Press release

Flight Theory Correction Impacts Transit's Future

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Press release

18 Jun 2018 – Flying trains, battery-powered airplanes, and jet aircraft with double today's fuel economy will happen faster and better than previously thought possible due to corrections in flight theory.

Some of the most respected authorities in aerodynamics, including NASA [1, 2], have identified that the two most common theories of flight (Bernoulli's equation explanations[3], momentum theory explanations [4]) are in error. The underlying sciences are not in error, but the extensions and simplifications to explain flight are incorrect.

Despite the known errors; most of our universities (including MIT) continue to teach new engineers faulty technology. A contributing factor to this issue has been the lack of an alternative theory of flight that is both simple and practical.

A corrected "Theory for Effective Flight" has an axiom and law that are derived without assumptions:
  • Axiom - Aerodynamic lift is created by the net downward bending/acceleration of air in the space around a flying object. The magnitude of lift is the net sum of [downward acceleration]X[air mass] as based on Newton's second law
  • Law - Analytical geometry dictates that the pressures created by the downward acceleration of air must be transferred to the object on substantially flat surfaces at pitches of about 0-4 degrees to attain a high lift with low drag.
A "Theory for Effective Flight"
The Axiom and Law are presented by two steps undertaken by air passing by the wing/airfoil of Figure 1. 1) First ( upper diagram), air is bent downward above and below the wing, resulting in lower pressure above the wing and higher pressure below the wing. 2) Next (lower diagram), the pockets of lower and higher pressure air expand forward and backward on the wing.

This process includes positioning downward-accelerating air above a zero-pitch region on the wing's upper surface by first bending air upward in front of the wing (yellow "0"; see figures of web page link).

Erroneous Explanations
Both the fuselages and airfoil-type wings of today's aircraft bend air upward as well as downward. Any bending of air upward requires that additional air must be bent downward to cancel the adverse impact of bending air upward.
The bending of air upward has been indirectly advocated by Bernoulli-equation explanations. These explanations imply that bending air upward and over the upper parts of the fronts of the wings and fuselages is desirable to create increased velocity over the top of the wing; where this increased velocity leads to lower pressure. These explanations are in error.[1, 2]

Vehicle Prototypes
Terreplane Technologies, LLC has released prototype designs for both Terretrane (flying train) and Terretrans (aircraft) based on the breakthrough LiftPath technology (see Figure 2). LiftPath technology applies the Axiom and Law of the Theory of Effective Flight minimizing upward acceleration of air and maximizing flat surfaces to generate lift with minimal drag.

Terretrane LiftPaths transform the top and bottom of the train's fuselage to a lifting body surfaces positioned at 0-4 degrees of pitch during flight. The objective is flight in a corridor of limited width (e.g. 4 meters) to allow easy routing of the zipline-type guideways and the flying trains traveling on these guideways.

Terretrane vehicles are tethered gliders being pulled and guided by a linear induction motor chassis engaging zipline-type guideways. Longer vehicles have more lift from longer LiftPaths, making it possible to have relatively large cabins of capacity similar to train cars.

Earlier versions of flying trains failed to do this.[5-8] Only Terretrane flying trains are able to deliver metrics of 50% to 80% reductions in cost, time, energy and environmental impact relative to the best available alternatives.

A New Generation of Aircraft
Technology pioneered with Terretrane flying trains, can also be used with airplanes.

All airplanes have some substantially flat surfaces at pitches of about 0-2 degrees on wings to provide good performance--typically one third to one half of the wing's surface. Some aircraft have additional surfaces at pitches of about 0-2 degrees on the bottoms of fuselages.

Terretrans aircraft use LiftPaths to provide a 3X to 5X increase in the highly-desired flat surfaces at pitch angles of 0-2 degrees. During takeoff, this translates to about a 50% reduction in both required velocity and drag (power requirement) relative to comparable aircraft having tubular fuselages.

Viable Terretrans commuter aircraft designs emerge with takeoff velocities less than 50 mph which can operate outside airports and airport security, similar to the manner in which helicopters operate outside airports and airport security. This translates to substantial: a) reductions in travel time, b) reductions in travel cost, and c) increases in versatility of services/connections. These short-hop (100-500 km) commuter aircraft can redefine the playing field of transit technology.

Use of LiftPath technology on more-traditional airline service could result in up to $100 billion a year in fuel savings, but the societal impact of that fuel savings is small compared to the impact of the short-hop commuter planes.

The Company
Terreplane Technologies, LLC is a research and development company, seeking to commercialize this technology by licensing to established companies.

5-8. US Patents 5,535,963; 4,841,871; US3244113A; 8,371,226.

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Exhibitor Exhibitor

Terreplane Technologies, LLC

4 Bingham
Columbia, MO 65203
United States of America

  • InnoTrans 2018
  • Hall 2.2 405

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