonstrated that when the same form is made slightly
heavy, with the weight offset to the front end, it will "glide" back down along a similarly inclined path. Whether rising or descending, the craft produced a forward motion. He further proposed that the form could be flown indefinitely as long as a lifting medium could be found to repeat the cycle.

This is, in essence, the general principle of SOARING.

Modern incarnations of Dr. Andrews= visionary airship includes the
original Aereon III built by the Aereon airship company in the early 1970=s and the Water Wing, a smaller underwater version of a buoyancy craft. A toy version of the Water Wing uses a foam/air filled core to shoot across a pool at high speed when released under water. The Water Wing Company has also built several helium filled models but has not, as far as this author knows, worked out a methodology for continuing the cycle that did not involve either venting gas and dropping ballast or having a fueled system to heat and cool the lift gas/hot air.

L.T.A.S. Corporation, a Nevada company that has been designing,
building and flying solar powered, rigid-hulled airships for almost 30 years, has a patent- pending buoyancy control system (DCB) perfectly suited to the task of cycling a gas filled craft=s operating altitude by adjusting the displacement of the contained gases within the crafts hull. LTAS Corporation=s chief designer (and CEO), Mike Walden, recognized that his company=s DCB could extend the
operating distance of Dr. Andrews= craft to any distance.

Working first with small RC and line controlled models in the 1960s,
outdoor buoyant models in the 1970=s and, in the mid and late 1980=s, with Mario Roldan=s Spacial Corporation of Mexico, Mr. Walden designed and helped with the building and flying of the first full scale manned modern rigid hulled airship to fly in over 50 years (the MLA-32-B in 1989). From this extensive experience, he knew that the advanced LTAS technologies solved the buoyancy control problem.

Using the most advanced materials available, he crafted and
engineered a hybrid airship which he called a Buoyancy Activated Transport (B.A.T.)*. LTAS Corporation=s president, Robert Ellingwood, recognized that this dynamic design was a viable concept, with real market potential, and encouraged Mr. Walden to expand and promote it further. Several versions are now completely modeled and dimensioned. Initial development will center on the B.A.T.-class airship which has been tasked to be capable of circling the world, extending the range of Dr. Andrews= remarkable craft beyond practical limitations.

(*Upon observing the results of joining the constituent components of
the craft into a single form, Mike knew immediately what to call it. It
looked just like a bat and the legally-blind Mr. Walden, had always felt a special affinity for this creature who like himself functioned quite adequately the world with little or no vision to aid him.)

This B.A.T. is an ultra light class aircraft with a height of 16
feet (including the 4 foot diameter pilot's pod). With a center chord of 26 feet, it has a wing span of 66 feet. Landing gear are mounted under the pilot=s pod and in each of the wing tip pods.

The B.A.T. system works as follows:

Take off / Lift cycle- The DCB unit is programmed to make the craft
heavier than air resulting in a slightly nose down attitude as the airship sits on the ground. When the pilot boards the craft, a valve is opened releasing a lift gas (in this case helium) into a chamber above the cockpit capsule.
The lift gas, under a very slight super-pressure, pushes air out of the hull while retaining the hull=s shape. At the point where the pilot's weight is overcome by the lift being created, as the heavier air is cycled out, the craft rotates up and both static lift and dynamic lift are generated as the craft begins to rise, exactly as Dr. Andrews proved, and move forward along the inclined path.
Speed, both forward and ascending, is controlled by how much lift gas

is released into the chamber. Control is by standard control surfaces
along the trailing edge and the wing tip rudders. More advanced versions may use an internal liquid trim system like the one used on L.T.A.S.-Spatial full sized MLA craft mentioned earlier. These more sophisticated controls completely eliminate external surface controls. The B.A.T. is, for all practical purposes, a small scale B-2 type flying wing.

With the above mentioned size parameters, the maximum altitude of
this B.A.T. is 20,000 feet. The pilot and gear allowance is 300 pounds.
Higher altiude maximums result with a lighter pilot payload.

Glide cycle - When the craft reaches the designated program altitude,
the pilot activates a small electric pump (a proprietary L.T.A.S. design) to either level off at altitude or to begin the process of cycling by making the craft heavier than the lift gas is capable of maintaining. This commanded condition results in the craft beginning its downward glide. The pump unit may be powered by either a small generator or, for extended flight capability, by a set of thin film, flexible solar panels mounted on the upper surface
of the wings. It is quite possible that a pedal-operated generator could also be installed as part of the operating system for night flying without the fueled generator.

Because of the small power demand necessary to cycle the helium back
into its pressure chamber (only enough gas has to be displaced to make the ship slightly heavy....about half the pilot's weight), there is ample time for the pilot to rest when using pedal power. The pilot performs this task only at the top of each climb cycle. The climb control command does not take any power to perform, as the release of the pressurized helium can be accomplished with the opening of a manually operated gas-release valve. Once again, speed is
controlled by how quickly the craft is made heavy (or light, if rising)
and the glide angle that the pilot prescribes. New operating minimum or
maximum altitudes are commanded by the pilot and in put to the DCB unit
controls.

The cycle can be repeated indefinitely.

Landing - is accomplished by bringing the ship up to maximum weight,
compressing as much of the lift gas as possible, and gliding down like
a conventional glider. The B.A.T. has one big advantage over gliders
though, if you miss the landing point and have to abort.......you can. Just hit the gas valve and go back up for another try.

LTAS Corporation=s B.A.T. epitomizes the dream of glider and balloon
pilots for ages....total control....no tow planes....no engines......no
noise...... just pure flight for as long as you like !

Ultimate flight characteristics- The fact that you can control the
ship's weight, relative to its ability to lift, and also its glide slope, means that you can also land at nearly a dead stop. You can stall the craft at landing and be completely safe. Because the HY-SOAR B.A.T. is actually a small ultra light AIRSHIP, it does not really depend on dynamic lift to stay in the air. It can be precisely programmed to operate at an altitude which corresponds to the landing pad=s own height above sea level. As forward motion is decreased, the B.A.T. finds its programmed operating altitude.....just above the
landing pad. Touch down is a cinch. Compress a tiny amount of helium and the B.A.T. has landed.

Some accomplished pilot may like to hit the lift to full altitude
"up" and get their B.A.T. vertical nose-up for a F-16 like take-off or climb out cycle. By keeping the nose up and the ship in balance with its present operating altitude, an adept B.A.T. pilot should be able to hold a hammerhead stall position just about indefinitely !!!

Imagine a group of these aircraft hanging under a cloud nose up like
(dare I say it) a flight of BATS. Interesting way to start a cross country race.......

Other products- In addition to a number of B.A.T. designs, from single
person ultra lights to full crew units, L.T.A.S. Corp. has designed a wide range of lighter-than-air craft for a variety of missions and payloads. Please join us at our web site at:

http://www.nevada.edu/home/8/walden/NEWHOME.HTML

Once there you can enjoy viewing the entire L.T.A.S. product line
including the B.A.T.'s big brother, a little over twice the size of the ultra light, the VAriable buoyancy Multi Person International Research and Expedition craft (VAMPIRE) which can easily carry a crew of 3 or 4 around the world. Since VAMPIRE has no engine, it also qualifies as a free balloon for making an around-the-world flight. The VAMPIRE, unlike other balloon systems used in past round-the-world flight attempts, could pick its own course (around hostile areas) because it is steerable and it would not run out of fuel or ballast during such an extended mission.

New ideas- One could also imagine a slightly smaller G.P.S. or radio
controlled version silently bobbing its way around the upper atmosphere
collecting atmospheric samples. With no engines and no resulting
engine vibrations, the quality of the samples and sensor data would be better than all but the most sophisticated (and costly) conventional airborne platforms.

With only intermittent power demands, 24 hour a day solar powered
units can easily be built.
For additional information on these products and ideas contact
L.T.A.S. Corp.

Dr. Solomon Andrews was an M.D. and, for a time, Mayor and Health
Officer of Perth Amboy where he developed the town's first sewer system to help keep down cholera and yellow fever. He also invented a sewing machine, a barrel-maker, a fumigator, a
velocipede, a gas lamp, forging presses, a kitchen stove and a pipe
that would "filter out harmful substances" from the tobacco.

In 1849, Dr. Andrews purchased the old Army barracks at Perth Amboy,
New Jersey and converted them into the "Inventor's Institute", where he was joined by many other inventors.

In 1861, Thaddeus Lowe flew 900 miles in an observation balloon that he
had built. Lincoln made him chief of the newly formed U.S. Army Corps
of Aeronautics and he presided over a fleet of observation balloons that
were used in many Civil War engagements, mostly as spies in the sky.
Since there was so little control on the balloons and the rebels were
such crack shots, many were lost in the fighting.

A letter dated August 9, 1862, reached President Lincoln from Dr.
Andrews in which he suggested "producing an aerostat for
reconnaissance, if nothing more, in aid of the armies of the Union".
Lincoln thought the idea had merit and asked to be kept informed and to
have eyewitness accounts of the progress and test flights of Dr.
Andrews' Aereon. Although reports were sent to the President, they
never got beyond his secretary.

On June 1, 1863, Dr. Andrews brought his ship out for its maiden
flight. It leaped into the air and flew INTO the wind at 200 feet. It was then brought down to a safe landing. His motorless aircraft had worked, and was navigable. A month later, with refinements, it was again tested with equally fine results. Another trial, on September 4, before a reporter from the New York Herald, was so impressive, the newsman wrote, "With such a machine in the hands of Jefferson Davis, the armies around Washington would be powerless to defend the Capital".

Dr. Andrews was finally able to see President Lincoln and report to him
personally.

A Congressional committe was set up by the Secretary of War Edwin
Stanton, to look into the invention and make recommendations. Hearings
were held in March 1864 and immediate appropriations were recommended.
But apparently no one heard of these recommendations and on March 22,
1865, Andrews received a letter from the House Military Affairs
Committee that they were really not interested and, besides, the war
was over.

FIGURES.
Figure one.....
A 3/4 front view of the ultra light B.A.T.
Figure two.....
A bottom view of the ultra light B.A.T. showing pilot pod position under nose.
Figure three.....
Side view of the ultra light B.A.T.
Note symmetrical wing profile foe low drag....


WolfManDragon
Posted 23 June 2006 at 06:57 am

Sorry, gravity is an energy source. Not one this plane can use, but an energy source all the same.

The "gravity assist" flyby technique can add or subtract momentum to increase or decrease the energy of a spacecraft's orbit. Generally it has been used in solar orbit, to increase a spacecraft's speed and propel it outward in the solar system, much farther away from the Sun than its launch vehicle would have been capable of doing.
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/gravity-assist-primer.cfm


kcameron
Posted 23 June 2006 at 01:20 pm

On a planetary flyby, the extra energy imparted to a spacecraft comes from the planet's kenetic energy. It won't work in a closed system (like within the earth's atmosphere).


pablo
Posted 28 June 2006 at 08:43 am

I've heard solar panels are very efficient at low temperaure, how efficient would they be at this high altitude? A Gliding solar powered plane?.


LVLTA_Designer
Posted 30 June 2006 at 02:19 pm

Pasted from another list.

Explains how this thing works.
It is VERY simple.

1. The hull is full of helium - so it is a "balloon" shaped like an airplane.

2. It floats up to a given altitude where there is no more lift because the air has gotten too thin.

3. The Helium is compressed using outside air to add the mass of the compressed air and compress the helium to reduce its volume and lower the amount of aerostatic lift.

4. Now heavier than air like a regular airplane it glides down powered by gravity.

5. While either going up on helium lift or going down on gravity / gliding a set of props/vertical windmills out in the air stream is turned by the movement powering the air compressors.

6. NO POWER is required to go up. ONLY opening an air valve to let the air out and allow the helium to expand to lift the plane is required to take off.

7. Hunt did NOT invent this. See previous comment. He ONLY invented the particular type of vertical windmill he put on it.

> Hunt 03
>
>
> Sorry to rain on your party. AND this is the last time I waste my
> (our) time on this subject.
>
> Actually it is quite sunny here today, expecting highs in the mid 90s.
>
> No matter 'WHAT numbers you throw around you cannot get something for
> nothing.
>
> OK, Using YOUR OWN figures, which I hope you will agree with, it
> should be obvious even to you that no one is getting anything for
> nothing / free here.
>
>
> If you can get your 447 pound vehicle to 10,000 ft you have a
> potential energy of 447 x 10,000 = 4,470,000 pound feet.
>
> THIS would be the result of the surplus lift at sea level. Even
> without the aerodynamic lift the craft as described in the 1996
> article would get to well over 9,500 feet on aerostatic lift alone.
>
> This force is known to physics as buoyancy.
> Figured out by the Greeks over two thousand years ago.
> Hardly free, Helium is rather expensive.
>
>
> On the way up you have NO aerodynamic lift whatsover, in fact you
> have aerodynamic downforce counteracting the static lift which causes
> the forward flight. This downforce keeps the craft from going straight
> up, and depends on non-aerodynamic (static) lift all the way to
> ceiling. So FORGET the small amount (30 pounds you mention) of
> aerodynamic lift, if you have lost the static lift, you will never get
> to 10,000 ft.
>
> In FACT, as demonstrated by a number of WORKING submarine versions of
> this same craft, ie. The "Water Wing", as well as Hunt now trying to
> patent an underwater version, it is the drag vector of the airfoil
> that causes this inclined path. If the airfoil is not symmetrical or
> moving at a zero angle of attack, then it will still generate some
> aerodynamic lift, either positive or negative depending on angle.
> However, we will leave this out for now.
>
> As anyone who has ever launched a free balloon knows, and you can
> check the hundreds of them launched every day by NOAA, their track
> almost always goes up THROUGH pressure height and then settles down to
> float altitude. We will leave this out for now also. You can check
> these radar altitude tracks on a number of web sites and in a number
> of AIAA papers.
>
>
> If you can get your 447 pound vehicle to 10,000 ft you have a
> potential energy of 447 x 10,000 = 4,470,000 pound feet. That is 135
> horsepower for one minute.
>
> SO here YOU SHOW that there is a potential energy of 4,470,000 foot
> pounds PAID FOR by the exertion / use of the initial potential energy
> of the helium displacement at sea level. We have ONLY traded
> aerostatic potential for gravitational potential. Still NOT FREE.
> Complying to ALL laws of physics.
>
>
> BUT you don't just release all the helium do you?. You add
> weight by (miraculously)compressing lets say 100 pounds of extra air
> into the craft (it won't take the pressure).
>
> THIS is the part where you blew it.
> NO MIRACLES.
>
> We STILL have the gravitational potential. The air mass and pressures
> you are talking about are ALL wrong.
>
> We released NONE of the helium.
>
> It still has the SAME MASS although it has expanded to fill the craft.
> The craft and pilot still weigh the SAME.
> There is NOT AIR MASS.
>
> At roughly 10,000 feet they are all balanced by the weight of the
> displaced air around the craft.
> We are generating NO ADDITIONAL LIFT.
>
> AT sea level the craft was 66% helium full 33% air full with a slight
> bit of "extra lift". Internal pressure is whatever you need to keep
> the form, ie still quite low.
> This is COMMON to all forms of aerostatic flight, I am sure there are
> some blimp pilots on list who can confirm this.
>
> As the craft ascends due to this slight extra lift, the amount and
> speed being controlled by a simple air valve, no power required,
> operating on the original 4,470,000 pound feet of aerostatic lift you
> cited. The craft is trading aerostatic lift potential for altitude,
> gravity Glide potential.
>
> The helium gas expands due to the lowering of external pressure, the
> increasing volume keeping the "extra lift" constant as it takes up
> more and more of the craft volume. The air is discharged until the
> craft is FULL of helium and the air chambers are empty. This "Extra
> lift" exists until the point when the craft reaches its "pressure
> height." The craft has NOW traded ALL of its aerostatic lift for
> gravity potential. With momentum, see balloon altitude tracking cited
> above, it now has YOUR "potential energy of 447 x 10,000 = 4,470,000
> pound feet. That is 135 horsepower for one minute" as you stated
> before it would hit the ground again..
> IT WAS NOT FREE..
>
> However, your pressure figures are all wrong.
> You must consider ALL of the facts as stated.
> As is COMMON PRACTICE, AIRSHIPS DO NOT START OUT ON THE GROUND FULL
> OF HELIUM!
>
> The craft started out 66% full of helium at sea level, 14.7 PSI. In
> rising to 10,000 feet the lift gas expanded to fill 100% of the craft
> volume at 10 PSI. The 35% air that was in the air bladders was
> expelled by this gas expansion to atmosphere. The ONLY internal
> pressure is what was kept to keep the craft shape. According to my
> figures about 0.04%
>
> At 10,000 feet with 10 PSI this is 10 x 0.04 = 0.4 PSI.
>
> As YOU stated at 10,000 feet we now have traded our aerostatic lift
> for a gravity potential of "447 x 10,000 = 4,470,000 pound feet. That
>
> is 135 horsepower for one minute"
>
> Now that we have established that it was NOT FREE,
>
> Let us now descend.
>
> YOU state, "BUT you don't just release all the helium do you?. You add
>
> weight by (miraculously)compressing lets say 100 pounds of extra air
> into the craft (it won't take the pressure)."
>
> We wish to descend at about 2 feet per second.
>
> By some very simple math, we find that to change the lift constant
> from 10,000 feet to 5,000 feet is about a 16% change in helium
> displacement. Once again I am sure there are blimp pilots here who
> can confirm this air chamber % change with altitude if keeping their
> pressures constant.
>
> SO 5,000 FEET / 2 FEET PER SECOND = 2,500 SECONDS.
> 16% / 2,500 SECONDS = (0.000064) 0.0064 PERCENT PER SECOND.
> WITH A CRAFT VOLUME OF 10,000 CUBIC FEET X 0.0064 PERCENT
> THIS = 0.64 CUBIC FEET PER SECOND.
> THIS = 38.4 CUBIC FEET PER MINUTE.
> THIS = 1,600 CUBIC FEET OF AIR TOTAL IN 41.6 MINUTES
> AT A PRESSURE OF AT MOST 0.588 PSI!
>
> This amount of pumping at a super pressure of 0.04% at 10,000 feet =
> 0.4 PSI. This amount of pumping at a super pressure of 0.04% at sea
> level = 0.588 PSI.
>
> THIS WOULD KEEP THE PRESSURE HEIGHT, THE POINT AT WHICH THE AEROSTATIC
> LIFT IS EQUAL TO THE WEIGHT OF THE CRAFT/PILOT/AND ALL GASES, FALLING
> AT A RATE OF 2 FEET PER SECOND, AHEAD OF THE AERODYNAMIC LIFT CURVE,
> FROM 10,000 FEET TO 5,000 FEET.
>
> We have your "at 10,000 feet we now have traded our aerostatic lift
> for a gravity potential of "447 x 10,000 = 4,470,000 pound feet" of
> potential energy to pull the craft DOWN AND FORWARD GENERATING
> ACCELERATION as its aerostatic lift ability drops.
>
> STILL NOT FREE.
>
> I am SURE there are a number of modern fabrics as well as ultralight
> composites that can easily take 0.5 PSI superpressures. Especially
> if, 40% to get to sea level, of the wing skin and spars in the
> interior is made up like an "Air mattress" with a number of fairly
> small diameter tubes triangulated between them for a smooth exterior skin.
>
> As I said before the ONLY time higher pressures or water are needed is
> when the craft is ON THE GROUND with NO PILOT. This can be done with
> minimal ground support.
>
>
> So you now have 100 lbs x 10,000 ft = 1,000,000 pounds feet. that is
> about 30 hp for one minute, if gong back to sea level. Any additional
> would be by feverishly pedaling or cheating by adding an engine!! You
> say 5000 feet altitude change every 40 minutes,
> so we have not 30 but 15 hp for one minute, or 15 hp /40 minutes = 3/8
> horsepower for 40 minutes.
>
> As you can see above, the power figures you got were OFF by quite a
> bit. Any pumping is moving very little air at very low pressures.
>
>
> The "plane" described would be very lucky to have a L/D ratio of TEN,
> more likely 5. If it were anywhere near a sailplane then ALL airplanes
> would have such HUGE spar heights with no penalty, we could have the
> passengers and cargo inside the wings, etc. etc.
>
> And if L/D were determined solely by wing loading, Boeing could halve
> the fuel use on their jets..... Sailplanes main claim to efficiency is
> super smooth surfaces, optimum forms, and a VERY high aspect ratio
> wing to reduce wing tip vortex losses (and so reduce induced drag),
> and there is NO basis to compare the BAT to them whatsoever.. You are
> comparing apples and peanuts.
>
> I will only mention here that this would be a low drag symmetrical
> airfoil, designed more for low drag than high lift, since we get lift
> from aerostatics, the spars would probably be at the 50% point or more.
>
> A number of the most efficient aircraft, highest payload to empty
> weight, longest range, etc. Northrop flying wing, Horten Amerika
> bomber, B-2, have ALL been high thickness flying wings. All have had
> excellent L/D ratios.
>
> BOEING is NOW trying to increase the efficiency of THEIR AIRPLANES by
> building the "BLENDED WING BODY" aircraft. This is an aircraft with
> additional wing area per unit weight, and a THICK STAND IN wing
> section as mentioned above.
>
> BOEING has said it will be the "MOST EFFICENT AIRCRAFT EVER BUILT."
>
>
> Of course any absolutely dumb idea like adding a wind generator would
> increase the drag to lift terribly, and slow forward speed to a crawl.
> Have you ever held a spinning wind generator in you hands? (I have,
> another story)
>
> IF YOU CAN FLY AN SUCH AIRCRAFT AT 40 MILES PER HOUR ON 3/8
> HORSEPOWER, YOU CAN REWRITE THE BOOKS OF PHYSICS.
>
> I think 3/8 HP will move 40 CUBIC FEET OF AIR AT 0.588 PSI PER MINUTE.


Emartop
Posted 12 July 2006 at 03:39 pm

CAN ANYONE SAY INVESTMENT


nutramistic
Posted 24 August 2006 at 10:15 am

Damnstupid.


GCN3030
Posted 07 September 2006 at 08:16 pm

Honestly most of you people are completely retarded.

Let me make this CRYSTAL CLEAR This is not a closed system therefore not a perpetual motion machine!!!!!

Cars continue to go as long as you put fuel in them, until they run out of fuel, or break down mechanically. This plane could get enough energy to fly like a wave up and down averaging roughly 400 miles per hour horisontal velocity in a number of different ways.

First picture the plane in a body of water like in the video, wind will power the turbines giving mechanical power which can be turned into electricity using tesla coils, in addition solar panels could be used to provide extra power to run the cockpit and flight control systems. This electricity could then be used to compress air for the pnuematic motors. Now from here there are a couple different ways to do it. You could use a straight vacuum (vacuums have greater lifter power than even the lightest gas, which is hydrogen in case you don't know), the key here would be to have some type of material which could withstand the pressure of the vacuum and also be able to be built very large to gain the greatest volume, and therefore lifting power. The way Hunt proposed it helium balloons would be used as a redundant safety measure.

Here's hunt's resume this guy is not some crackpot, the military is actually interested in his idea as a UAV Mothership ROBERT D. HUNT - Theoretical Physicist / Inventor / Founder

After attending Mississippi State colleges, Robert Hunt began his career in 1969 as a New Nuclear designer for Newport News Shipbuilding, then a division of Tenneco Oil Company, where he designed nuclear reactor components for the U.S.S. Nimitz Aircraft Carrier. Mr. Hunt became a private inventor during the mid-1980s while involved in the field of aquaculture. He invented and patented a cryogenic liquid oxygenation system for the aquaculture industry. He has since dedicated his time to the development of his proprietary alternative, clean-energy generating technologies. Mr. Hunt holds numerous patents including a thermoelectric generator that generates electricity from the thermal energy within the air, a new high pressure Drum Jet Turbine that among other uses is capable of being mounted onto a high pressure natural gas well to generate substantial power from the kinetic energy via the earth’s geo-pressure, without burning any of the natural gas. Mr. Hunt has also invented a modified Einstein Refrigeration Cycle and a revolutionary new design vertical axis wind turbine. Many of Mr. Hunt's patents are licensed to Encore Clean Energy, a public company trading under the ticker symbol ECLN.

Mr. Hunt is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a member of the National Business American Association, a member of the National Hydrogen Association, and he served as the first Mississippi Chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Program.

Anyway honestly some people on this board didn't seem to understand that the acceleration of gravity and aerodynamic lift would provide propulsion in the same way that it does on a glider, the pnuematic motors have nothing to do with propulsion other than the fact that they would create the aerostatic lift by creating a vacuum in a large volume. In order to make it safer Mr. Hunt is suggesting that helium be used as a backup. The helium is actually a rendundant safety measure. The way he seems to be planning to do it also to take advantage of temperature differentials using a proprietary chemical.

To those who think this is a perpetual motion machine you are wrong because it could input energy via mechanical energy of wind using an ingeniously designed vertical axis wind turbine, the photoelectric effect using some type of silicon hybrid material to achieve current, and heat by utilizing the temperature of the air intake which affects lift obviously you should know that hot air rises! Ever seen a hot air Ballooon? As long as you keep inputing energy from some source, ie fire, solar and wind the balloon keeps flying. I bet someone could go around the world in a balloon, in fact I think a few people have, but that doesn't make it a perpetual motion machine because it's not a closed system, there is an input of energy.

For those of you who think this idea is unrealistic, I'd like to point out that this idea is not a novel one, in fact many creatures on earth use buoyancy and gravitational acceleration to travel, whales and dolphins being among the most well known. For years scientists were baffled as to how dolphins could travel such vast distances because the maximum amount of kinetic energy they could possibly obtain from their caloric intake by using their muscles to swim was not nearly enough to account for the thousands of miles they traveled. Some speculated that they had some sort of "super slippery skin" but it turns out that was wrong. In reality dolphins have air pocket inside their bodies that they intake air into when they breath in and then they compress it using their muscles thereby decreasing the density differential thus reducing the hydrostatic lift and causing them to fall towards the earth in the water (the fall is obviously assisted by their diving muscles powered by calories and their hydrodynamically designed bodies) when they get to the bottom of their dive they use their muscles again this time decompressing the air giving them positive bouyancy and they swim upward at an angle assisted by hydrostatic lift.

The glider/airship as I call it is the same concept in a different medium. Basically one would use aerostatic lift provided by the pnuematic motors and helium for a dditional safety, the compressed air having been creating using a combination of wind, solar, and heat energy. The ship would rise because of the lift provide by the density differential of either a vaccuum, helium, hot air, some proprietary chemical, or a combination of all four. Once the weight of the vehicle equals the lifting force of bouyancy the pnuematic motors would pump cold air from the atmosphere which would displace and cool the helium causing the ship to lose positive buoyancy. At this point gravitationaly accelaration would force the vehicle straight down, this vertical force vector can be transformed into a horizontal vector because of the aerodynamic design of the aircraft much like a glider would function except for the fact that the curve downward would be steeper to achieve greater speed. As it is falling it could take advantage of some of the gravitational energy downwards using the vertical axis wind turbines. This energy, and that obtained from temperature differentials and/or solar panel, would then be used to create the aerostatic lift again via compressed air motors, thus repeating the cycle (sort of the same way that a car powers the spark plugs with power from the alternator which is created from the pumping pistons, in this case the initial store of compressed air gained from wind and solar energy while sitting in a body of water would be akin to the battery in a car which gets the process started). Additional energy could be obtained by taking advantage of temperature differentials in much the same way that the weather works. I would also think that it would be wise to utilize solar energy, both the photoelectric effect and the straight heat. I think you could probably also make one that utilizes the lift of hot air on the way up somehow while mainting aerodynamic shape. The thermodynamic numbers that Hunt published in the AIAA show that this is clearly not a perpetual motion machine, it's more like a flying power plant. It's parts will decay over time it will not run perpetually and something could happen to the fuel source i.e. the temperature of the air, the sun, and the wind. This is not a fuelless vehicle, it get's fuel from it's sourroundings all of which basically comes from the sun if you consider that the sun is the ultimate source of wind energy. Basically it's a solar powered glider/airship, it could be solar powered in three ways, by using wind, the photelectric effect, and the heat from the sun. It is no more a perpetual motion machine that a hydroelectric turbine that continuously churns out electricity transformed from gravitational potential, it is in a position to gather energy from the sun in three different ways, and by utilizing shape to reduce friction and provide aerodynamic lift it can achieve speeds of roughly 400 miles per hour horizontally and potentially travel around the world even multiple times if well built.

Anyways some people on here are confused so I thought I'd clear the air. Don't get me wrong this thing would be very difficult to build paticularly the flight control system, but I have thought it through and the theory is sound. I'm pretty sure the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics wouldn't publish his paper thermodynamic detailing the thermodynamic equations if they didn't add up. Anyway food for thought I predict that within fifty years you'll see these things flying around, I plan on having one even if I have to build it myself. Good thing I'm a mechanical engineer and all my friends are chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineers we just might able to get it done, after all he cant patent the idea of a glider/airship he can only patent his machine and process, and patents don't last forever anyway.

To those of you who ignorantly posted without the slightest idea what your are talking about I must say that you have clearly illustrated the abhorrent level of scientific ignorance and arrogance amongst the general public today; in the future don't go spouting your mouth off about perpetual motion machines if you don't even know what they are.


sh0cktopus
Posted 29 September 2006 at 09:21 am

It's not necessary to transcribe several pages of text from another website. Simply provide a link. This section is for comments, not manifestos.


Aero
Posted 28 December 2006 at 11:38 pm

Shocktopus.

Ouch.
Anyways, constructive criticism please. Not talking to you shocktopus.
Honestly, *most* people are using *inflated language* to make their point. KISS(Keep it simple)
Anyhow, no need to write 17 pages to discredit or make fun of someone. Really. We get the point after page one and a half.

This article is pretty interesting. Im not going to comment on it saying if it's realistic or not, because obviously someone is going to say I am wrong, mostly because I am not a physics/science person.


Walter Haun
Posted 21 May 2007 at 07:22 pm

Please send password, and clearance to access site!!! Also, respond to original submittal!!!

Thank You,

Walter Haun whaun@nc.rr.com 919-730-1061


vu3pai
Posted 06 July 2008 at 02:43 am

It is very much interesting like run your car by water.


Coramoor
Posted 08 November 2008 at 03:36 am

During the repressurization of air as it descends, wouldn't it reach an equilibrium between the buoyancy of helium and the weight of the repressurized air, and just hovers around?


xadmin
Posted 23 March 2009 at 03:14 pm

this is interesting


paresh bhangale
Posted 12 February 2010 at 01:29 am

Enter your comment here.


paresh bhangale
Posted 12 February 2010 at 01:33 am

hey just justify ur results by prototype model then put on this site.....


clazman
Posted 11 December 2010 at 12:16 am

WolfManDragon said: "Sorry, gravity is an energy source. Not one this plane can use, but an energy source all the same.

The “gravity assist” flyby technique can add or subtract momentum to increase or decrease the energy of a spacecraft’s orbit. Generally it has been used in solar orbit, to increase a spacecraft’s speed and propel it outward in the solar system, much farther away from the Sun than its launch vehicle would have been capable of doing.
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/gravity-assist-primer.cfm"

You had better revisit Kepler's laws of conservation of momentum!! Momentum is not created or subtracted in planetary motion or in this case satellite motion. Also revisit "gravitational assist". You have not understood the concept!


clazman
Posted 11 December 2010 at 12:25 am

GCN3030 said: "Honestly most of you people are completely retarded.

Let me make this CRYSTAL CLEAR This is not a closed system therefore not a perpetual motion machine!!!!!
Cars continue to go as long as you put fuel in them, until they run out of fuel, or break down mechanically. This plane could get enough energy to fly like a wave up and down averaging roughly 400 miles per hour horisontal velocity in a number of different ways.
First picture the plane in a body of water like in the video, wind will power the turbines giving mechanical power which can be turned into electricity using tesla coils, in addition solar panels could be used to provide extra power to run the cockpit and flight control systems. This electricity could then be used to compress air for the pnuematic motors. Now from here there are a couple different ways to do it. You could use a straight vacuum (vacuums have greater lifter power than even the lightest gas, which is hydrogen in case you don’t know), the key here would be to have some type of material which could withstand the pressure of the vacuum and also be able to be built very large to gain the greatest volume, and therefore lifting power. The way Hunt proposed it helium balloons would be used as a redundant safety measure.
Here’s hunt’s resume this guy is not some crackpot, the military is actually interested in his idea as a UAV Mothership ROBERT D. HUNT – Theoretical Physicist / Inventor / Founder

After attending Mississippi State colleges, Robert Hunt began his career in 1969 as a New Nuclear designer for Newport News Shipbuilding, then a division of Tenneco Oil Company, where he designed nuclear reactor components for the U.S.S. Nimitz Aircraft Carrier. Mr. Hunt became a private inventor during the mid-1980s while involved in the field of aquaculture. He invented and patented a cryogenic liquid oxygenation system for the aquaculture industry. He has since dedicated his time to the development of his proprietary alternative, clean-energy generating technologies. Mr. Hunt holds numerous patents including a thermoelectric generator that generates electricity from the thermal energy within the air, a new high pressure Drum Jet Turbine that among other uses is capable of being mounted onto a high pressure natural gas well to generate substantial power from the kinetic energy via the earth’s geo-pressure, without burning any of the natural gas. Mr. Hunt has also invented a modified Einstein Refrigeration Cycle and a revolutionary new design vertical axis wind turbine. Many of Mr. Hunt’s patents are licensed to Encore Clean Energy, a public company trading under the ticker symbol ECLN.

Mr. Hunt is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a member of the National Business American Association, a member of the National Hydrogen Association, and he served as the first Mississippi Chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Program.
Anyway honestly some people on this board didn’t seem to understand that the acceleration of gravity and aerodynamic lift would provide propulsion in the same way that it does on a glider, the pnuematic motors have nothing to do with propulsion other than the fact that they would create the aerostatic lift by creating a vacuum in a large volume. In order to make it safer Mr. Hunt is suggesting that helium be used as a backup. The helium is actually a rendundant safety measure. The way he seems to be planning to do it also to take advantage of temperature differentials using a proprietary chemical.
To those who think this is a perpetual motion machine you are wrong because it could input energy via mechanical energy of wind using an ingeniously designed vertical axis wind turbine, the photoelectric effect using some type of silicon hybrid material to achieve current, and heat by utilizing the temperature of the air intake which affects lift obviously you should know that hot air rises! Ever seen a hot air Ballooon? As long as you keep inputing energy from some source, ie fire, solar and wind the balloon keeps flying. I bet someone could go around the world in a balloon, in fact I think a few people have, but that doesn’t make it a perpetual motion machine because it’s not a closed system, there is an input of energy.
For those of you who think this idea is unrealistic, I’d like to point out that this idea is not a novel one, in fact many creatures on earth use buoyancy and gravitational acceleration to travel, whales and dolphins being among the most well known. For years scientists were baffled as to how dolphins could travel such vast distances because the maximum amount of kinetic energy they could possibly obtain from their caloric intake by using their muscles to swim was not nearly enough to account for the thousands of miles they traveled. Some speculated that they had some sort of “super slippery skin” but it turns out that was wrong. In reality dolphins have air pocket inside their bodies that they intake air into when they breath in and then they compress it using their muscles thereby decreasing the density differential thus reducing the hydrostatic lift and causing them to fall towards the earth in the water (the fall is obviously assisted by their diving muscles powered by calories and their hydrodynamically designed bodies) when they get to the bottom of their dive they use their muscles again this time decompressing the air giving them positive bouyancy and they swim upward at an angle assisted by hydrostatic lift.
The glider/airship as I call it is the same concept in a different medium. Basically one would use aerostatic lift provided by the pnuematic motors and helium for a dditional safety, the compressed air having been creating using a combination of wind, solar, and heat energy. The ship would rise because of the lift provide by the density differential of either a vaccuum, helium, hot air, some proprietary chemical, or a combination of all four. Once the weight of the vehicle equals the lifting force of bouyancy the pnuematic motors would pump cold air from the atmosphere which would displace and cool the helium causing the ship to lose positive buoyancy. At this point gravitationaly accelaration would force the vehicle straight down, this vertical force vector can be transformed into a horizontal vector because of the aerodynamic design of the aircraft much like a glider would function except for the fact that the curve downward would be steeper to achieve greater speed. As it is falling it could take advantage of some of the gravitational energy downwards using the vertical axis wind turbines. This energy, and that obtained from temperature differentials and/or solar panel, would then be used to create the aerostatic lift again via compressed air motors, thus repeating the cycle (sort of the same way that a car powers the spark plugs with power from the alternator which is created from the pumping pistons, in this case the initial store of compressed air gained from wind and solar energy while sitting in a body of water would be akin to the battery in a car which gets the process started). Additional energy could be obtained by taking advantage of temperature differentials in much the same way that the weather works. I would also think that it would be wise to utilize solar energy, both the photoelectric effect and the straight heat. I think you could probably also make one that utilizes the lift of hot air on the way up somehow while mainting aerodynamic shape. The thermodynamic numbers that Hunt published in the AIAA show that this is clearly not a perpetual motion machine, it’s more like a flying power plant. It’s parts will decay over time it will not run perpetually and something could happen to the fuel source i.e. the temperature of the air, the sun, and the wind. This is not a fuelless vehicle, it get’s fuel from it’s sourroundings all of which basically comes from the sun if you consider that the sun is the ultimate source of wind energy. Basically it’s a solar powered glider/airship, it could be solar powered in three ways, by using wind, the photelectric effect, and the heat from the sun. It is no more a perpetual motion machine that a hydroelectric turbine that continuously churns out electricity transformed from gravitational potential, it is in a position to gather energy from the sun in three different ways, and by utilizing shape to reduce friction and provide aerodynamic lift it can achieve speeds of roughly 400 miles per hour horizontally and potentially travel around the world even multiple times if well built.
Anyways some people on here are confused so I thought I’d clear the air. Don’t get me wrong this thing would be very difficult to build paticularly the flight control system, but I have thought it through and the theory is sound. I’m pretty sure the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics wouldn’t publish his paper thermodynamic detailing the thermodynamic equations if they didn’t add up. Anyway food for thought I predict that within fifty years you’ll see these things flying around, I plan on having one even if I have to build it myself. Good thing I’m a mechanical engineer and all my friends are chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineers we just might able to get it done, after all he cant patent the idea of a glider/airship he can only patent his machine and process, and patents don’t last forever anyway.
To those of you who ignorantly posted without the slightest idea what your are talking about I must say that you have clearly illustrated the abhorrent level of scientific ignorance and arrogance amongst the general public today; in the future don’t go spouting your mouth off about perpetual motion machines if you don’t even know what they are."

"...can be turned into electricity using tesla coils..." Tesla coils "transform" electricity from one format to another. They do NOT transform mechanical energy into electrical energy!


clazman
Posted 11 December 2010 at 12:41 am

clazman said: "GCN3030 said: “Honestly most of you people are completely retarded.
Let me make this CRYSTAL CLEAR This is not a closed system therefore not a perpetual motion machine!!!!!
Cars continue to go as long as you put fuel in them, until they run out of fuel, or break down mechanically. This plane could get enough energy to fly like a wave up and down averaging roughly 400 miles per hour horisontal velocity in a number of different ways.
First picture the plane in a body of water like in the video, wind will power the turbines giving mechanical power which can be turned into electricity using tesla coils, in addition solar panels could be used to provide extra power to run the cockpit and flight control systems. This electricity could then be used to compress air for the pnuematic motors. Now from here there are a couple different ways to do it. You could use a straight vacuum (vacuums have greater lifter power than even the lightest gas, which is hydrogen in case you don’t know), the key here would be to have some type of material which could withstand the pressure of the vacuum and also be able to be built very large to gain the greatest volume, and therefore lifting power. The way Hunt proposed it helium balloons would be used as a redundant safety measure.
Here’s hunt’s resume this guy is not some crackpot, the military is actually interested in his idea as a UAV Mothership ROBERT D. HUNT – Theoretical Physicist / Inventor / Founder
After attending Mississippi State colleges, Robert Hunt began his career in 1969 as a New Nuclear designer for Newport News Shipbuilding, then a division of Tenneco Oil Company, where he designed nuclear reactor components for the U.S.S. Nimitz Aircraft Carrier. Mr. Hunt became a private inventor during the mid-1980s while involved in the field of aquaculture. He invented and patented a cryogenic liquid oxygenation system for the aquaculture industry. He has since dedicated his time to the development of his proprietary alternative, clean-energy generating technologies. Mr. Hunt holds numerous patents including a thermoelectric generator that generates electricity from the thermal energy within the air, a new high pressure Drum Jet Turbine that among other uses is capable of being mounted onto a high pressure natural gas well to generate substantial power from the kinetic energy via the earth’s geo-pressure, without burning any of the natural gas. Mr. Hunt has also invented a modified Einstein Refrigeration Cycle and a revolutionary new design vertical axis wind turbine. Many of Mr. Hunt’s patents are licensed to Encore Clean Energy, a public company trading under the ticker symbol ECLN.
Mr. Hunt is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), a member of the National Business American Association, a member of the National Hydrogen Association, and he served as the first Mississippi Chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Program.
Anyway honestly some people on this board didn’t seem to understand that the acceleration of gravity and aerodynamic lift would provide propulsion in the same way that it does on a glider, the pnuematic motors have nothing to do with propulsion other than the fact that they would create the aerostatic lift by creating a vacuum in a large volume. In order to make it safer Mr. Hunt is suggesting that helium be used as a backup. The helium is actually a rendundant safety measure. The way he seems to be planning to do it also to take advantage of temperature differentials using a proprietary chemical.
To those who think this is a perpetual motion machine you are wrong because it could input energy via mechanical energy of wind using an ingeniously designed vertical axis wind turbine, the photoelectric effect using some type of silicon hybrid material to achieve current, and heat by utilizing the temperature of the air intake which affects lift obviously you should know that hot air rises! Ever seen a hot air Ballooon? As long as you keep inputing energy from some source, ie fire, solar and wind the balloon keeps flying. I bet someone could go around the world in a balloon, in fact I think a few people have, but that doesn’t make it a perpetual motion machine because it’s not a closed system, there is an input of energy.
For those of you who think this idea is unrealistic, I’d like to point out that this idea is not a novel one, in fact many creatures on earth use buoyancy and gravitational acceleration to travel, whales and dolphins being among the most well known. For years scientists were baffled as to how dolphins could travel such vast distances because the maximum amount of kinetic energy they could possibly obtain from their caloric intake by using their muscles to swim was not nearly enough to account for the thousands of miles they traveled. Some speculated that they had some sort of “super slippery skin” but it turns out that was wrong. In reality dolphins have air pocket inside their bodies that they intake air into when they breath in and then they compress it using their muscles thereby decreasing the density differential thus reducing the hydrostatic lift and causing them to fall towards the earth in the water (the fall is obviously assisted by their diving muscles powered by calories and their hydrodynamically designed bodies) when they get to the bottom of their dive they use their muscles again this time decompressing the air giving them positive bouyancy and they swim upward at an angle assisted by hydrostatic lift.
The glider/airship as I call it is the same concept in a different medium. Basically one would use aerostatic lift provided by the pnuematic motors and helium for a dditional safety, the compressed air having been creating using a combination of wind, solar, and heat energy. The ship would rise because of the lift provide by the density differential of either a vaccuum, helium, hot air, some proprietary chemical, or a combination of all four. Once the weight of the vehicle equals the lifting force of bouyancy the pnuematic motors would pump cold air from the atmosphere which would displace and cool the helium causing the ship to lose positive buoyancy. At this point gravitationaly accelaration would force the vehicle straight down, this vertical force vector can be transformed into a horizontal vector because of the aerodynamic design of the aircraft much like a glider would function except for the fact that the curve downward would be steeper to achieve greater speed. As it is falling it could take advantage of some of the gravitational energy downwards using the vertical axis wind turbines. This energy, and that obtained from temperature differentials and/or solar panel, would then be used to create the aerostatic lift again via compressed air motors, thus repeating the cycle (sort of the same way that a car powers the spark plugs with power from the alternator which is created from the pumping pistons, in this case the initial store of compressed air gained from wind and solar energy while sitting in a body of water would be akin to the battery in a car which gets the process started). Additional energy could be obtained by taking advantage of temperature differentials in much the same way that the weather works. I would also think that it would be wise to utilize solar energy, both the photoelectric effect and the straight heat. I think you could probably also make one that utilizes the lift of hot air on the way up somehow while mainting aerodynamic shape. The thermodynamic numbers that Hunt published in the AIAA show that this is clearly not a perpetual motion machine, it’s more like a flying power plant. It’s parts will decay over time it will not run perpetually and something could happen to the fuel source i.e. the temperature of the air, the sun, and the wind. This is not a fuelless vehicle, it get’s fuel from it’s sourroundings all of which basically comes from the sun if you consider that the sun is the ultimate source of wind energy. Basically it’s a solar powered glider/airship, it could be solar powered in three ways, by using wind, the photelectric effect, and the heat from the sun. It is no more a perpetual motion machine that a hydroelectric turbine that continuously churns out electricity transformed from gravitational potential, it is in a position to gather energy from the sun in three different ways, and by utilizing shape to reduce friction and provide aerodynamic lift it can achieve speeds of roughly 400 miles per hour horizontally and potentially travel around the world even multiple times if well built.
Anyways some people on here are confused so I thought I’d clear the air. Don’t get me wrong this thing would be very difficult to build paticularly the flight control system, but I have thought it through and the theory is sound. I’m pretty sure the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics wouldn’t publish his paper thermodynamic detailing the thermodynamic equations if they didn’t add up. Anyway food for thought I predict that within fifty years you’ll see these things flying around, I plan on having one even if I have to build it myself. Good thing I’m a mechanical engineer and all my friends are chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineers we just might able to get it done, after all he cant patent the idea of a glider/airship he can only patent his machine and process, and patents don’t last forever anyway.
To those of you who ignorantly posted without the slightest idea what your are talking about I must say that you have clearly illustrated the abhorrent level of scientific ignorance and arrogance amongst the general public today; in the future don’t go spouting your mouth off about perpetual motion machines if you don’t even know what they are.”
“…can be turned into electricity using tesla coils…” Tesla coils “transform” electricity from one format to another. They do NOT transform mechanical energy into electrical energy!"

Hunt's resume doesn't make him intelligent.

Toyota, if you have been following their ads, is touting the idea that amusement parks can be self-sustaining from a conservation of energy standpoint. They base this on the idea that energy can be reclaimed as a roller coaster descends similar to the reclaiming of energy while a vehicle is brought to a standstill. As with the vehicle the roller coaster’s velocity would have to diminish as energy was extracted. The riders would not appreciate this. The roller coaster would also not ascend the next rise near as far as would have had the energy not been extracted. The energy removed plus additional energy would have to be added to propel the coaster to the additional distance that it would have before the original energy extraction.

In summation, even a multimillion dollar corporation can espouse misconceptions, let alone one individual.


thekenemy
Posted 25 February 2011 at 07:14 am

A glider/balloon. Brilliant.


thekenemy
Posted 25 February 2011 at 07:58 am

I've just tested a working prototype of this principle myself, and the result were encouraging. I've tied a paper plane to a balloon and then released the assembly from ground level. When it reached the ceiling, being confident in the positive outcome of this test, I risked climbing a chair and popping the balloon with a needle (naturally, in a full scale prototype, the balloon could be popped from on board the plane itself, possibly using a very large needle). And then, entirely in accord with my calculations, the plane dropped, leveled out and flew! Not very far, but I am sure this was entirely down to the inadequate aerodynamic properties of the popped balloon. This would have to be adressed in following prototypes.


thekenemy
Posted 25 February 2011 at 08:07 am

I just had another great idea: giant cargo submarines! Upon departure, the ballast tanks would be filled with water and the sub starts sinking. While descending, big fins are used to steer the sub forward. When it reaches the bottom of the sea, compressed air is used to blow the ballast tanks and the sub is propelled upwards again. Again, the fins steer the sub forward. With sufficient supplies of compressed air, this process can be repeated as needed.
I plan to test a prototype next weekend, in my bathtub. Now who wants to give me some money?


Pain
Posted 15 August 2011 at 02:37 pm

thekenemy - I assume you are trying to be funny. If so, bravo! If not - funny anyway (perhaps even funnier).


Mike
Posted 05 February 2013 at 09:26 pm

The method of flight is wrong, but the basic concept is sound. In fact the same principle is currently in use for underwater vehicles called gliders. An independent ROV that has crossed the Atlantic on several D cell power.

Avoids perpetual motion concerns the same way gravity does. No work is generated. W = F X D. In gravities case force is applied, but not through any distance. No Work expended, No thermodynamic violation. At least no more that gravity acting on you when standing still ...

NOAA is using them for current and water study.


Rob Heusdens
Posted 16 August 2013 at 11:59 am

It is clear that gravity is not a source of energy, so the craft needs some (initial) outside source of energy to keep repeating the cycle.
But I don't think that any practical design could be made to have this concept even work, since the storage tanks would have to be quite heavy to deal with the pressure differences, and would make the craft impractically large for the amount of payload.

And as another remark, there are cycles that look like impossibe perpetuum mobile devies, but aren't. For example a down draf solar tower is a large tower, you pump up water and spray it into the tower, the water becomes mist and cools the air which runs down, and propelles air turbnes at the bottom. The output electrical energy of the airtubines is greater the the energy needed to pump water up.


Rob Heusdens
Posted 16 August 2013 at 12:02 pm

PS. The only usable way of using gravity as an energy source is from tidal motion of large body of water, but clearly this airplane has nothing to do with extracting that tidal force.


siva moodley
Posted 11 October 2014 at 01:36 pm

i thought of this idea in 1982 while studying to be a maths and physical science teacher . i am now 51 years old. i wish to retire at 55 and pursue my idea with my retirement money


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