The idea started with the thought; "If a tornado can lift a house, it could also lift a heavy disc, making it into a flying disc". And I wondered if such a flying disc could fly more energy efficient then say a helicopter.
To wait for a tornado to pass by in the right direction, is… not very practical, ánd tornadoes tend to be dangerous. A tornado is a natural phenomena, part of a huge storm system. In order "fly by tornado", it is necessary to create an artificial tornado.
The core of a tornado is a vortex, which has less air pressure than the surrounding air, and with that on top of a disc; the disc will fly.
Call it "atmospheric thrust", because it is the normal air pressure of the surrounding air that is pushing the aircaft up.
Did you know that the atmospheric pressure is about 1 kgf per square cm? 1 squared meter is 10.000 square cm, thus 10.000 kgf. The core of a vortex that big, above a surface, with 20% less pressure in the core, will produce a force of 2000 kg, enough to lift a small craft.
My first step was to create a small vortex, and learn from that. After some time experimenting, we found there to be 3 essential ingredients; a flat surface on the bottom of the vortex, an air sucking hole in the surface above it and two steady flows of air traveling parallel to the center, from opposite directions.
There is one major obstacle with a straight vortex. The bottom surface of the vortex has a force which pushes up, and at the same time the top surface has an equal force, which pushes down. So together they counter act each other, producing 0 force.
A few years ago I thought of a solution to this problem. To curve a vortex 180º, like a rainbow, so that both ends would be come to rest on the same surface! Then both ends would produce a force in the same direction, thus making it possible to fly by tornado.
This however, seemed to good to be true. Is it even possible to curve a vortex? Thrust from a curved vortex would in theory work in a box, making it suitable for space propulsion. Time to start experimenting, and see what is possible and what is not.
The first success was in august 2010; a curved vortex machine! The vortex was curved, but very weak, and the machine was so big and heavy that we could not weigh the amount of thrust.
We almost completely rebuilt the curved vortex machine, and this version produced a result: a curved vortex with a core of about 1 cm in diameter, and 55 grams of thrust. We tested this second version on November 2nd 2010.
55 grams is a great result, but it doesn't prove the concept yet, because I'm not sure if the acceleration of all that air is in fact the real cause of the force.
The next step was to put the vortex machine into a box, making it a closed system. Then we could see if there still is a force to be measured. But because of all the turbulent air inside the box, the vortex did not form properly.
This is where I am right now, a beautiful curved vortex, which proved that both ends of a vortex can be on the same surface. But I am still unable to prove that a curved vortex can produce thrust.
It still seems to good to be true. Both a ballon and a boat prove that it is possible to fly or float in or on a fluid that is in a gravitational field, without accelerating mass in the opposite direction. But a curved vortex isn't a case of "lighter that air".
I'm pretty sure that I'm the first person to have created a curved vortex, especially with propulsion as the goal. It would be very helpful if you too could repeat this experiment, to prove if it is indeed possible or not. Please let me know if you manage to do so.
By the way; my progress is always slow because I'm almost completely paralyzed. I managed to get all the physical work done, step by step, with the help of many friends. So to my friends: thanks!