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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Repellor Anti-Gravity Rays  
  Device provides support for planet-side air travel.  

The ship was about the same shape as the great dirigibles of the 20th Century that I had seen, but without the suspended control car, engines, propellers; rudders or elevating planes. As it loomed rapidly nearer, I saw that it was wider and somewhat flatter than I had supposed.

Now I could see the repellor rays that held the ship aloft, like searchlight beams faintly visible in the bright daylight (and still faintly visible to the human eye at night). Actually, I had been informed by my instructors, there were two rays. The visible one was generated by the ship's apparatus, and directed toward the ground as a beam of "carrier" impulses. The true repellor ray, the complement of the other in one sense, induced by the action of the "carrier" reacted in a concentrating upward direction from the mass of the earth. It became successively electronic, atomic and finally molecular, in its nature, according to various ratios of distance between earth mass and "carrier" source, until, in the last analysis, the ship itself actually was supported on an upward rushing column of air, much like a ball continuously supported on a fountain jet.

From Armageddon: 2419 A.D., by Philip Frances Nowlan.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1928
Additional resources -

Compare to the notion of an anti-gravity substance like apergy from Across the Zodiac (1880) and cavorite from The First Men in the Moon (1901).

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Armageddon: 2419 A.D.
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip Frances Nowlan
  Tech news articles related to Armageddon: 2419 A.D.
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip Frances Nowlan

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