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"The point sticks in your head: physics rules. Virtue does not triumph unless the physics allows it."
- Larry Niven
||Atmospheric Pressure Control Plane
||A vessel that flies by creating pockets of high and low pressure.
This is a unique and early suggestion, and reminds me of the more futuristic methods of propelling a spacecraft by creating a spacetime depression in front of the vessel that the spacecraft constantly "falls into".
|My power does not come
from a motor, but from over a hundred 45-volt dry
cell batteries, which will last for over a week of continuous flying. I do not use atomic energy, gravity
control or rockets, but a force of my own discovery —
Atmospheric Pressure Control, which will require some
“Years ago, while trying to eliminate some of the
hazards of aviation resulting from that menace of the
air commonly called ‘Air Pockets,’ I made the discovery
that this mysterious vacuum existing in midair was
caused by electrical disturbances very similar to lightning and the static that causes so much trouble in radio
reception. After several experiments, I learned that I
could make artificial air pockets and maintain them under any conditions but I also discovered that for every
area of vacuum or decreased pressure, an equal area of
high pressure was formed. Later experiments taught
me how to destroy my air pocket and high pressure
area by letting the excess air in the high pressure zone
rush toward the low pressure zone.
It was several years before a device was produced that
would constantly create the high and low pressure zones
and let the excess air from the high pressure area flow
constantly toward the low. There was another long
delay before I learned how to control the intensity of
the high and low areas and the force of the air passing
from one to the other....
('Around the World in 24 Hours' by RH Romans)
“This is my third Minute Man, the result of eight
years of experiments. Those two bright spheres on
what have humorously been called antennae produce a
vacuum, the intensity of which is regulated by the current passing through it from my batteries. The larger
sphere at the rudder produces the high pressure zone.
With a vacuum in front of me and double pressure behind, my speed is fabulous and regardless of the speed,
the pilot has no sensation of passing through a strong
wind, because the air surrounding the car is moving
at the same speed as the ship itself. I have attained a
speed of forty miles per minute — 2400 miles per hour —
but that speed is not only unpleasant but unnecessary
and dangerous, due to the effects on the pilot from
rapidly accelerating or decelerating the speed.
“The weight of the car is regulated by the same
method. The small spheres under the car produce a
high pressure area while others above produce a low.
When the proper electrical current passes through the
spheres, the upward pressure against the car is exactly
balanced by the force of gravity acting on the car,
which becomes apparently weightless. But the wind
would blow the weightless car away if other precautions were not taken. The rudder now acts as a weather
vane and the nose of the ship is pointed windward.
The ship is pointed toward the wind with a velocity
exactly equal to that of the wind itself. I still have one
hand on the control knob and as the velocity of the
wind is seldom constant, I find it necessary to increase
or decrease the power. That explains how it was so
easy for me to remain motionless in midair or to perch
on a flagpole in imitation of a giant bird, even in the
windy city of Chicago.
|From Around the World in 24 Hours,
by R.H. Romans.
Published by Air Wonder Stories in 1929
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