....and Dreams of Flight
A warm welcome to the Aeromancer Flight Design website--home of the 'Lift-Jet' Personal Flying Vehicle and all things to do with the personal flight movement.
Our main aim is to introduce the Lift-Jet to a wider audience of potential collaborators, investors, fellow inventors, sponsors & agents and eventually, customers. We hope to show why this particular design, patented in 2013 as the "Safety Flyer" US Patent 8,408,488 B2 is not only the best contender for the emergent, 'Personal Flight' mass market--but is really the only practical one--due to its' exclusive "Unpowered Aerodynamic Vertical Descent" capability
An equally important goal of this site is to impart a sense of our design philosophy and our understanding of how the Personal Flight Movement will evolve from here out. A frequent critisism in this field is that, having got their particular "Jetson Machine" candidate working, the inventor then sits back waiting for the world to beat a path to his door.
Individual desires and urges have been driving this quest for several hundred years, but passion alone will not produce a mass-market for our flyer. Many inventors fail to predict how the market will be affected by the next round of "breakpoints" that the field is periodically susceptable to. Also, every aspect of any successful design will be informed by the psychological drives of the end-user, and will fail unless it overcomes each and every point of psychological resistance. Consider that the 'end-user' in this case is comprised of several disparate groups, and we are presented with a Gordian Knot of some complexity to unravel.
If you take the time to read the included essays you will be equipped with a much deeper understanding of Personal Flight in regards to such issues as; Why we are still waiting for a satisfactory vehicle; What will and won't work in the future--and; Why?
Those who have nightime dreams of flying (and there are a surprising number of us who do) are indeed fortunate. That "flying feeling" comes over us as we slowly rise straight up--perhaps kicking our legs a little if we want more altitude. In the dream-state , soaring is much the same for everone--you just sort of point yourself in the direction you want to go and think of your destination. Some people outstretch their arms and some don't, but everyone has their own little technique.
What's really going on here? When one considers that, prior to a hundred years or so ago, no human had ever actually experienced flight, its a bit surprising to find it cropping up quite commonly in dreams. Even today most people who dream-fly have never experienced the real thing. So, again, the question is, "Where the heck does this come from?" "What is our frame of reference?" As far as recurring dreams go, there are only a very few themes in the human inventory; chasing or being chased, being caught out naked, and so on. So why should flying of all things, be in there, (and it is one of the most common themes at that!) Throughout the ages many very smart people have applied themselves to this conundrum without any really satisfactory answer. It is a true mystery and, wherever in our deep subconscious the phenomenon comes from, it is of a very ancient origin and is a very, very powerful force indeed.
DREAMS TO REALITY: There is credible evidence of successful gliders long before the genius of Wilbur and Orville Wright perfected their powered, in-control "Flyer". In 1638 Hezarfen Celebi won 1000 gold pieces for his impressive hang-glider flight from a hight of nearly 200 feet. By 875 Abba Ibn Firnis was regularily gliding the length of two football fields before retiring due to the injuries he had accumulated--but not before his glider was copied by other enthusiasts across Europe. In 2011 a copy of Da Vinci's Circa--1490 glider was reproduced full-scale and when a small vertical fin was added--flew perfectly! (Aeromancer Flight Design even tested a copy of it as a potential candidate for the Lift-Jets' main Descent Vane.) Apparently, Da Vinci was still looking for a lightweight steam engine to power this glider at the time of his death. We now know that, had he done so, powered flight would have become a reality more than 500 years ago! It makes for a fascinating thought experiment to imagine our world today, had Da Vinci received a little more assistance in this grand project. But the point of these accounts is to show that the desire for Personal Flight has always been there. Just because today, the dream has become a reality for a few doesn't mean this mysterious compulsion suddenly disappears. In fact, the reverse seems to have happened; it has become stronger.
Today, there are two main categories of Aviation; General Aviation (small private aircraft) and Commercial Aviation (airlines), with Military being a special case. Because Commercial Flight has only one product--an airline ticket--it takes advantage of the economies of scale and its operations have become largely automated and homogenized. The top-down corporate structure is geared to increase market share and profits, and the progress that takes place tends to be one of steady, incremental improvements, directed by committee and by computer design, with a much less obvious role for individual passion and creativity. (After all, people rarely debark an airliner screaming passionately about the wonderful flying experience they just had.)
General Aviation has been the beating heart of this industry from the very start. It is the creative dynamo that not only launched Commercial and Military aviation, but has nurtured the development of technology in general, and it is still going strong in that role. Today, Homebuilts and Kit-Planes are growing segments that represent more than half of all the General Aviation aircraft in existence. In a word, its not engineering and technology that enables Personal Flight--It is the quest for Personal Flight that has promoted the growth of industry--materials science, manufacturing processes, powerplants, and so much else that underpins our technological society.
HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE: You may have noticed that we are slowly edging our way towards a fuller, more complete definition of "Personal Flight", which will all come together on the page headed, "Lift-Jet/Flitjet". I don't intend to belabour the entire history of aviation here, but there are a couple of 'turning points' that are worth discussing, as they give a sense of what Personal Flight could be, and what it most definitely is not....
In 1783 the Montgolfier Brothers electrified Europe with the first balloon flight. All but forgotten today, what was mankinds' Conquest of the Air was as wonderful to the average Frenchman of the time as Apollo 11 is to our generation. Overnight the balloon craze swept all levels of society. Aero Clubs energized inventors and scientists for generations to come, but it was another 75 years before the dirigible, or stearable airship was brought to reality, in 1852, by another Frenchman, Henri Giffard. A community of these early aviators sprang up, including Giffard and future fixed-wing pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, who made these tiny one-man dirigibles seem familiar and comfortable as they commuted among the suburbs of Paris. Circumnavigating the Eiffel Tower, or tying-off at the corner bistro while the pilot went in to pick up a loaf of bread, were common sights at the time. Every child got a toy helicopter or balloon at Christmas. The men and machines of that time came as close to our definition of personal flight as anyone before--or since. It was slow speed, low altitude, practical flight that, given the "novice" status of their pilots, had a surprisingly safe record.
In the aftermath of each of the World Wars, communities were flooded with war-surplus aircraft--and war-surplus pilots--who had to find ingenious ways to keep themselves and their machines employed. Eventually the economy absorbed these surpluses, leading to the opposite problem of shortages and high costs for airplanes and flight training. Necessity being the 'Mother of Invention" both of those post-war adjustment periods saw an amazing explosion of homebuilt and kit-built airplanes of every description. Every category is represented, including mini-helicopters, flying platforms, hang-gliders, ultralights, a fast-growing market for gyroplanes, paraplanes, sailplanes, and a newly-minted category; the hi-tech 'Light Sport Aircraft". Even after an uninterrupted 50 years of growth, these "low-cost, do-it-yourself" categories still dominate General Aviation--a reflection of the power the "urge to fly" still holds over a great many otherwise average people. It is no surprise that the majority of aeronautical innovations have evolved out of this grass-roots movement--and so it should be no surprise that the basements, and garages of the nation will also be the birthplace of the coming Personal Flying Vehicle!