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"I don't know why I write science fiction. The voices in my head told me to!"
- Charles Stross

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 explanation.

“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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  More Ideas and Technology from Around the World in 24 Hours
  More Ideas and Technology by R.H. Romans
  Tech news articles related to Around the World in 24 Hours
  Tech news articles related to works by R.H. Romans

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