Home : Gallery : History : Uses : Behaviour : Maths : Forum : Propulsion : Links : Glossary
Main Forum Page

The Gyroscope Forum

16 September 2021 11:54

Welcome to the gyroscope forum. If you have a question about gyroscopes in general, want to know how they work, or what they can be used for then you can leave your question here for others to answer. You may also be able to help others by answering some of the questions on the site.

Search the forum:  


Subject: Gyroscopic Propulsion
Asked by: Numerous
Subject: inertial propulsion with gyroscope
Questions: Numerous
Answers: Numerous
Good Evening LAURENT, Glenn, Woopy, Sandy, Nitro, Miklos, and all interested parties.
Forgive the format on this first input in several years. I am glad that someone called my attention back to the Gyroscopes.org web site. I consider it the most excellent source of information on gyroscopes and gyroscope based propulsion for beginners and PhDs alike. I have been away from this web site for about four years or so due to significant health considerations, but now I intend to participate regularly and with some substance as my circumstances allow.
I became interested in gyroscopes and gravity at the age of eight when my father gave me a toy gyroscope for Christmas. I would run experiments with it in the basement of our house. Gravity and mathematics have always been the loves of my life, even though at heart I am currently a physicist. I have a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
I became seriously interested in inertial propulsion when the “Dean Drive”, patent # 2,886,976 came out in 1959. In the June 1960 issue of “Analog Science Fiction, the lead article claimed that it was suitable for a space drive, implying that it could produce Sustained Acceleration. However, this claim was in error.
Dr. Richard Feynman was my instructor in physics and advanced mathematical physics. The Dean drive did not use a gyroscope, but was strictly mechanical and Dr. Feynman and I went over it very carefully and determined that it could not change the location of its COM (Center of Mass) from one cycle to the next. Each mechanical device can normally be broken up into several sub-assemblies, each with its own COM. The COM of the complete assembly will be at the location of the composite COM of the individual COMs. If the mechanical device is activated through, perhaps 45 degrees or 60 degrees, it will be seen that the location of the individual COMs will be seen to have moved slightly, however, the location of the overall COM will not have moved.
If one plots the COM of the overall device after each 45 degrees of a cycle of a cycle, Dr. Feynman gave me a few simple rules to apply to such a device to determine if it could possibly produce inertial propulsion. The simple rule that Dr. Feynman used is to determine after each full cycle, as explained more fully in the preceding paragraph, if the overall COM has not shifted, then no net motion does exist. If there is no net motion in any direction after a single cycle or a thousand cycles, then there is no velocity after each cycle. Velocity is defined as the rate of change of distance with time. Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity. If there is no net motion after each cycle, then there cannot be any acceleration or sustained acceleration.
I am going to briefly mention the Breakthrough Propulsion Project (BPP) because no doubt many of you on this forum have experienced many of the very same problems that are covered in its reports. In my case, of all the things that could go wrong, many did, and I eventually solved them.
From 1996 through 2002 NASA supported the BPP, which was a call for research proposals. This program evaluated many dozens of approaches to inertial propulsion. It was headed up by Marc G. Millis of the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio. The BPP program had three high-level objectives: Propulsion without a propellant, achieving hyper-fast travel, and breakthrough methods to power spacecraft. These involve technical challenges involving MASS, SPEED, and ENERGY.
The commonly submitted concepts were classified into the following three categories: Oscillation Thrusters, Gyroscopic Antigravity, and Electrostatic Antigravity. A classic example of an approach is given and analyzed in each of the three categories. For example, the Eric Laithwaite device was treated as Gyroscopic Antigravity, the Dean Drive as an Oscillation Thruster, and the Biefield-Brown effect as Electrostatic Antigravity.
For each of the approaches analyzed, a discussion was given in each of the following six areas: Description, Why it looks Like a Breakthrough, Reflexive Objection, Deeper Assessment, Conclusion, and finally a “What If?”
The BPP Project discusses common errors. Oscillation thrusters are known as sticktion drives, internal drives, and slip-stick drives, none of which can produce true inertial propulsion according to Dr. Feynman’s analysis. As a result of the BPP Project there are over a hundred activity reports which are very informative and helpful.
I almost always use the word “rotor” instead of “gyroscope” in these discussions, because, technically speaking, in general a gyroscope is a far more complex device than a simple rotor or flywheel. For example, the fiber-optic gyro or gyroscope is an example of a gyroscope that does not use a flywheel or rotor and has no moving parts. A ring laser gyro is another example of a gyroscope that does not use a flywheel and has no moving parts. Other examples include the electrostatic gyroscope, the cryogenic gyroscope, and the nuclear spin gyroscope. However, we all understand what is meant in the context of this forum when the word gyroscope is used, and that is what counts. On the other hand, when scientists and engineers say exactly what they mean, it is always easier to make progress and that is the way I have been trained.

Answer: Harvey Fiala
Hi Woopy,
I am glad that you were able to replicate successfully my one-rotor HMT IPD. HMT stands for Horizontal Motion by Mass Transfer and IPD stands for Inertial Propulsion Device. By the way, I totally support Laithwaite’s description of Mass Transfer. My working HMT IPD supports that concept, which I will elaborate on further in this or later communications. A two-rotor unit with the rotors 180 degrees apart in the horizontal plane, would not stop and back up between cycles. In theory the brief stop between cycles should be of zero time and hardly noticeable. However, with a bit of design, a small amount of inertia can be built into the transition from one cycle to the next. This not to say that an HMT device can develop inertia which would lead to developing a force and hence acceleration and sustained acceleration. After precession has stopped, the chassis will come to a dead stop, no matter how fast it was moving. The only acceleration within an HMT device is when torque is applied to the axis of a spinning rotor and it accelerates from no precession (in the horizontal plane) to full precession for the amount of torque applied. And so when it is precessing at its rated speed, the device exhibits reduced inertia. For the part of the cycle where the rotor is taken out of precession the angular rate of precession is “decelerated” back to zero. So the net acceleration per cycle is zero. Even so, this is not acceleration of the device as a whole, but only of the precession of the spinning rotor.
In theory the rotor accelerates from zero precession to rated precession in zero time, and when precession is stopped, it decelerates to zero rate of precession in zero time. But in reality, it does take some time to accelerate and decelerate and that time is a function of the time to apply and withdraw the torque from the rotor axis, and that time could be in seconds, millisecond or even microseconds. What is amazing is that rate of precession responds instantaneously to the applied torque.
I maintain that a spinning precessing rotor loses some of its inertia in the instantaneous direction of the precession (which is not a straight line, but it goes around and around with every cycle of precession in the configuration of my HMT IPD. In a perfect rotor with all the mass in its outer rim, the amount of inertial reduction would be 100%, but that is not quite achievable. For practical designs of a rotor, I estimate that the loss of inertia to be about 80 %.
Mass has the properties of inertia, a gravitational field, and in an external gravitational field, weight. Some have interpreted the rotor in the Laithwaite experiment to lose mass, but it really loses inertia as can be seen because the mass is still there.
Rotor speed and precession angular velocity are inverse relationships. My prototype design uses the lowest rotor speed that will still support precession. The lower the rotor speed, the greater is the precession angular velocity. In my implementation, the higher the precession angular velocity gives a higher vehicle speed, speed being a most important parameter.
Tilt of traction ring: in a perfect world or a perfect machine, the traction ring would not have a slight tilt to it. But because my early prototype design uses the highest possible precession angular velocity, it will not precess in a perfectly level horizontal plane, but will slowly drift lower. So the slightly tilted up traction ring will help launch it into the air and into precession at the 180 degree point instead of dropping down too soon to the other half of the traction ring, which is just a support ring in case the rotor drops out of precession. For a toy car, this is probably acceptable, but for commercial applications, such a large tilt of the traction ring would probably not be acceptable.
Woopy, thanks for considering my first patent (US 7,900,874 B2) as a tutorial. That was one of the purposes I had in mind when I wrote. It.
I look forward to keeping in touch with you, preferably by email.

Hi, Sandy,
I recall having been in contact with you several years ago. Also, I look forward to keeping in close touch with you, again, preferably by email.
I have two patents, the first is for HMT and the second is for VMT (US 8,066,226 B2). VMT stands for Horizontal Motion by Mass Transfer. The HMT requires a gravitational filed to operate in and it can correctly be considered as the very first application harnessing a gravitational field to perform some function. In this case, it is converting the downward force of gravity to produce horizontal or sideways motion. I can elaborate more on that at a later date.
Possibly the greatest application for an HMT device is as a radio controlled toy car that moves across the floor without traction or a power train and where only motion is involved and the only “payload” is a light weight plastic toy chassis on wheels. There could easily be a market of millions of units per year for Christmas gift giving to children and adults alike.
You are correct that an HMT IPD cannot operate in space. That is where the VMT IPD fills a real need to performing on-orbit station keeping functions and attitude control. It can move forward or backward, left or right, and up or down. So if a satellite should drift to the right or left, up or down, or forward or backward, a VMT device can be used to correct that. VMT devices can also be implemented to accomplish changes in angle for changes in yaw, pitch, and roll. It does not require the use of jets or a propellant, and thus reducing their associated mass. Solar cells can supply the required energy. These applications should work fine if planned at least slightly ahead of time and sufficient time is allowed for the procedure. I have estimated that using VMT for orbital station keeping functions would currently save up to a billion dollars a year. Furthermore, for companies like SpaceX that launch satellites in to orbits, the launch company could provide a valuable service by supplying “strap-on” VMT units for those satellites that had not already had the VMT function integrated into the satellite.
With the thousands of functioning and no longer functioning satellites in orbit around the Earth, it is in the process of becoming mandatory that any new satellite to be launched will have to have some provisions for ultimately deorbiting. This could provide a tremendous market for VMT units or satellite designs that integrate the variable inertia function directly into their design.
Now if a satellite has to suddenly avoid an impending collision, a VMT unit may not fill that need. However, if a collision is potentially impending and that could be in seconds, hours, days, or even months, in which case a VMT unit may still get the job done.
Certain applications where planning can be done years or months ahead of time, include modest orbital changes. The VMT function could also be used for spacecraft station-keeping at Lagrange points.
UCM stands for Uniform Circular Motion. It is an important concept for mechanical designs. In my HMT design 180 degrees is for traction and 180 degrees is for precession. The traction 180 degrees is basically a reset function and it goes in a smooth semi-circular path and not a back and forth jerking motion as in most inventor’s designs. It was a tricky design to get the traction velocity to equal the precession angular velocity. I chose the simplest solution and that was to start with a high rotor speed and its corresponding slower precession velocity which was too slow for the traction velocity. But as the rotor slowed down the precession velocity increased until it matched the traction velocity. At that point it starts to operate as planned. Now this was with an unpowered rotor which was sped up to a higher than operational value. And as it slows down the HMT starts to operate as intended for part of a minute. A superior alternative to this is to have a powered rotor operating constantly at the design speed, as Lauren did in his replication based on the patent. Special credit goes to Laurent for doing such a great job and for his electronic design talents.
Sandy, I need to learn more about your force-recessed gyroscopes. If in fact, they can produce a force, then the space program should be using them in a big way. If someone can understand the force-processed gyros well enough to show equation-wise that they can produce a force, then NASA and DARPA should have an immediate interest in it. I admit that I do not know how to inertially produce a force with an all mechanical device.
If my memory serves me correctly, Bruce De Palma (deceased-1997) claimed that he used force processed gyros to produce a force. However, his method of measuring the force was too crude.

Hi Nitro
What are your “Nitro’s Laws? I am very interested in what they are. I look forward to communicating with you in the future.

I have so many things to discuss that I will have to leave many of them for future discuss
Sincerely, Harvey Fiala
Date: 1 August 2018
report abuse

Answers (Ordered by Date)

Answer: Sandy - 01/08/2018 20:31:20
 Good evening Harvey,
Still maintaining an interest I see?
I have contacted you using the email address I previously used.
Please let me know if this is a current address of yours?
Best regards,

Report Abuse
Add an Answer >>
Website. Copyright © 2021 Glenn Turner. All rights reserved. site info
Do not copy without prior permission. Click here for gyroscope products