Man Ahead Of His Time; Tesla’s Amazing Flying Machine
Nikola Tesla , inventor of alternating current motors, did the basic research for constructing electromagnetic field lift-and-drive aircraft and spacecraft. From 1891 to 1893, he gave a set of lectures and demonstrations to groups of electrical engineers. As part of each show, Tesla stood in the middle of the stage, using his 6′ 6″ height, with an assistant on either side, each 7 feet away. All 3 men wore thick cork or rubber shoe soles to avoid being electrically grounded. Each assistant held a wire, part of a high voltage, low current circuit. When Tesla raised his arms to each side, violet colored electricity jumped harmlessly across the gaps between the men. At high voltage and frequency in this arrangement, electricity flows over a surface, even the skin, rather than into it. This is a basic circuit which could be used by aircraft and/or spacecraft. It’s time to see what Tesla really had envisioned.
Let’s go to the source – Nikola Tesla, himself, shall we? Here are the recorded facts, as set down in historical documentation, according to Tesla:
“I am now planning aerial machines devoid of sustaining planes, ailerons, propellers, and other external attachments, which will be capable of immense speeds” – “My Inventions” – Tesla’s autobiography. To a Westinghouse manager, Tesla wrote, “You should not be at all surprised, if some day you see me fly from New York to Colorado Springs in a contrivance which will resemble a gas stove and weigh as much. … and could, if necessary, enter and depart through a window.” – “Tesla: Man Out of Time,” by Margaret Chaney, pg.198. Tesla intended the world to have a free, wireless, source of power “My power generator will be of the simplest kind – just a big mass of steel, copper and aluminum comprising a stationary and rotating part, peculiarly assembled.” Further, according to museum officials at The Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, “he left sketches of interplanetary ships. This information, however, has not been made available to western scholars.” Telsa: Man Out Of Time, pg. 203.
This all sounds fantastic. We have Tesla, himself, vividly describing a new type of Flying Machine. Presented with those statements, perhaps we can find out just what Tesla envisioned. We have now something confronting us which, has up until now, been misunderstood. Let’s take a look at some quotes from Tesla in the “New York Herald Tribune” on October 15th, 1911, entitled “Tesla’s Monarch Of Machines” –
“And it makes the airplane practical,” I suggested. “Not the airplane, the flying machine,” responded Dr. Tesla. “Now you have struck the point in which I am most deeply interested–the object toward which I have been devoting my energies for more than twenty years – the dream of my life. It was in seeking the means of making the perfect flying machine that I developed this engine.”“Twenty years ago I believed that I would be the first man to fly; that I wbas on the track of accomplishing what no one else was anywhere near reaching. I was working entirely in electricity then and did not realize that the gasoline engine was approaching a perfection that was going to make the airplane feasible. There is nothing new about the airplane but its engine, you know.
What I was working on twenty years ago was the wireless transmission of electric power. My idea was a flying machine propelled by an electric motor, with power supplied from stations on the earth. I have not accomplished this as yet, but am confident that I will in time. When I found that I had been anticipated as to the flying machine, by men working in a different field I began to study the problem from other angles, to regard it as a mechanical rather than an electrical problem. I felt certain there must be some means of obtaining power that was better than any now in use, and by vigorous use of my gray matter for a number of years I grasped the possibilities of the principle of the viscosity and adhesion of fluids and conceived the mechanism of my engine.”
“Now that I have it, my next step will be the perfect flying machine.” “An airplane driven by your engine?” I asked. “Not at all,” said Dr. Tesla. “The airplane is fatally defective. It is merely a toy, a sporting plaything. It can never become commercially practical. It has fatal defects. One is the fact that when it encounters a downward current of air it is helpless. The ‘hole in the air’ of which aviators speak is simply a downward current, and unless the airplane is high enough above the earth to move laterally but can do nothing but fall. There is no way of detecting these downward currents, no way of avoiding them, and therefore the airplane must always be subject to chance and its operator to the risk of fatal accident. Sportsmen will always take these chances, but as a business proposition the risk is too great.”
“The flying machine of the future – my flying machine – will be heavier than air, but it will not be an airplane. It will have no wings. It will be substantial, solid, stable. You cannot have a stable airplane. The gyroscope can never be successfully applied to the airplane, for it would give a stability that would result in the machine being torn to pieces by the wind, just as the unprotected airplane on the ground is torn to pieces by a high wind. My flying machine will have neither wings nor propellers. You might see it on the ground and you would never guess that it was a flying machine. Yet it will be able to move at will through the air in any direction with perfect safety, higher speeds than have yet been reached, regardless of weather and oblivious of ‘holes in the air’ or downward currents. It will ascend in such currents if desired. It can remain absolutely stationary in the air even in a wind for great length of time. Its lifting power will not depend upon any such delicate devices as the bird has to employ, but upon positive mechanical action.”
“You will get stability through gyroscopes?” I asked. “Through gyroscopic action of my engine, assisted by some devices I am not yet prepared to talk about,” he replied. “Powerful air currents that may be deflected at will, if produced by engines and compressors sufficiently light and powerful, might lift a heavy body off the ground and propel it through the air,” I ventured, wondering if I had grasped the inventor’s secret.
Dr. Tesla smiled an inscrutable smile. “All I have to say on that point is that my airship will have neither gas bag, wings nor propellers,” he said. “It is the child of my dreams, the product of years of intense and painful toil and research. I am not going to talk about it any further. But whatever my airship may be, here at least is an engine that will do things that no other engine ever has done, and that is something tangible.” END.
Further, from Nikola Tesla’s autobiography, “My Inventions” we have this quote – “As stated on a previous occasion, when I was a student at college I conceived a flying machine quite unlike the present ones. The underlying principle was sound, but could not be carried into practice for want of a prime-mover of sufficiently great activity. In recent years, I have successfully solved this problem and am now planning aerial machines devoid of sustaining planes, ailerons, propellers, and other external attachments, which will be capable of immense speeds and are very likely to furnish powerful arguments for peace in the near future. Such a machine, sustained and propelled entirely by reaction, is shown on one of the pages of my lectures, and is supposed to be controlled either mechanically, or by wireless energy. By installing proper plants, it will be practicable to project a missile of this kind into the air and drop it almost on the very spot designated, which may be thousands of miles away…” See artist illustration, right.
Tesla’s Flying Machine:
Firstly, compliments to Bill Smith, through Keely-Net (2001) for the basis of this article, below. The artist illustrations (below and right) best describe the remainder of the article. How could we identify the shape, and then the operation of Tesla’s Flying Machine? Let us also make no mistake; although Tesla did patent (#’s – 0165513, and 0165514; Method Of Aerial Transportation) a type of Flying Machine, and both powered by his amazing Tesla Turbine, this craft is certainly not what he is referring to in these writings. Note, in every case, Tesla states that his craft would not have wings, propellers, nor gas bags. With this behind us, let’s dive into some thought on what this new type of Flying Machine might be. Here, in Part One, we will delve into the eclectically powered version of the flying machine. In Part Two , we will explore yet another possibility, entirely.
Let’s begin with the hull for this version. The hull is best made of a twin (double sided) thin, machine-able, slightly flexible ceramic. This becomes a good electrical insulator, has no fire danger, resists any damaging effects of severe heat and cold, and has the hardness of armor. Besides being easy for magnetic fields to pass through, with our modern Ceramics, it is also easy to mass-produce. The inner hull is covered on it’s outside by wedge-shaped, thin metal sheets of copper or aluminum, bonded to the ceramic. Each sheet is 3 to 4 feet wide at the horizontal rim of the hull and tapers to a few inches wide at the top of the hull for the top set of metal sheets, or at the bottom for the bottom set of sheets. Each sheet is separated on either side from the next sheet by 1 or 2 inches of uncovered ceramic hull. The top set of sheets and bottom set of sheets are separated by about 6 inches of uncovered ceramic hull around the horizontal rim of the hull.
The outer hull protects these sheets from being short-circuited by wind blown metal foil (Air Force radar confusing chaff), heavy rain or concentrations of gasoline or kerosene fumes. If unshielded, fuel fumes could be electro-statically attracted to the hull sheets, burn and form carbon deposits across the insulating gaps between the sheets, causing a short-circuit. The space, the outer hull with a slight negative charge, would absorb hits from micro-meteorites and cosmic rays (protons moving at near the speed of light). Any danger of this type that doesn’t already have a negative electric charge would get a negative charge in hitting the outer hull, and be repelled by the metal sheets before it could hit the inner hull. This wouldn’t work well on a very big meteor, I might add. The hull can be made in a variety of shapes; sphere, football, disc, or streamlined rectangle or triangle, as long as these metal sheets, “are of considerable area and arranged along ideal enveloping surfaces of very large radii of curvature,” (p. 85. “My Inventions” , by Nikola Tesla.)
The power plant for this machine can be a standard diesel electric for long range and long-term use, or, as Tesla my have envisioned – his Tesla Turbine , running on either steam, or combustibles, which turns the generators. A short range machine can use a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell to run a low-voltage motor to turn the generators, occasionally recharging by hovering next to high voltage power lines and using antennas mounted on the outer hull to take in the electricity. The short-range machine can also have electricity beamed to it from a generating plan on a long-range aircraft / spacecraft or on the ground. Reference: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 24, 1987, Vol 109, No. 328, “The Forever Plane” by Geoffrey Rowan, (p.D1, D7 and “Popular Science”, Vol 232, No. 1, Jan. 1988, “Secret of Perpetual Flight? Beam Power Plane,” by Arthur Fisher, (p. 62-65, 106).
Another fascinating concept would be through the use of Tesla’s Magnifying Transmitter , to “beam” the power directly to the craft from bases on the ground. From my perspective, this option is quite probably what Tesla had in mind all the time. Lastly, it is also quite possible that Tesla had envisioned his aerial machine to draw its power directly from the Ether, powering the craft directly from the wheel-works of nature itself. See my page, “ Tesla’s Black Box ” for yet another theory regarding the use of a smaller transmitter, that purportedly powered the infamous 1933 Pearce Arrow car. Time will tell. See artist sketch, below, right.
One standard for the generators is to have the same number of magnets as field coils. Tesla’s preferred design was a thin disc holding 480 magnets with 480 field coils wired in series surrounding it in close tolerance; at 50 revolutions per minute, it produces 19,400 cycles per second. The electricity is fed into a number of large capacitors, one for each metal sheet. An automatic switch, adjustable in timing by the pilot, closes, and as the electricity jumps across the switch, back and forth, it raises it’s own frequency; a switch being used for each capacitor.
The electricity goes into a Tesla transformer; again, one transformer for each capacitor. In an oil tank to insulate the windings and for cooling, and supported internally by wood, or plastic, pipe and fittings, each Tesla transformer looks like a short wider pipe that is moved along a longer, narrower pipe by an insulated non-electric cable handle. The short pipe, the primary, is 6 to 10 windings (loops) of wire connected in series to the long pipe. The secondary is 460 to 600 windings, at the low voltage and frequency end. The insulated non-electric cable handle is used through a set of automatic controls to move the primary coil to various places on the secondary coil. This is the frequency control. The secondary coil has a low frequency and voltage end and a maximum voltage and frequency end. The greater the frequency the electricity, the more it pushes against the earth’s electrostatic and electromagnetic fields.
The electricity comes out of the transformer at the high voltage end and goes by wire through the ceramic hull to the wide end of the metal sheet. The electricity jumps out on and flows over the metal sheet, giving off a very strong electromagnetic field, controlled by the transformer. At the narrow end of the metal sheet, most of the high-voltage push having been given off, the electricity goes back by wire through the hull to a circuit breaker box (emergency shut off), then to the other side of the generators. In bright sunlight, the aircraft / spacecraft may seem surrounded by hot air, a slight magnetic distortion of the light. In semi-darkness and night, the metal sheets glow, even through the thin ceramic outer hull, with different colors. The visible light is a by-product of the electricity flowing over the metal sheets, according to the frequencies used.
Descending, landing or just starting to lift from the ground, the transformer primaries are near the secondary weak ends and therefore, the bottom set of sheets glow a misty red. Red may also appear at the front of the machine when it is moving forward fast, lessening resistance up front. Orange appears for slow speed. Orange-yellow are for airplane-type speeds. Green and blue are for higher speeds. With a capacitor addition, making it oversized for the circuit, the blue becomes bright white, like a searchlight, with possible risk of damaging the metal sheets involved. The highest visible frequency is violet, like Tesla’s stage demonstrations, used for the highest speed along with the bright white. The colors are nearly coherent, of a single frequency, like a laser.
A machine built with a set of super conducting magnets would simplify and reduce electricity needs from a vehicle’s transformer circuits to the point of flying along efficiently and hovering with little electricity. When Tesla was developing arc lights to run on alternating current, there was a bothersome high-pitched whine, whistle, or buzz, due to the electrodes rapidly heating and cooling. Tesla put this noise in the ultrasonic range with the special transformer already mentioned. The aircraft / spacecraft gives off such noises when working at low frequencies.
Timing is important in the operation of this machine. For every 3 metal sheets, when the middle one is briefly turned off, the sheet on either side is energized, giving off the magnetic field. The next instant, the middle sheet is energized, while the sheet on either side is briefly turned off. There is a time delay in the capacitors recharging themselves, so at any time, half of all the metal sheets are energized and the other half are recharging, alternating all around the inner hull. This balances the machine, giving it very good stability. This balance is less when fewer of the circuits are in use.
Fairly close, the aircraft / spacecraft produces heating of persons and objects on the ground; but by hovering over an area at low altitude for maybe 5 or 10 minutes, the machine also produces a column of very cold air down to the ground. As air molecules get into the strong magnetic fields that the machine is transmitting out, the air molecules become polarized and from lines, or strings, of air molecules. The normal movement of the air is stopped, and there is suddenly a lot more room for air molecules in this area, so more air pours in. This expansion and the lack of normal air motion make the area intensely cold. This is also the reason that the aircraft / spacecraft can fly at supersonic speeds without making sonic booms. As air flows over the hull, top and bottom, the air molecules form lines as they go through the magnetic fields of the metal sheet circuits. As the air molecules are left behind, they keep their line arrangements for a short time, long enough to cancel out the sonic boom shock waves.
Outside the earth’s magnetic field, another propulsion system must be used, which relies on the first. You may have read of particle accelerators, or cyclotrons, or atom-smashers. A particle accelerator is a circular loop of pipe that, in cross-section, is oval. In a physics laboratory, most of the air in it is pumped out. The pipe loop is given a static electric charge, a small amount of hydrogen or other gas is given the same electric charge so the particles won’t stick to the pipe. A set of electromagnets all around the pipe loop turn on and off, one after the other, pushing with one magnetic pole and pulling with the next, until those gas particles are racing around the pipe loop at nearly the speed of light. Centrifugal force makes the particles speed closer to the outside edge of the pipe loop, still within the pipe. The particles break down into electrons, or light and other wavelengths, protons or cosmic rays, and neutrons if more than hydrogen is put in the accelerator. At least 2 particle accelerators are used to balance each other and counter each other’s tendency to make the craft spin. Otherwise, the machine would tend to want to start spinning, following the direction of the force being applied to the particles. The accelerators push in opposite directions.
As the pilot and crew travel in space, outside the magnetic field of a world, water from a tank is electrically separated into oxygen and hydrogen. Waste carbon dioxide that isn’t used for the onboard garden, and hydrogen (helium if the machine is using a fusion reactor) is slowly, constantly fed into the inside curves of both accelerators. The high speed particles go out through straight lengths of pipe, charged like the loops and in speeding out into space, push the machine along. Doors control which pips the particles leave from. This allows very long range acceleration and later deceleration at normal (earth) gravity. This avoids the severe problems of weightlessness, including lowered physical abilities of the crew. It is possible to use straight-line particle accelerators, even as few as one per machine, but these don’t seem as able to get the best machine speed for the least amount of particles pushed out.
Using a constant acceleration of 32.2 feet per second per second provides earth normal gravity in deep space and only 2 gravities of stress in leaving the earth’s gravity field. It takes, not counting air resistance, 18 minutes, 58.9521636 seconds to reach the 25,000 miles per hour speed to leave the earth’s gravity field. It takes about 354 days, 12 hours, 53 minutes and 40 seconds (about) to reach the speed of light – 672,487,072.7 miles per hour. It takes the same distance to decelerate as it does to speed up, but this cuts down the time delay that one would have in conventional chemical rocketry enormously, for a long journey. A set of superconducting magnets can be charged by metal sheet circuits, within limits, to whatever frequency is needed and will continue to transmit that magnetic field frequency almost indefinitely.
A shortwave radio can be used to find the exact frequencies that an aircraft / spacecraft is using, for each of the colors it may show whole a color television can show the same overall color frequency that the nearby, but not extremely close, craft is using This is limited, as a machine traveling at the speed of a jet airliner may broadcast in a frequency range usually used for radar sets. The craft circuits override lower frequency, lower voltage electric circuits within and near their electromagnetic fields. One source briefly mentioned a 1941 incident, where a shortwave radio was used to override automobile ignition systems, up to 3 miles away. When the shortwave radio was turned off, the cars could work again.
One construction arrangement for this craft to avoid such interference is for the metal sheet circuits to be more sharply tuned. Quartz or other crystals can be used in capacitors; in a very large number of low-powered, single frequency circuits, or as part of a frequency control for the metal sheet circuits. The aircraft / spacecraft easily overrides lower frequency and lower voltage electric circuits up to a 6 mile wide circle around it, but the effect is usually not tuned for such a drastic show. It can be used for fire fighting: by hovering at a medium-low height at low frequency, it forms a double negative pole magnet of itself and the ground, the sides being a rotation of positive magnetic pole. It polarizes the column of air in this field. The air becomes icy cold. If it wouldn’t put the fire out, it would slow it down.
Tesla went broke in the early 1900’s building a combination radio and electric power broadcasting station. The theory and experiments were correct but the financiers didn’t want peace and prosperity for all.
The Japanese physicist who developed superconducting material with strong magnetism allows for a simplified construction of the aircraft / spacecraft. Blocks of this material can be used in place of the inner hull metal sheets. By putting electricity in each block, the pilot can control the strength of the magnetic field it gives off and can reduce the field strength by draining some of the electric charge. This allows the same amount of work to be done with vastly less electricity used to do it. It is surprising that Jonathan Swift, in his “Gulliver’s Travels”, 1726, third book, “A Voyage to Laputa”, described an imagined magnetic flying island that comes close to being what a large superconducting aircraft / spacecraft can be build as, using little or no electric power to hover and mover around.
Compliments: Bill Smith, Keely-Net, 2001. Used by permission.
NIKOLA TESLA TELLS HOW WE MAY FLY EIGHT MILES HIGH AT 1,000 MILES AN HOUR
by Nikola Tesla
In an interview with Frederick M. Kerby.
As the inventor of the alternating current, the world is indebted to Mr. Tesla for the use of electricity carried Long distances. He now discusses. the probability that airplanes will rise to great heights and travel at speeds that seem incredible. This article is written, in part by Mr. Testa himself. The rest is written from stenographic notes. It gives, very Likely, a glimpse of the immediate future.
Sitting in his office on the twenty-fifth floor of the Woolworth Tower, Mr. J. Pierpont Jones, American business man, will one day glance at his watch and discover it is 3 o’clock in the afternoon. “By George,” he will say, buzzing for his secretary, “If I don’t hurry I’ll be late for that dinner engagement at the Savoy!” And as his secretary answers the buzzer: “Charles, when does the next London bus leave?” “Three-thirty, sir,” says Charles. “You can make it if you hurry. The car is waiting.”
And fifteen minutes later Mr. J. Pierpont Jones will emerge from the elevator on the aeronautic landing stage of lower Manhattan, climb into the hermetically sealed steel fuselage of the New York-London Limited, which will rise promptly at 3:30 p. m. At seven that night he will climb out of his compartment on the landing stage on the Thames Embankment, and descend to meet his friend for dinner.
The three-hour aeroplane trip from New York to London, flying above the storm level at eight miles above the earth’s surface is the possibility of the immediate future. This is not my own prediction. It is the result of sixteen pages of close calculations in higher mathematics made by Nikola Tesla, to test and check up other pages of intricate calculations made by Samuel D. Mott, charter member of the Aero Club of America.
Mr. Mott asserts that the three-hour trip to London from New York is a question of rising into rarefied air where the air pressure is only one-fifth what it is at the earth’s surface, at which point the “altiplane”, as he has named the flying machine of the future, may be expected to fly five times as fast as at the earth’s surface. And if the speed of the aeroplane is increased not five times but only one-fifth, Mr. Mott says the trip will be made anyhow in the rarefied air eight miles above the earth’s surface in not more than twelve hourse running time. And Nikola Tesla agrees that taking a plane to such an altitude must result in great increase in speed, although he does not wish, in the absence of exact knowledge of certain factors entering into the problem, to predict exact speeds. Speaking before the Pan-American Aeronautic Convention at Atlantic City, Mr. Mott asserted that in order to avoid being weather-bound as were the aviators at Newfoundland, it will be necessary to construct planes that will rise above the storm limit.
“I submit,” he said, “that waiting indefinitely for ideal weather conditions for long-distance flying over land or sea will not do for the demands of commerce. Therefore I would bring to your attention the possibilities from the airplane or or hydroplane, to go into the stillness of nature above the weather.
What The Problem Is
“The problem is evidently one of equipment of our planes to function in rarefied air, and protection of navigators against its tenuity; likewise protection of their body warmth and comfort in extremes of temperature. How high we may go no one may know until tested. Personally I believe it possible to go fifteen or twenty mils aloft, if necessary. It is obviously a matter of equipment plus climbing ability of aircraft designed for the purpose.
“What is the object of high flying? Daily experience shows us that high speed and density are incompatible. We know that we must furnish aircraft with four times the power to go twice as fast, and the marine engineer knows that he must furnish eight times the power to go twice as fast. In other words, from the ultimate height of the air to the earth’s core pressure is progressive. Thirty-three feet below the ocean’s surface the pressure doubles. For every 1,000 feet ascent the pressure diminishes roughly one-half pound per square inch. The pressure two miles high is 9.8 pounds per square inch; at one mile high, 10.88; at three-quarters of a mile, 12.06; one-half mile, 13.33; one-quarter mile, 14.2, and at sea level, 14.7 pounds, or, in round numbers, 15 pounds per square inch.
“The unknown factor in the high altitude problem is this: Will an altiplane in one-fifth density (eight miles high), with equal push, go five times faster or one-fifth faster? The rest is a matter of simple equipment and good construction. In either case the gain is substantial. If the former were true a voyage between New York and London can be made in about three hours by going eight miles high. If the latter is true the same voyage can be made in about twelve hours running time, assuming a surface speed of 200 miles an hour, which is practically a question of power.
“To my mind it is plain that the high altitudes will be determining factors in long distance flying. Greater speed, greater distance, more comfort and less danger because when we double the time to do a risky thing we double the risk incurred; less gasoline, less weight and expense, for if environment permits us to go 100 miles with twice the fuel we formerly used to go twenty-five miles our economic gain is obviously 100 per cent, because we may then go 100 miles with the amount of fuel we formerly consumed to go fifty miles.”
That aerial navigation at higher altitudes will Undoubtedly result in great increase of speed is also the opinion of Nikola Tesla, to whom I took Mr. Mott’s conclusions in order to get the opinion of this man who has made a life-time study of the air as a medium for the transmission of electrical energy. “In the propulsion of aerial vessels problems are involved entirely different from those presented in the navigation of the water,” said Tesla. “The atmosphere may be likened to a vast ocean, but if one imagines a submarine vessel constructed like an aeroplane one immediately realizes how inefficient it would be. The energy used in propelling a body through a medium of any kind is wasted in three different ways; first, by skin friction; second, wave making; third, production of eddies. On general principles, however, the resistance can be divided into two parts: one which is due to the friction of the medium and the other to its stickiness, or viscosity, as it is termed. The first is proportionate to the density; the second to this peculiar property of the fluid.
“Everybody will readily understand that the denser the medium the harder it is to push a body through it, but it might not be clear to every person what this other resistance – this viscosity – means. This will be understood if we compare, for instance, water and oil. The latter is lighter, but much more sticky, so that it is a greater obstacle to propulsion than water. Air is a very viscous substance and that part of resistance which is due to this quality is considerable. We must take this latter resistance into account in calculating how fast an aeroplane could fly in the upper reaches of the air. “Now, the idea is to fly at a great height where the air is rarefied, and therefore much less power is required to propel the machine through it. If we take the pressure at sea-level at 14.7 pounds and the temperature at 15 degrees centigrade, then, without introducing several corrections that would make for greater accuracy, the pressures at different heights are about as follows: At. 1,000 feet above sea level, 14.178 lbs.; at one-mile, 12.1457 lbs.; at two miles, 10.035 lbs.; at eight miles, 3.1926 lbs.; at fifteen miles, 0.8392 lbs. and at twenty miles, 0.323 lbs.
Condition Eight Miles Up
“According to these figures that I have worked out, at a height of eight miles the density of the air is 0.2172 or about 22-100th of that at sea level; at fifteen miles it is 0.057, and at twenty miles only 0.0219, or nearly 22-1000th of that at sea-level. Let us suppose then that an aeroplane rises to a height of eight miles where the pressure of the air will be only 3.1926 lbs., or, in other words, the density 0.2172 of that at sea-level. Since, as pointed out, the purely frictional resistance is proportionate to the density of the air, it is obvious that, if there were no other resistance to overcome, only about 22 per cent of power or roughly one fifth, would be required to propel the vessel at that height, so that extremely high speed, as Mr. Mott points out, would be obtainable.”
“And though the other resistance, which is due to the stickiness of the medium, will not be diminished at the same ratio, and therefore the gain will not be strictly in proportion to the decrease of density of the air, nevertheless, the total resistance will be reduced, if not to 22 per cent, perhaps to 30 per cent, so that there will be a great excess of power available for more rapid flight. “Even allowing for the decreased thrust of the propeller due to the thinness of the air, which cannot be overcome by driving the screw faster, there still will be the very considerable gain and the aircraft will be propelled at a higher speed. “Of course many incertitudes still exist in the theoretical treatment of a question like this, as there are a number of factors which affect the result and in regard to which we have not yet complete information.
At An Altitude of Twenty Miles
“I doubt that it will be possible to rise as high as fifteen or twenty miles, which is the opinion expressed by Mr. Mott. At the height of twenty miles there is only about 7 per cent of oxygen in the air instead of 21 per cent which is present close to the ground, and there would be great trouble in securing the oxygen supply for the combustion of the fuel, not to speak of other limitations. “However, at a height of eight miles the decrease of oxygen can be overcome for both engine and aviator. Of course provision would have to be made for supplying the aviator and passengers with oxygen. In all probability they would have to be entirely enclosed just as a diver is enclosed. Our highest mountains are five miles and the rarefaction of the air makes climbing them difficult. About five miles provision would certainly have to be made for supplying the aviator. If he were not enclosed the decrease of pressure due to the thinner air would result disastrously. The human mechanism is adjusted to a pressure of nearly 15 pounds per square inch; and if that pressure is reduced to about three pounds, as it would be at an altitude of eight miles, the aviator’s ear drums would burst, and even the blood would be forced through the pores and would ooze out of the body.
Tesla explained that the effect would be the same as that of bringing a deep-sea fish, accustomed to live a mile below the surface, to the surface of the water. The fish simply explodes, for lack of the pressure which its body is built to withstand. With proper protection of the aviator and an artificial supply of oxygen Tesla believes that flights at the eight-mile altitude are quite possible. “Then there will be great progress with the lighter than air machine and we may soon expect the advent of a dirigible of the Zeppelin type as a common vehicle for travel. Contrary to the general belief, such a vessel can be propelled more rapidly than an airplane and it will be, on the whole, much safer. Furthermore it will give to the passengers the comforts that are necessary in order to make this form of travel popular. Of course in the practical use of these monstrous structures, formidable obstacles will be encountered. They are susceptible to damage by storms, and I believe also from certain danger from lightning, which will not be obviated by the use of helium gas. But I expect to see these difficulties overcome.
The dirigible, supplied with sufficient power, need not fear the storm; it can rise above it, or go around it. The only danger from storm in any case lies in being blown from the course, for while the ship is moving with the storm it is in no danger, since it travels at the same speed as the wind, and the passengers would be in absolutely quiet air, so that a candle might be lighted on deck. Methods of docking and housing the big ships must be devised, but several have been proposed that reduce the danger of landing by making it unnecessary for the ship to come to earth. ”
But the revolutionizing influence on aircraft of the future Mr. Tesla believes to lie in the possibility of transmitting power to them through the air. “For years,” he said, ” I have advocated my system of wireless transmission of power which is now perfectly practicable and I am looking confidently to its adoption and further development. In the system I have developed, distance is of absolutely no consequence. That is to say, a Zeppelin vessel would receive the same power whether it was 12,000 miles away or immediately above the power plant. The application of wireless power for aerial propulsion will do away with a great deal of complication and waste, and it is difficult to imagine that a more perfect means will ever be found to transport human beings to great distances economically. The power supply is virtually unlimited, as any number of power plants can be operated together, supplying energy to airships just as trains running on tracks are now supplied with electrical energy through rails or wires.”
“The transmission of power by wireless will do away with the present necessity for carrying fuel on the airplane or airship. The motors of the plane or airship will be energized by this transmitted power, and there will be no such thing as a limitation on their radius of action, since they can pick up power at any point on the globe. The advance of science to this point, however, is attended with terrible risks for the world. We are facing a condition that is positively appalling if we ever permit warfare to invade the earth again. For up to the present war the main destructive force was provided by guns which are limited by the size of the projectile and the distance it can be thrown. In the future nations will fight each other thousands of miles apart. No soldier will see his enemy. In fact future wars will not be conducted by men directly but by the forces which if let loose many well destroy civilization completely. If war comes again, I look for the extensive use of self-propelled air vehicles carrying enormous charges of explosive which will be sent from any point to another to do their destructive work, with no human being aboard to guide them. The distance to which they can be sent is practically unlimited and the amount of explosive they can carry is likewise practically unlimited. It is practicable to send such an air vessel say to a distance of four or five thousand miles and so control its course either gyroscopically or electrically that it will land at the exact spot where it is intended to have it land, within a few feet, and its cargo of explosive can there be detonated.”
“This cannot be done by means of the present wireless plants, but with a proper plant it can be done, and we have here the appalling prospect of a war between nations at a distance of thousands-of miles, with weapons so destructive and demoralizing that the world could not endure them. That is why there must be no more war.”
If you enjoyed this page…take some time to look over the book, “Wonder Of The Worlds” By author Sesh Heri. Author Sesh Heri has done a brilliant job taking historical and highly accurate scientific facts from Tesla’s life, and interweaving them into a story that will keep you reading till the very end. It has great characters, such as Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, and of coarse, those darn Martian villains. Tesla’s Flying Machine literally jumps out of the pages at you! Heri maintains Tesla’s characteristic wit, and the entire book is extremely sound from a scientific basis.
You may be interested in looking at something brilliant from turn of the century multi-millionaire, John Jacob Astor – “A Journey In Other Worlds” – Absolutely fantastic and two years in the writing. Buy the way, you may remember that the unfortunate Astor was on the maiden voyage of the Titanic and went down with the ship. Had he lived, and used his unlimited wealth to pursue the ideas presented in this book, we may have had Tesla’s Flying Machine, and a few others, already! Buy the books from Amazon.com, below. To continue with our exploration of Tesla’s Flying Machine with a different version…see part two, below.
Tesla’s Aerial Machine; Aeronautical and inter-stellar propulsion
A Tesla Motor
“the flying stove”
The Tesla “flying stove” Space Drive
“I am now planning aerial machines devoid of sustaining planes, ailerons, propellers, and other external attachments, which will be capable of immense speeds” – Tesla’s autobiography, “My Inventions.” To a Westinghouse manager, Tesla wrote “You should not be at all surprised, if some day you see me fly from New York to Colorado Springs in a contrivance which will resemble a gas stove and weigh as much. …and could, if necessary enter and depart through a window.” – TESLA: Man Out of Time, by Margaret Chenney, pg.198
Tesla intended the world to have a free, wireless, source of power “My power generator will be of the simplest kind – just a big mass of steel, copper and aluminum comprising a stationary and rotating part, peculiarly assembled.”
According to museum officials at The Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, “he left sketches of interplanetary ships. This information, however, has not been made available to western scholars.” – again, TESLA: Man Out of Time, pg. 203
From my previous section in “Part One,” and from trying our best to figure out what Tesla was trying to create, we know he intended to build a Flying Machine. It was the product of his dreams, and, his life-long passion. We know that Tesla invented many things which no one else has been able to duplicate since. He spoke of even more which he intended to do but never got around to. There are many books written by people claiming to have some of this, and or other, information. “Tesla, Man of Mystery” is one of those books. Along with general information on Tesla and a few fables, there is one diagram and enough information about it, for us to duplicate the device. They call it the “Tesla space Drive”. It may be the heart of what Tesla said would look like flying on “a gas stove” and is “peculiarly assembled.” (above): The Tesla Space Drive – click to enlarge image. Here comes fellow engineer Greg Smith’s take on Tesla’s Flying Machine…this is one of the most original, brilliant pieces of work that we have seen in our twenty plus years at reverse-engineering of the Tesla systems.
Diagram from page 31 of Tesla, Man of Mystery © 1992
Chapter 4: “The Tesla Space Drive”
According to Greg: I found the machine easy to build, the rotational speed needed was not so easy. “The first step in developing this system is to cause a counter-clockwise (sense chosen arbitrarily) acceleration of the center of mass of the four eccentrics (refer to diagram) in a circular orbit about the X axis… there is a common point about which the center of mass of the eccentrics and the center of mass of the device as a whole gyrate.” pg.32, “Tesla, Man Of Mystery.”
“The reaction to this angular acceleration is a linear acceleration along the system axis (X) and directed outward from the page. …this system functions in accordance with the right-hand rule. …[ It will ] wobble noticeably at low thrust levels. This effect fades out, however, as the thrust is increased.” pg.34-35
Compliments: Greg Smith, Pompano Beach, Florida. To continue; My first observation is that it is a set of 4 spinning weights arranged on a frame “peculiarly assembled” as Tesla said. It is so simple (easy & cheap!) to build, and yet, it does something Phenomenal. The object is not spinning nor do any one of the spinning weights match the orbit of the object (frame) and yet, the mass of the object is in orbit. Like electrons in orbit in a stationary coil – an area in which Tesla is already famous. Instead of acceleration by the left hand rule, now it is by the right hand rule. Even that makes sense. No one seriously interested in a new, cheap, source of propulsion need question or dispute anything, just build it and see what happens. If you can put enough speed into it.
Collectively, the center of orbit of the four “eccentrics” defines a circle for which the center point is the center of mass for the frame the eccentrics are built on. The direct approach is to build the device symmetrically about the center point: with a top as well as a bottom. Nothing is mounted on the base. The 4 eccentrics must be able to spin. They are mounted above the base. Everything is mounted between the top and base plates: “…there is a common point…” which won’t exist unless the unit is symmetrical. It needs a top plate to keep it as rigid and as light weight as possible as well as symmetrical. I believe whoever wrote this chapter in this book, did not have a clear picture of Tesla’s intentions, directions, for the building of this device-motor and, who but Tesla would think of this novel, phenomenal, assembly. (Pictured below is Tesla’s “Flying Stove”)
An issue not mentioned is the speed requirement. The necessary speed is going to make things a little difficult. A significant motor (always a pair) will be required. I started out using a 1,000 rpm, 1/6 hp, electric motor, upgraded to a 1/4th hp 10,000 rpm electric motor, then, lastly, to a 1/2 hp 22,000 rpm air motor. It was not till the 2nd set of motors that I figured out the required speed and only with the last motors that I realized just how far short I was from producing enough power to get there. However, just for demonstration purposes, I may not have been too far short. The air motors were light-weight enough and powerful enough to see a reaction occurring (at only 300 to 400 rpm) but, no forward, up, motion. None of the motors would get the system “up to speed” which was in the neighborhood of 2,000 to 10,000 rpm – depending on the amount of weight I put on the eccentrics (see below). Because the motors did not have the power to handle the inertia and weight of the “eccentrics”. I started looking at some hydraulic motors, one of which only weighed 2 or 3 pounds and developed 25 hp. (If this was Tesla’s intent, ie. higher HP motors, it seems obvious that from his statements – the Tesla Bladeless Disk Turbine was probably intended to power this machine.) To continue:
“We recently received a set of plans from a former pupil* of Nikola Tesla who believes that a space ship, …can actually be constructed.” “He bases his plans, he told us, upon existing files he secretly obtained shortly before Tesla’s death, and before these could be seized by the authorities. He and Tesla had been very close friends and had worked together on a number of projects.” pg.30
*Bloyce D. Fitzgerald is virtually the only person that this could refer to. He was the one of two who worked with Tesla daily during the few weeks before his death. He studied Tesla’s papers, carrying them home to study every night and took them back the next day. He had never met Tesla before and he was the one who called the authorities upon Tesla’s death and then tried to view the sealed papers two years later. See TESLA: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney; pages 270-277. Bloyce must now be 70+ (or more) years old and among the few surviving to have studied under Tesla – over 50 years ago. Surely he did not want his name given out because he is an old man and wants to be left alone. In any case, anything that has been dormant for 50 years is not likely to change now, unless it changes hands. It is likely that he realizes it will go with him to his grave if he does not “give it to the public” before it is too late, which he has just done. If he no longer felt any reason to hide anything, then, what is not mentioned, is not known.
The Tesla Space Drive
The Flying Stove Aerial Machine; Tesla’s Invention: what it is, what it does, and how it works
This device converts inertial energy into centrifugal acceleration which, according to the right-hand rule, generates linear acceleration. The principal is the same for the way that the centrifugal acceleration of electrons, in a coil, exert linear acceleration on a metal rod placed in the center of the coil. Here, the acceleration is exerted on the frame. An electric motor is the result of electrons in orbit; this (protonian) motor is the result of protons, entire atoms, in orbit.
The rotation (rpm) necessary to generate acceleration depends upon:
1. the mass of the entire device
2. the mass of the 4 rotating inertial loads, (4 masses),
3. the radius of those 4 loads (aka 4 eccentrics, 4 masses)
4. and, gravity
1st: If the mass of the 4 inertial loads totals 1/10th the total mass of the entire device, then the radius of rotation of the center of mass of the system (the entire device) is 1/20th that of the radius of any one of the rotating loads, not 1/10th. This is just geometry but, I overlooked it for a time (only 2 of 4 weights going left to right and only 2 of 4 going front to back.)
2nd: It is the rotation of the entire system (device) that must get up enough centrifugal acceleration to defeat gravity.
3rd: Examples of that speed are: On a 50 inch radius, something in the range of 40 to 50 rpm are necessary, (this can be observed with a weight on a string; less than 30 rpm and it just hangs at your feet, the same as it would if it were not spinning at all). A 1/2 inch radius requires 4,000 to 5,000 rpm, a 1/4 inch radius requires 8,000 to 10,000 rpm, etc.
4th: Example system: If the mass of the 4 inertial loads totals 1/10th the total mass of the entire device, and the center of mass of each of the 4 masses is out 5″ from its shaft, then the net radius for the system is 1/4″ and the needed speed is 8 to 10,000 rpm. Also, the force exerted by each mass on each shaft (in pounds) is: the rotating mass (in pounds) times the radius in inches times the RPM’s squared ( rpm x rpm ) times 0.0000284 = “X” pounds of force exerted on each shaft.
KEY to drawing: (Fig.1- click to enlarge)
1. Four identical Inertial Loads (weights, masses) (labeled 1 through 4) are mounted on 4 shafts arranged on a square, with the center of mass of each inertial load out at some same measurable radius from the center point of each side of the square (labeled 2R). Each one, or more, is mounted, progressively, at a 90 degree angle to the previous one with respect to the center: that is, if one is mounted pointing DOWN, the next one, traversing one way (arbitrarily) around the square, will be pointing horizontally IN, toward the center, the next will be pointing UP, the next will be pointing OUT, away from the center, and the next will be pointing DOWN, again, and is where we started.
The shafts are driven (geared) so that they stay synchronized: 1:1 ratio rt. angle drives (“miter” gears). This unique arrangement for the 4 inertial loads is such that, as they revolve about their axes, their collective center of mass (center of gravity) takes on a circular orbit where the center of the orbit is also the center of mass of the rest of the device. This aggregate circular orbit is the first necessary condition and is labeled ILCoM (the orbit of the 4 Inertial Loads Center of Mass). (See note #1, below for detailed exposition) It is the induced orbit in the center of gravity of the stationary object, the frame, which forces a reaction from the object, a linear acceleration according to the right-hand-rule.
2. Whatever collection of materials is used to mount and rotate the shafts, for an initial point of reference, the center of mass of the frame (the entire device minus the 4 weights) is at the center of the square array of shafts (labeled C in the drawing).
3. If ILCoM is the orbit of the 4 Inertial Loads’ (weights) Center of Mass and if the weight of the entire system (device), the 4 loads included, is 5 times the weight of the 4 loads by themselves, then the radius of orbit of the System’s Center of Mass ( SCoM ) will be 1/5th of ILCoM which is 1/10th the radius of orbit of any one of the 4 Inertial Loads (weights, masses) Center of Mass ( ILCoM ), as drawn in the diagram. (see note #2, below)
Click on each picture below to enlarge to full size. These picture depict the actual machine that was constructed.
NOTE #1: In the drawing (Fig.1) the centers of mass (aka gravity) of loads 1 and 2 are each marked with a ‘+’. As shown, the center of mass for load #1 is at ‘A’. The center of mass for #1 and #2 combined is exactly halfway between their 2 individual centers, at point ‘B’. The center of mass for #3 and #4 combined is halfway between their 2 individual centers, at point ‘C’ (since load 3 is the same distance down (2R) that load 4 is up, ‘C’ is at the center of the frame with respect to all 3 coordinates). The center of mass for all 4 combined, is halfway between ‘B’ and ‘C’, at point ‘D’ and that Radius, from C to D, is labeled R. Since ‘B’ is the midpoint between #1 and #2 and is also always at the ‘2R’ distance (the radius of each individual mass) from the center ‘C’, ‘R’ (the radius of ILCoM) is always 1/2 the radius of the individual weights. (because only 2 out of 4 are shifting in each direction – front to back or side to side)
NOTE #2: Example: If the total system weight, the 4 inertial loads included, is 10 times the sum of the weight of the 4 inertial loads, by themselves, then the ratio of the SCoM to ILCoM is 1:10 and the ratio of the SCoM to the radius of any one of the loads, weights, is 1:20. If the arm, rod, holding any one of the weights is about 3cm long, then the orbit of the center of mass is 1/10 of 1/2 of that or, about 0.15cm
The 4 weights are not the only loads on the system, the gears constitute an overhung load on the system and if the 4 weights revolve fast enough, and they may, the air resistance will become an overhung load also. However, the greatest problem is that, if the rpm of the weights is doubled, the radial load on the shafts is quadrupled (mass x radius x rpm x rpm x K = force).
If the mph of the 4 weights reaches or exceeds the speed of sound, a shock wave will be created (the sound barrier), which will quickly escalate and break apart the weights and their mountings and risk damage to anything and everything around it. In production, creating a partial vacuum will help eliminate this issue and reduce part of the load on the system. A minor issue: If the speed reached, matches the resonance of the shafts, the resulting vibration will tear everything apart.
- footnote: Tesla intended the world to have a free, wireless, source of power, as quoted, “My power generator will be of the simplest kind — just a big mass of steel, copper and aluminum comprising a stationary and rotating part, peculiarly assembled,” and further, “this device is…peculiarly assembled.” By changing the orientation of the weights so that energy is produced without producing thrust (?), one might have the heart of the “wireless source of power” system that Tesla built but was unable to see commercialized???
Ending notes from Greg Smith. Greg is a programmer with a degree in Math and Physical Science (+ 2 years work on a 4 year Master of Theology degree) …There were a couple inventions mentioned in the book, one in particular, where I could visualize the one drawing provided and it seemed simple enough that it could easily be built and either prove or disprove the books claims. I did build it and, though I did not get it “up to speed”, the speed that we did achieve was enough that a friend, with some of the equipment that I needed to use, was even more impressed than I was that “Something is going on here”. With lighter weights and higher speeds, the vibrations should have diminished but, they intensified.
In the process, I figured out the necessary speed required, not mentioned in the book, and that, became my stumbling block – inadequate motors to drive it. I then found Tesla’s biography, Man Out Of Time, by Margaret Cheney, a thick, well received, book with lots of reliable information on the man. There I found how Tesla had contracted with both Allis Chalmers and with Westinghouse’s railway and lighting division to build a 35,000 rpm turbine to “fly from New York to Colorado Springs in a contrivance which will resemble a gas stove” – July 7th 1912. If the turbine was to be a, relatively, lightweight power source to drive it, then that was what stopped Tesla (we may possibly be talking – again – about the use of the Bladeless Boundary Disk Turbine). The metals of his day stretched under the centrifugal forces and he got no further, publicly. Today, “ The turbine is inexpensive and easily machined. ” – SunWind Ltd. 3-12-79. In addition to weak metal alloys, Tesla had to contend with “negative reports” from engineers who did not understand his designs “claiming they would not build it as he wished…They said Tesla refused to supply enough information.”
Maybe, again, they just could not understand something from Tesla “which had no theoretical precedent”. Talking to an engineer, it took undue effort on my part to convince him that the center of gravity of the device, does travel in a circle. How could I explain that a force is generated “according to the right hand rule” (as opposed to the left hand rule for electricity)? How did Tesla know that? And, even if sliding the motor a little off-center, in different directions, could control speed and direction, how did Tesla know how much movement is needed? How did he “SEE” that in his mind, the way he seemed to see everything that he intended to build?
Definitions of a Motor are:
1. anything that produces or imparts motion.
2. an engine for propelling a vehicle
3. Elec.: a machine for converting electrical energy into mechanical energy.
Definitions of an Engine are:
1. any machine that uses energy to develop mechanical power – especially for transmitting motion to another machine.
An electrical coil sends electrons flying in a circle, in orbit about a center-point that is not the nucleus of the atom. The coil is sitting there, going nowhere, but its electrons are flying around in orbit and that paradox sets up a magnetic force-field. The coil is just sitting there; nothing is seen to be moving. But a voltage is applied and suddenly a magnetic force field appears and things do visibly start moving! Here we have a frame with some weights flying around in circles, going nowhere, just spinning, but it is “peculiarly assembled” and the net result is that the center of gravity of the entire device, still just sitting there, is in orbit – now we have the same paradox but the center of mass of the entire object is in orbit, not just the electrons.
Now, we have the potential for an atomic force field – the entire atoms are generating an orbital force field instead of just the electrons. Atoms being about 2,000 times more massive than their combined electrons, the force being generated here could be a few thousand times stronger. Because the protons are the charged particles doing the work, instead of the electrons, the force operates by the right-hand rule. However, even the 1/2 hp air motors were not powerful enough to handle the weight and the inertia of the “eccentrics”. A more powerful motor is needed – and still keep the weight to a minimum The two air motors were great. They totaled only 24 oz. The massive air compressor was not part of the “system”. Knowing that when it takes off, it will break loose from the air hoses and fall back down is no problem. Just proving that it works is enough to “turn heads” and start things rolling.
Next: Hydraulic motors? I am just experimenting. I don’t know. I have been told by an engineer that slight imperfections in the balance and geometry of the system are nothing compared to the imbalances caused by the rotating weights. So that is a minor issue. Get “close enough” and we should be fine. From experience, I can tell you that the electric motors I used, started up so fast that 1 or more weights often came loose. The air motors gave more control – and so should hydraulics. END. Greg Smith’s original site – http://www.pwsdb.com/Tesla-force-field-motor/Tesla-Flying-Stove-motor.php. Used by permission.
So, what we have are the following: It would seem that Tesla envisioned, and I’m sure built – three, perhaps four, distinctly different types of Flying Machines. One type was the cylindrical type (pictured in the artist’s illustrations in Part One, which was powered either directly from the Ether, or from his Magnifying Transmitter. The Second type was again cylindrical in shape, and was probably powered by his bladeless disk turbine. The Third type is the one augmented on in this Part Two section, being mechanically derived, and controlled as if by the wheel-works of nature (taking the atom as its motive force, and re-creating it in a mechanical, oscillating form, as described above). The Fourth version was what we see in Tesla’s patent regarding “Flying Machine Of Novel Principals” and is coined “the Fliver.”
All I can say is we’ve got to build them all and see what happens!
Frank Germano, Global Energy Technologies.