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Saucer-Shaped Passenger Craft w/ Surface Adhesion Propulsion

My engineering guesswork about Nikola Tesla's envisioned ultimate Air Ship he took to his grave
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(1)Looking at the wonders of boomerang and Frisbee, I wonder the modern aircraft spear-shaped aerodynamics could be seriously flawed. I wonder too whether anyone has an urge to overhaul the conventional design and think out of the box of one’s comfort zone to better understand the greater alternatives that would surely revolutionize safety, comfort, efficiency, and performance altogether. Let’s better wake up the Airline Industries, would you?

(2)I am proposing a flying saucer passenger craft utilizing surface adhesion effect. It primarily consists of flat disks similar to Tesla turbine. The passenger cell is in the center of series of flat disks enclosing it, yet maintaining a large gap. There are six passenger cells in circular array. The center of the array is where the prime mover/power plant is located. The passenger cells are shaped like clams when opened but the moment they are closed they form perfectly circular/hemispherical dome-shaped convex chambers with the pointed rims shut and turn-locked like the pressure cooker rims. The sitting arrangement of the passengers is circular array facing to the center and multileveled. There is a central post located in each of the centerline of the passenger cells. The hollow central post with shock-absorbing crumple-zone ends triples as a luggage compartment and alternative passenger passage, and is not pressurized. The windows are circular-arrayed near the axis of the domes and strategically located for a nice view above and below the craft.

(3)The ring-shaped flat disks are stacked to each other as one rotating unit, in a way they form slits where air can pass through in a laminar flow. These stacks have a very permeable woven fabric on the outside surface with carbon fiber whiskers oriented outward that would act like reed valves in horizontal flight to either deflect or absorb the onrushing air upon horizontal forward flight of the craft depending on the radial position relative to the wind direction. These disks have the same thin axial thickness and relatively thin doughnut radial thickness, but vary in radii as they maintain a large equal gap to the clam-shaped passenger cell. They are firmly secured by bolts and fixed spacers in such a way that some disks at the bolts opposite ends are bolted without spacers. The main bolts-and-spacers circular-group array are radial-spaced equally in three places in such way that the unbolted three flat-disk-stack segments are equally and variably spaced by memory metals electronically controlled to get the appropriate gap in proportion to how thin is the surrounding atmosphere. There are alternating disk stacks from top to bottom such that, when numbered, one odd-numbered group rotates in opposite direction to the even-numbered adjacent group. One group is braced together in the inside while the other counter-rotating group at the outside. These overall groups are synchronized by gearing and one toothed composite timing belt touching each of the six similarly rotated flat-disk-stack group in every passenger chamber. These disks occupy only the frontal impinging-air area, such that there are no rings near the passenger dome top and bottom of the mainly-horizontal-flight VTOL craft. The two counter-rotating components are magnetically levitated to each other and are supported by magnetic bearings at axial ends. These rings can be coupled or belted to electric motor/s too as an alternative drivetrain design.

(4)The flying saucer craft would have an outer main structure consisting of totally inclosing stacked rings that follow the contour of the enclosing rings of the hexagonally arrayed passenger cells, with each widely spaced rings tangent to each group stack of six, one every passenger cells. The number of these stacked rings corresponds to the number of alternating ring stacks of each passenger cells. These outer structure stacked rings would serve as overall reinforcing and linking rings at the same time as fin grills to help keep the rushing air laminar, while bouncing off outside objects/debris, especially bird strikes. There are top and bottom rings with trusses and beams that connect the six passenger cells rigidly. The two counter-rotating driving belts are driven by the engine located in the center of the craft. That engine is preferably my rotary engine which is very lightweight or could be a gas turbine for the moment. An alternative or complementary engine arrangement is when the engine/s is/are located in the centerline of one or more of the passenger cells to drive each of the two counter-rotating braced stacks, while cogged/geared/belted to the remaining passenger-cells’ counter-rotating stacks tangentially spaced at the middle big circles or equatorial rings.

(5)The craft can hover horizontally in a very stable manner because the opened upper portion of the disk stacks, with closed lower portion, continually suck air from above and the sucked air is mainly deflected radially by the disks by utilizing surface adhesion and centrifugal forces maintained by the fast revolving slits. In this manner, the craft behaves like a pendulum with the gravity pulling the craft into perfect horizontal stability while the deflected air-stream does not stir the ground dust and debris too much because it is not mainly deflected downward but sideward—in an event when closer to the ground (unlike the conventional crafts that deflects the air perpendicularly to the ground and create very uneven pressure localities below that could thwart the craft’s balance). The upper sucking mechanism behaves like a pendulum chord that, when deflected/angled from a vertical position, the gravity swings the craft to which side the sucking column is directed. The six columns of downward air, one in every convex cell, connected to cruise control, stabilize the craft in an event the craft encounters forces that tends to rotate the craft. The craft is essentially multidirectional and doesn’t need massive landing wheels. The pilots can be in one of the six passenger cells.

(6)In forward flight the craft remains horizontal, partially guided by active cruise control that prevents the craft from flipping over. In certain instances, the craft can act like a lift wing configuration upon landing mode when the craft essentially needed to be braked by equipping the outer widely-spaced structural non-rotating rings with retractable arc segment flaps. Most of the time, this very unique saucer-shaped flying craft acts like an air absorbing duct that would hugely minimize air deflection/disturbance and turbulent flow in its wake. The counter-rotating disks of the craft increasingly spin rapidly upon acceleration, and vice versa. Its flight started with vertical take-off. It will then angle the sucking columns slightly forward to swing the craft forward. It continually gains horizontal speed as the column is angled to the maximum while the active cruise control maintains the horizontal position of the craft by varying the suction power of the six columns. The carbon fiber whiskers of the outer surface of the rotating stacked ring kick into play when the onrushing air starts to affect the craft aerodynamically. The whiskers close and open relative to its radial position and the direction of onrushing air. Analogous to helicopter rotor tips, the rotating ring has leading and trailing edges relative to the craft direction. Bear in mind too that the rings are alternately positioned in terms of rotational direction: The leading edge of one ring is flanked by trailing edges of the adjacent counter-rotating rings. Therefore when the leading edge deflect the onrushing air as the whiskers are tightly tucked by the surface friction, the trailing edges flanking it would absorb the air as the whiskers are slowed nearly equal to the speed of the onrushing air that the whiskers are not tucked but fluffed by the incoming air, thereby opening up the widely spaced knitted fabric to allow air to pass through. Every whisker is short and stiff enough not to curl much upon itself. The trailing edge speed should be automatically controlled by sensors so not to be fast enough that the whisker may not be fluffed by the onrushing air, ensuring a steady stream of incoming air to pass between the slits and guided to the space between the outside surface of the passenger cell and inside surfaces of the stacked rings. (The whiskers can be electrostatically/electromagnetically activated when needed to.) Then the air trapped in the spaces would pass to the rear portion of the passenger cell and be ready to be flung outward through the slit by centrifugal action and surface adhesion. This method ensures that the vacuum in the space at the rear of the passenger cell would pull the impinging air at the front with the unobstructed gap between the cell and the rings as air passageway undisturbed by the atmosphere outside the rings. The disk segment in the rear ensures that the vacuum in the rear of the passenger cell would not greatly disturb the outside rear atmosphere by serving as barrier and a supplier of propulsive air to greatly lessen the turbulence on the wake of the passenger cell. Therefore, the craft can have a potential to attain supersonic speeds at higher elevation as the sonic boom cannot form in the leading edges due to the effective barrier and passageway provided by the slits between the rings. To the lesser extent the vacuum created inside simulates an effect of a hot-air balloon.

(7)One great advantage of this propulsion configuration is the very remarkable stability in encountering wind shear. The craft propulsion system just quickly adapt to the different direction created by the wind shear as if the sidereal higher pressure wave newly created by such air disturbance is just considered as the new frontal headwind—thanks to the quick response of the carbon-fiber whiskers acting as reed valves—such that the tendency to push sideway is counteracted actively by the new course towards the higher pressure. The forward inertia and the active-cruise control would just then further straighten the crafts path to the original course.

(8)One added advantage of this saucer shape is on the event of power failure: The craft would just slowly descent as the center of gravity is near its bottom center, ensuring that it will glide horizontally while behaving like a parachute, making possible to deploy a central parachute or radially arrayed parachutes to further slow the decent rate, with the landing gear acting as one large shock absorber. Moreover, the craft could just roll down whenever in a more challenging scenario, as along an incline, thereby reducing massive shock on the frame. The rubbery fuel tank can be tucked safely too in the center of the craft, lessening the fire hazards whenever involved in a crash (unlike the risk posed by conventional aircraft wings with tanks widely open for major catastrophe). The flat carbon-fiber disk stack would surely double as crumple zone before the passenger cell would be seriously damaged. The six passenger cells too can be individually ejected safely in an event of catastrophic mid-air accident with each having its own life support system and a parachute tucked in the central cargo hollow post/pillar.

(9)Any suggestion to make this craft lighter is highly appreciated :-)

rotary, Apr 11 2009

Tesla's partial revelation on his flying machine http://www.teslaengine.org/main.html
Dr. Tesla: "It was in seeking the means of making the perfect flying machine that I developed this engine."... ..."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.” ... ..."The flying machine of the future—my flying machine—will be heavier than air, but it will not be an aeroplane. It will have no wings. It will be substantial, solid, stable. You cannot have a stable airplane."... ..."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.”... ..."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.” [rotary, Apr 12 2009]


       You're back! And cryptic as ever. Obviously drawings would help. OK, as before I want to get through the superlative absolute language to understand the idea, but I need a little help. I think you are using a Tesla turbine(s) to create a low pressure area above the craft to provide lift for hover. Are the top and/or bottom skins of the craft part of the turbines? How much of the top surface will experience low pressure? Is it just the intake in the center?
MisterQED, Apr 11 2009

       I appreciate your inquisitiveness, [MisterQED]. Well, you somehow got it right and trying to confirm if that is so. Surely, what you mentioned is the general idea, but the intention here is to get all the variations/alternatives to work in a single contraption with minimal and/or multi-functioned actuators just to make a well-rounded machine.   

       I chose the low pressure area created above and the exiting air driven off equally sideways to form a much wider loop as the primary mode of lift due to the inherent stability it provides for the more pressing safety issues required in mass transportation regulations. The air driven uniformly sideways would anchor the craft on its vertical axis much more effectively. We often see accidents helicopters and some harrier jets have encountered upon hovering, and still chose to believe that the design per se meet the stringent safety regulations.   

       Well, there goes the limitation of employing air screw: it provides lift by creating higher pressure below and lower pressure above, yet it suffers from instability whenever the craft is near the ground as if it is resting at the top of a balloon and could tumble over in an instant when a strong gust of wind blew past the craft. (Well, the destructive strength of the wind gust is proportional to the mass of the airship, that’s why we often see lighter aircrafts more involved in such a crash.) The air driven down by the rotors or jet engine would eventually touch the ground and move sideways in all direction in an unpredictable manner. Once the air below is horizontal, the lower pressure above would tend to draw it into a loop. Once the higher pressure below builds up, the air pushed down by the rotor would now follow a much tighter loop. In an event a gust would blow, the loop symmetry will be disrupted, triggering lifting instability and risking the craft to be thwarted by the imbalanced resultant force triggered by the ensuing erratic swirls. Catastrophe caused by such, I believe, could just be easily avoided by my new design. Yet I never employ it exclusively as it is more efficient to hover with downward draft of air, especially in extended period, like when the craft doesn’t need to land but is involved in sea rescue mission. The retractable arc segment flaps in the structural non-rotating rings (mentioned in my idea at the 4th paragraph and the flap mentioned in 6th paragraph) would accomplish such alternative hover mode in a calmer or more secured place.   

       The rotating rings that enclosed each six passenger cells are what cause the lift, [MisterQED]. Those rings functions like a Tesla turbine. They are propelled by a belt driven by a conventional engine.
rotary, Apr 11 2009

       My god, You're as good as [Vernon]!
zeno, Apr 12 2009

       Didn't read the whole thing either, yet. Take this bun in good faith.
zeno, Apr 12 2009

       A device which sucks air in at the top and blows it out horizontally will, I think, generate very little lift while using a lot of power. Excluding non aerodynamic methods, such as magnetism, all heavier than air aircraft generate lift in direct proportion to how much they accelerate air downwards. A harrier jet produces vertical thrust by angling its exhaust downwards, not by angling its intakes upwards (which would do virtually nothing).
spidermother, Apr 12 2009

       I suppose future designs will be resigning flapping or jet thrust to the nth degree to produce air sticky/solid enough to support more weight.
wjt, Apr 12 2009

       Sounds a bit like the famous/infamous Victor Schauberger's Trout engine.   

       I have a problem with the counter-rotating odd and even sections. I have a problem with the viscosity and compressability of air that won't create lift. I have a problem with cavitation. This may work in denser mediums, but then you can just use displacement.   

       Build a model, put it on a scale, if there is a reduction in weight, report directly to relevent government authority.
4whom, Apr 13 2009

       OK, so the top of the craft is flat and spins so the center is low pressure due to the intake for the lower levels and the rest is due to the air being pumped out to the sides? What keeps the air in contact with the surface long enough for this to work? This being a Tesla turbine without an enclosure. What provides counter-rotation force? The bottom can't or whatever lift was developed, would be cancelled by the bottom.
MisterQED, Apr 13 2009

       Sorry I accidentally deleted [wjt]'s anno: (cool, helicopters crashing up in flames. - wjt, Apr 12 2009) My computer mouse pointer hanged up and jerked when I try to copy-paste an idea and clicked delete to someone's anno instead:-( I just go back one page and copy the above anno and paste it here. I may suggest the idea poster could restore deletion in his section in halfbakery someday. Hope [jutta] understands such my weakness :-)
rotary, Apr 13 2009

       [rotary] don't worry about the deletion, swings and roundabouts, you know.
4whom, Apr 13 2009

       Victor Schauberger's Trout engine sounds interesting, yet I have to find time to read about it first. It was your anno I tried to c/p to google search, [4whom]. Let me gather my thought first before I post my answers to all your questions.
rotary, Apr 13 2009

       [spidermother], it is inherent in my design to blow air horizontally, yet it is employed perfectly when the craft is close to the ground at vertical landing. Notice that I already mentioned about the retractable arc segment flaps in the structural non-rotating rings that would modify the airflow, preferably downwards. Notice too that, no matter what the wind condition is, the downward flow from helicopter rotors would eventually hit the ground perpendicularly and then pushed aside sideward in all directions. It’s true that //aircraft generate lift in direct proportion to how much they accelerate air downwards//: I hope you notice it attained somewhere in the mechanics of my idea rather than focusing mainly on the sideward component of the total airflow. Let me point out a few of its advantages against conventional rotor/jet design:   

       1. The airflow is very laminar because it is dispersed in a much wider space, as opposed to a focused blast of jet or a slender airflow of rotor blades. Moreover, the airflow can be angled farther apart to improve horizontal stability—analogous to a more stable chair with conical base rather than 4 posts.   

       2. Hovering very close to the ground, this craft evens out the horizontal airflow (or lessening the energy-depleting vortices) and lengthens further the loop as the negative pressure above the craft readily draws air from the top rather than the fast retreating immediate sides. (Notice the softer landing of a solid board in comparison to a perforated board—mainly due to the longer air loop.) Well, in open air high above the ground, the flaps kick into play as the downward airflow creates a much longer air loop.   

       3. There is no downward air flow open for any wind to distort, unlike the conventional propulsions that cannot quickly and readily control the loop symmetry. Therefore this craft is more stable and can readily stick the landing in windy or turbulent conditions.   

       4. The cruise control can fine-tune the flap angle/restriction due to better pitot-tube sensor readings afforded by the perfect radial symmetry of the craft and its generated air currents, ensuring rock steady maneuvers.   

       5. Ground debris is not violently dislodged and any dislodged debris is flung sideways farther from being ingested to the suction columns.   

       6. The vertical force component can be quickly controlled by the cruise control by simply modifying the flaps. The flaps in the upper hemisphere can be closed and/or the flaps in the lower hemisphere can be angled downward to kick start the aircraft upward or counteract immediately the downward wind shear.
rotary, Apr 13 2009

       [wjt], your first anno suggest a market-disrupting gas turbine engine now in the works: Pulse-Detonation Engine. It is actively pursued by both Pratt & Whitney and General Electric, with detonation in excess of 400 pulse per second perfectly primed for Mach 4 travel. Current hurdle is to contain, muffle or negate the intolerable amount of noise.   

       Yet, one much greater possibility I envisioned is to merge such Pulse-Detonation technology with the Tesla turbine and muffle the noise first through its blades, with which axial air passage resembling like a car muffler could be acoustically designed to drastically reduce the noise level in unprecedented way. I believe those extremely pioneering engineers behind such disruptive technology are in dire need of broadening further their unconventional thinking and put off their cloud of doubt on a very compatible Tesla turbine presenting itself right before their very eyes!
rotary, Apr 13 2009

       [bigsleep], my suggestion in order stir off your stupor from big sleep after reading a few tiresome details in the (2) and (3) paragraphs is to read directly to paragraph (7) and remark in wonder how it be possible… Remark such as: “Really? Hmm, you’re prob’ly kiddin’ me!” ;-)
rotary, Apr 13 2009

       [4whom], my idea is patentable and verifiable, unlike that infamous Victor Schauberger’s Trout engine which really sounds offbeat and way-out to be replicable. Anyway, Henri Coanda’s first Jet Engine is cool enough to become a classified project after being bought by USAF. But my contraption is far too advanced and more powerful that it is tailored both for rock-steady hovering, high speed forward flight superiority and a well-rounded in-flight adaptability.   

       Those counter-rotating sections you mentioned are series of alternating stacks. A stack consists of several thin carbon-fiber reinforced composite rings. The stacks braced altogether inside the dome as one unit in clockwise rotation is alternated with stacks braced altogether outside the dome as another unit in counter-clockwise rotation. (Notice that the counter-rotating braces are placed in different sides to prevent interference.) The stacks are alternated to ensure a nearly mirror image of air dynamics. If we just bundle them into one unit in a certain rotation, there would be an unsymmetrical air currents in forward flight as one side would have the leading edges and the other the trailing ones. (As you notice, helicopters with single row of rotor blades encounter forward-flight control difficulties due to different air-speeds of the rotor tips with reference to the forward thrust.)   

       Also, [4whom], why worry with viscosity and compressibility of air that may not create lift in Schauberger’s contraption with an inherent destructive cavitation when mine is of totally different mechanics? For sure, mine works by using the displacement principle. Well, we don’t also have to stir the interest of any relevant government authority: we may build this for another unprecedented safety in future air travel.
rotary, Apr 13 2009

       Haha, [bigsleep]! It is as near as worlds apart, LOL. O, that’s quite having whiskers on steroids! Not even Mighty Mouse can top that. Anyway, nice guess and link—“a potential to be revolutionary as well as evolutionary”: it said. ;-)   

       Wait, let me explain it in amusing way possible (or I may again risk losing you to unconsciousness):...
rotary, Apr 13 2009

       A porcupine has lost his den to a rising hurricane flood; it steps out to seek shelter on higher grounds. The raging wind blew upon it, yet it is wise enough to face the headwind and backpedal to safety. Unfortunately its front leg slips and the poor animal is turned into the opposite direction. Now, its fur is fluffed up against the grain, putting more surface area against the headwind laden with downpour that the hind legs, cold and soaked with the rain, cannot tolerate the strain and simply give up their grips. NOW, picture the quills on the porcupine behaving like the whiskers mentioned on that paragraph (7).   

       Now, let’s study one of the stacks of rings. The rings within the stack maintain a surface gap to each other, are sandwiched by thicker support plates and are then centered one atop each other by bolts, spacers/washers and nuts. The outer convex surface is covered with net weave with ends tucked and clasped by the support plates. The carbon fiber filaments, covering the mesh like a fur, have one of their ends anchored/embedded/woven into the net and the other end projecting outward in a grain that follow against the rotation of the ring stack. When the ring rotates while flung forward, there is obviously leading as well as trailing edges.   

       The headwind naturally blows fast on the leading edge and tucked the filaments together along their grain. When the trailing edge moves slowly than the headwind, the filaments are blown against the grain exposing the mesh they are anchored with to the impinging wind. THERFORE, [bigsleep], the airflow dynamics readily adjust to where the headwind is.
rotary, Apr 14 2009

       It won't work.
Jinbish, Apr 14 2009

       [Jinbish], you ought to try a simple experiment first before you can acknowledge whether it really won't work or not. All you need are 4 scrap CDs, 2 slender rods that are flexible but hard to twist, sticky tapes, double sided adhesive tapes, thin guitar wires, superglue, two identical electric motors and an electric fan...   

       Split each CDs, now you got 8 CDs already. Stack 4 CDs together using a double adhesive tape as spacers. (Preferably cut 3 squares of a double adhesive tape, then cut each square into 4 squares and stick the four squares evenly between each gap.) Glue wire spokes using the guitar wires. Center the rod between them and glue it into place with one end protruding some 5 mm. Attach the motor hub on the longer end of the rod. Cut some 20 mm adhesive tapes and fold them in such a way you leave a 5 mm of the adhesive portion exposed. Stick the folded adhesive tapes around the outer rim of the stack tangentially and aligned with the air flow upon rotation, with the non-sticking portion arranged just enough to close the slits. (Secure the tapes with superglue so it won't peel off.)   

       Again make another rotating assembly with the same procedure. Then, make 10 mm hub using rolled double-sided adhesive tapes without any exposed adhesive side. Join the 5 mm protruding ends with the 10 mm hub and mount the complete assembly with the rotational axis vertical.   

       Start the motors. Start the electric fan in a considerable distance. Regulate the air speed with the fan speed controls or varying the distance in between. Sooner, you will notice that the disk tends to sway towards the fan, not leaning away.   

       Start another identical fan in a considerable speed, just to simulate a wind shear; you will notice that that fan cannot push the assembly off its course but rather tends to pull it.
rotary, Apr 14 2009

       Ouch. (my head hurts). Is the lift created by jets of air exhausted in a kind of conical formation around the craft?
Zimmy, Apr 14 2009

       [Zimmy], the experiment above is not really for hover test but just to test whether a wind shear can destructively push the craft and imbalance it. In the final craft, the lift can be created by jets of air exhausted in a kind of conical stream around the craft whenever the craft is in hovering state and almost near the ground or in a slightly windy condition, using the stationary flaps angled downward to deflect the horizontal exit of air from the rotating disks. In high speed forward flight, or hovering in high winds, the jet is never conical as the flow is hugely modified, with the headwind actually penetrating through the rotating disk in its quarter segment—the front portion at the trailing-edge side (the other half portion of the front at the leading-edge side is covered by the whiskers acting like reed valves).   

       To test "one aspect" of the hovering ability using the setup illustrated above, you need to cover the center hole of the bottom disk. There are numerous factors involved in hovering of the final craft, especially in high wind shear and horizontal flight.
rotary, Apr 15 2009

       Nah. Not convinced.
Jinbish, Apr 15 2009

       Nah, I never think you're a naysayer either. Those gestures are typical to all with MI codes ;-)
rotary, Apr 15 2009

       serious, then link to some sketches for people like me who need something to build the text word information into more solid mind model .An airflow diagram inflight/overground would be useful.   

       You could use a simple drawing program and open a free account with a picture site, photobucket or like . Or photos of your airship would better, secret bits blurred of course (kidding).
wjt, Apr 15 2009

       For sure, [wjt]. Having this God-given talent, I would definitely do it, for the Glory of God. I’ll be using Autodesk Inventor software and digital-prototyping it in full 3D computer model. The simulation will be uploaded to my youtube.com account and the pictures to Flickr photos. The prototype would be done with nicely rendered pictures and animations (this would definitely takes a considerably long precious time). Let’s not forget the awful tragedies brought about by the need to reach out for more human relationships outside one’s boundaries, only to find out embarking on an unreliable craft that have claimed lives off from family members and close relationships. (Sorry for watching too much "Air Crash Investigations" lately, and they are quite disturbing.)   

       Feel free to post your thoughts and queries over here, and I would definitely glad to answer them. Well, the only secret bits blurred is my rotary engine ;-) of course :-)
rotary, Apr 15 2009

       Thanks for the clarification, [rotary]. Am I right in thinking that near the ground, the exhaust will exit the craft in a rather wide conical shape, be deflected outwards and upwards by the ground, and partly recirculate into the intake, creating a smoke ring-like torus, lift being largely supplemented by ground effect (as hinted by [bigsleep]'s reference to the ekranoplan)? And at higher altitudes the exhaust will exit nearly vertically?
spidermother, Apr 26 2009

       Yes, you are right, [spidermother], and there is more than that. There is always a downward draft at the center of the array due to convergence. Let me illustrate it first: A passenger cell has stacks of thin disks counter-rotating around it: in hover mode it draws air from above and fling it out through the slits which are gaps between the thin disks by the action of surface adhesion and centrifugal force. Essentially, the air is flung horizontally after the rotating disk. (For further study, read about Tesla Pump.)   

       Notice I mentioned about the stationary rings enclosing a circular array of 6 passenger cells with their own rotating disks. These stationary rings functions like a rib cage. But they have more important functions other than that. First, they modify the airflow with the use of their attached flaps. If their large gaps are totally closed by their flaps, the air exiting horizontally by the rotating rings will be redirected downwards to the open bottom. If only the lower rings have their flaps in open position, the air would exit through their large gaps in fairly horizontal position, but in a more energetic stream as the top rings are covered and redirect the air to the opened bottom rings. If the craft needs to function like a hovercraft upon touchdown in level water or ground, then the outer-ring gaps have to be covered by their flaps and a hovercraft skirt is deployed in the bottommost ring, then a ring-flap segment or two would be opened to steer the craft onward opposite to the direction of the opened-flaps’ exiting stream.   

       In forward flight through the skies, these outer stationary rings would act as airfoil wing stack as they admit air to impinge the rotating rings inside inclosing each of their passenger cells. That circular array of rotating rings would admit the frontal air (the headwind) and flung it backward. At certain rotational speed, matching the forward flight of the craft, the rotating disks create an effective horizontal propulsive jet as they forcefully flung the air trapped between the close gaps rearward in a whip-like fashion.   

       This craft somehow absorbs the sonic boom normally encountered in a regular aircraft as it consists of headwind admitting disks that fairly contain the massively high air pressure (deflected by the passing body) mostly inside the gap between the rotating disks and passenger cells.
rotary, Apr 27 2009


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