Antigravity Research


"New Air Dream-Planes Flying Outside Gravity"

Tuesday, November 22, 1955
pp. 6 & 10

Lawrence D. Bell, founder and president of Bell Aircraft Corp., of Buffalo, using a Japanese ivory ball to illustrate his view that humans before long will operate planes outside the earth's atmosphere, then outside the gravity field of the earth. The pilots with him, three top test pilots of the Air Force, are, left, Lt. Col. Frank J. Everest; centre, in light suit, Maj. Charles Yeager, and, in uniform next to Mr. Bell, Maj. Arthur Murray."


This is the third in a series of three articles on new pure and applied research into the mysteries of gravity and the efforts to devise ways to overcome it. Written by Ansel E. Talbert, Military and Aviation Editor. N.Y.H.T.

"The current interest in America's aircraft and electronics industries in finding whether gravity can be controlled or 'cancelled-out' is not confined to imaginative young graduates of engineering and scientific schools. Some of the two industries' most experienced and highly regarded leaders today are engaged directly or deeply interested in theoretical research relating to gravity and universal gravitation. Their basic aim is eventually to build 'hardware' in the shape of planes, earth satellites, and space ships 'which can go where we want and do what we want without interference from gravity's mysterious trans-spatial pull.'

BELL IS OPTIMISTIC: Lawrence D. Bell, whose company in Buffalo built the first piloted aircraft in history to fly faster than sound, is certain that practical results will come out of current gravity research. He told this correspondent: 'Aviation as we know it is on the threshold of amazing new concepts. The United States aircraft industry already is working with nuclear fuels and equipment to cancel out gravity instead of fighting it. 'The Wright Brothers proved that man does not have to be earth-bound. Our next step will be to prove that we can operate outside the earth's atmosphere and the third will be to operate outside the gravity of the earth.

OPTIMISM SHARED: Mr. Bell's company during the last few days made the first powered flights with its new Bell X-2 rocket plane designed to penetrate deep into the thermal or heat barrier encountered due to atmospheric fiction at a speed above 2,000 miles per hour. It also is testing a revolutionary new jet vertical-rising-and-landing 'magic carpet' airplane.

Grover Loening, who was the first graduate in aeronautics in an American University and the first engineer hired by the Wright Brothers, holds similar views. Over a period of forty years, Mr. Loening has had a distinguished career as an aircraft designer and builder recently was decorated by the United States Air Force for his work as a special scientific consultant. 'I firmly believe that before long man will acquire the ability to build an electromagnetic contra-gravity mechanism that works,' he says. 'Much the same line of reasoning that enabled scientists to split up atomic structures also will enable them to learn the nature of gravitational attraction and ways to counter it.'

Right now there is considerable difference of opinion among those working to discover the secret of gravity and universal gravitation as to exactly how long the project will take. George S. Trimble, a brilliant young scientist who is head of the new advanced design division of Martin Aircraft in Baltimore and a member of the sub-committee on high-speed aerodynamics of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, believes that it could be done relatively quickly if sufficient resources and momentum were put behind the program.

'I think we could do the job in about the time that it actually required to build the first atom bomb if enough trained scientific brainpower simultaneously began thinking about and working towards a solution,' he said. 'Actually, the biggest deterrent to scientific progress is a refusal of some people, including scientists, to believe that things which seem amazing can really happen.

'I know that if Washington decides that it is vital to our national survival to go where we want and do what we want without having to worry about gravity, we'd find the answer rapidly.'

SIKORSKY CAUTIOUS: Dr. Igor I. Sikorsky, one of the world's outstanding airplane and helicopter designers, is somewhat more conservative but equally interested. He believes that within twenty-five years man will be flying beyond the earth's atmosphere, but he calls gravity, 'real, tangible, and formidable.' It is his considered scientific observation that there must be some physical carrier for this immense trans-spatial force.

Dr. Sikorsky notes that light and electricity, once equally mysterious, now have become 'loyal, obedient servants of man. appearing or disappearing at his command and performing at his will a countless variety of services.' But in the case of gravitation he says the more scientists attempt to visualize the unknown agent which transmits it, 'the more we recognize we are facing a deep and real mystery.'

The situation calls for intensive scientific research, Dr. Sikorsky believes. Up to now all gravity research in the United States has been financed out of the private funds of individuals or corporations. Leaders of the nation's armed forces have been briefed by various scientists about the theoretical chances of conquering gravitation but so far their attitude is 'call us when you get some hardware that works.'

Dudley Clarke, president of Clarke Electronics laboratories of Palm Springs, Calif., one of the nation's oldest firms dedicated to electronic research and experimentation, is one scientist in the hardware stage of building something that he believes will prove gravity can be put to useful purposes.

Mr. Clarke's company has just caused a stir in the electronics industry by developing pressure-sensitive resistors having unusual characteristics for parachute and other aviation use, according to 'Teletech and Electronic Industries' magazine of 480 Lexington Ave. Mr. Clarke who years ago worked under Dr. Charles Steinmetz, General Electric Company's electrical and mathematical 'wizard' of the 1930s, is sure that this successful harnessing of gravitation will take place sooner than some of these 'ivy tower' scientists believe.

Like Sir Frank Whittle, Britain's jet pioneer who was informed in 1935 by the British Air Ministry that it could see no practical use for his jet aircraft engine, Mr. Clarke has a particularly cherished letter. It was written about the same time by the commanding general at Wright Field giving a similar analysis of a jet design proposal by Mr. Clarke.

Mr. Clarke notes that the force of gravity is powerful enough to generate many thousand times more electricity than now is generated at Niagra Falls and every other water-power centre in the world - if it can be harnessed. This impending event, he maintains, will make possible the manufacture of anti-gravity 'power packages' which can be bought for a few hundred dollars. These would provide all the heat and power needed by one family for an indefinite period.

Dr. W.R.G. Baker, vice-president and general manager of General Electric Co.'s electronics division, points out that scientists working in many fields actually are beginning to explore the universe, learning new things about the makeup of 'outer space' and formulating new concepts. He says:

'Today we in electronics are deeply interested in what lies beyond the earth's atmosphere and its gravity field. For there we may find the electronics world of what now. Such questions usually have been reserved for the realm of physics and astronomy. But through entirely new applications in radar for example science already is able to measure some of the properties of the world beyond. 'Warm bodies radiate microwaves, and by recording noise signals, we are learning about invisible celestial forces we did not even know existed.'

Dr. Arthur L. Klein, professor of aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, is certain that 'if extra-terrestrial flight is to be achieved, something will be required to replace chemical fuels.'

Dr. Hermann Oberth, Germany's greatest rocket pioneer, who is now working on guided missiles for the United States Army, calculates that 40,000 tons of liquid propellents will be required to lift a payload of only two tons beyond the earth's gravitation. Regarding this chemical fuel problem Dr. Klein says, 'there are no other serious obstacles.'

Many thoughtful theoretical scientists and practical engineers see a space vehicle de-gravitized to a neutral weight and following an electronically-controlled route charted by radar as the ultimate answer."

Conquest of Gravity Aim of Top Scientists in U.S.

"ANTI-GRAVITY RESEARCH - Dr. Charles T. Dozier, left, senior research engineer and guided missiles expert of the Convair Division of General Dynamics Corp., conducting a research experiment toward control of gravity with Martin Kaplan, Convair Senior electronics engineer."

Artist's conception of a vertical rising, disc-shaped aircraft which could result from a project under development for the U.S. Air Force by Avro Ltd., Canada (Official U.S. Air Force photo).

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