Vol. ?, No. ?, 
p. 17 & 19
November 1948


by Tamara Andreeva

Los Angeles designer Jacque Fresco who it is claimed is at least twenty years ahead of the current trends in aircraft design, predicts some interesting advances in aerodynamics.

Our next goal, he says, will be space travel, but before we go that far, a dozen or so years will be taken up with approaching the space ship speeds and construction and still remaining within the reach of earth's gravity. That does not mean that a practical space ship could not be constructed sooner. Aerodynamicists, however, will be primarily concerned in making America the leader in the air; experiments with making space travel bearable to the human system will be the next problem.

Just thrown ·into space without previous training or preparation, even the best pilot would find himself nauseated and cross-eyed, not to mention other unpleasant phenomena of gravitationless space. If he took off his wrist watch, for instance, it would remain suspended in space, until he was ready to anchor it to his wrist again. With no pressures to resist them, his muscles would become flabby and in a short space of time useless. To counteract all these disagreeable things, and to insure the pilot's return to Earth, Fresco has in mind an entirely new type of prespace ship: one built on the electrostatic principle.

At the moment, conventional planes are equipped with a piece of wire near the tail surface to discharge all extraneous electricity picked up through skin friction while flying through the air. Static electricity is considered a nuisance and every effort is made to get rid of it. Fresco has reversed this notion. His ships of the future will make every use of the static electricity and design will be modified and improved through that use.

In recent plane designs the pilot has little or not sufficient control over his aircraft at low speeds. Fresco
has designed a system of electrostatic controls that makes a plane respond even in a stall. In fact, one could not go into a stall or spin with it. A stream of electrons emitting fromwing tips in different directions will control the bank. This measure will be especially valuable in space ships, for ailerons will not work near the Moon for instance where there is no air, but the electron flaps, elevators, etc., would work: they would create reaction by merely distorting the order of molecules. Where there is reaction, there naturally is action. Fresco's type of control therefore would be equally effective in space and in the field of Earth's gravitation. He claims that beyond the factor of safety the speed factor will be greatly improved and increased by the use of electrostatics.

For conventional planes, usually slower to convert than military designs, Fresco predicts a number of advanced gadgets. Among these will be for instance the "electronic rain baffle"-replacing the usual windshield wiper. The projecting electrostatic head of the plane that will discharge electrons to create a resistance-free passage for the craft will be charged with positive electricity and the plane's canopy will be charged similarly. In the collision of atomic particles, a protective vacuum would be created. The rain drops would never hit the canopy. It would remain dry and clear, giving the pilot added visibility.

To protect the pilot from the danger of unexpected spins, there will be an electronic discharge from leading edge of the wing and tail surfaces. It will create denser air, stop the spin, should it have a chance to start.

Most of the electricity needed for the craft's control will be generated from skin friction, but there will also be a condenser in each wing. In fact, Fresco says, most of the plane's structure will act as a condenser.

As to shape, he envisages the next planes of the flying wing and flying fuselage type. There will also be a combination of rocket and winged design. The wings will come in to bring the ship in slowly and safely.

A design that interests Fresco most at the moment in the turbine helicopter. He says that in the next three years a "heli" will have a turbo-jet engine like a P-80. The turbine itself will go around, together with the hollow blades which will also serve as exhausts. As in one of the first balloons, the passenger compartments will be underneath. The safety factors in this design will be the sturdiness of the turbine which has less chances of structural failure, and the fact that the blades will be extruded from one piece of magnesium or aluminum, and will have greater structural strength.

Speeds of 100,000 M.P.H.

Although he will not name exact
speeds, Fresco says that with the shock wave eliminated through the use of electrostatics, you will be able to make the air flow in any direction desired without varying camber, by varying the electrostatic field. He gives an inkling of the speeds however by saying that with the application of the electrostatic principle five seconds will not be farfetched for New York to Chicago travel; three thousand miles per hour will be commonplace for space travel, and 100,000 mph for interplanetary travel.

Once the over a thousand mile per hour speeds has been reached, he says, the plane as we know it now will lose its identity and will approach the rocket shape more and more. The difficulty is not in constructing a rocket ship; a V-2 can move 2,000 mph without any trouble. The difficulty is to construct such a ship that could be made to accelerate slowly, for sudden acceleration will kill or incapacitate the pilot. And here is where another Fresco "Buck Rogers" job comes in: polarized field motors.

A field motor will change the molecular structure by changing the polarity of matter-a motor will be polarized to any speed desired. Fuel will be used only in space; atomic energy in small capsules will be used along with this new polarization principle. He predicts that polarized motion will be as big a thing when it comes, and create as much stir as an atom bomb did in its day. According to Fresco, conventional fuel motors will be used only to give the rocket ship its initial impetus; in space polarization will be used to whip them to incredible speeds. Again conventional motors will be switched on to bring the ship in. In that way a saving in weight as well as control of the craft under any conditions will be achieved both in space and interplanetary travel.

For those who still frown at the trips to the Moon as stuff for armchair strategists, Fresco has some simpler, more down to earth predictions, which he himself put to practical use in model craft, some of them successfully wind-tunnel tested.

Warpable Wing Tips

Instead of the conventional ailerons
he predicts "warpable" wing tips. They will completely eliminate stalls and give even, safe and sure control at all times.

To provide the best possible lift for any speeds he designed his variable camber wing which automatically adjusts the wing to desired speed. Based on the design of a veined leaf with all supports radiating from one central stem, the design is simple enough to be applicable to private planes, Fresco states.

For years Fresco has suggested that the motor be so built that it also serve as a central frame and its own mount. He sees it in planes of the future where weight reduction will be of the essence.