A Gravity-Powered Plane?
A company called Hunt Aviation is currently developing a prototype for a gravity powered plane.
Currently a Nevada-based aviation company is exploring another creative way to utilize gravity as a power source— combining some very old ideas with some very new ones— to produce an aircraft concept which might one day tote people and cargo great distances without the need for fuel. The project is called the GravityPlane.
The idea sprung from the brain of Robert D. Hunt, a theoretical physicist and inventor who founded Hunt Aviation to develop his patented “gravity powered hybrid aircraft” concept which operates on the principles of buoyancy, aerodynamic lift, and gravity. It uses a cycle of climbing and descending to maintain its lift and forward speed, mimicking the behavior of the bodies of warm and cold air which make up the weather.
But hypothetically, this design could allow the aircraft to travel practically any distance with no fuel. It would expel no polluting gasses, and it would be virtually silent. It would also have some interesting features for such a large craft, including vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), and the ability to set down on land or at sea. Additionally, its buoyancy would allow it to hover in the air if needed, even in the event of total power loss.
Considering the GravityPlane’s simplicity, its environmentally friendly propulsion, and its freedom from heavy and expensive fossil fuels, this concept could completely revolutionize aircraft design in the coming decades if it proves viable.
Now that would be cool. The prototype looks like a really large plane, so it probably wouldn’t be practical for personal aircraft, but a fast, fuelless airplane might be just the ticket for cargo deliveries.
(link via Warren Ellis)