( Requires Realplayer )
Thornson Inertial Engine
This clip submitted by Dr. Gennady Shipov demonstrates the
Thornson Inertial Engine - an off-center rotator design shown
propelling a canoo through a swimming pool during testing by
Brandson R. Thornson. The Thornson drive is one of many
mechanical-implementations inertial propulsion concepts, and this
clip appears to support proponents claims about its workability...
In US Patent #4631971, inventor Brandson R. Thornson published
schematics indicating that a force-balanced off-center rotator
could produce a net-directional thrust without expelling
reaction-mass -- a familiar concept investigated by a number of
inventors, including Robert Cook, James E. Cox, and many others.
Dr. Tom Valone described the Thornson test in detail with the
comment, "In 1990, a 16 foot Grumman canoe and two passengers with
a gross weight of 450 pounds demonstrated a low acceleration rate
and propulsion of one mph after traveling 75 feet in a swimming
pool. The 60 pound Thornson prototype was totally sealed inside a
The scientific basis for inertial propulsion is generally
attributed to Mach's Principle, which states that "the inertia of
any system is the result of the interaction of that system and the
rest of the universe". However, recent experimental research by
Dr. James Woodward and colleagues has called into question the
conventional wisdom that Mach's Principle can be tested using
mechanical systems. In Woodward's view, the problem becomes an
issue of phase-matching that is best solved by a conventional
electromagnetic ineraction that serves as the basis for his
"Mach-Lorentz Thruster" technology.
Thornson Inertial Engine
The Thornson drive is composed of eccentric masses which, when
rotated properly, causes a cancellation of all forces except in
The Thornson Inertial Engine (TIE) uses the force from a rotating
inertial mass (the centrifugal force) for producing a linear
An inertial propulsion engine (IPE) is a mechanical device which
uses a standard electrical motor drive for producing a motion.
Some tests and measurements conducted on Thornson Drive prototype
have suggested that the IPE force-to-power ratio can be up to
2000% -- i.e., 20 times higher than a conventional jet engine.
(see the document from Thomas Valone "Inertial propulsion: the
Thornson EZKL drives" and also the document from the same author
"Inertial Propulsion: Concept and Experiment")
Some detailed pictures about the TIE prototype. You may notice the
four "slider" fixed on the base, for a successfull experiment, the
TIE device must run on a clean and smooth surface like glasse.
The total weight of the TIE V1.0 is 220 gr. The two spinning
masses have a very light weight M=1.5 g (each)
I have noticed that a high speed gives better results than heavy
rotating masse, because the unidirectional trust is more constant
and this reduces the jerky motion.
Thornson Inertial Engine -- Water Test
The Thornson Inertial Engine has been put in a plastic box with
its own power supply so the TIE box was able to move freely on the
surface of the water.
The weight of the TIE box with the power supply was 862 g.
The two spinning masses have a very light weight M=1.5 g (each)
I have noticed that a high speed gives better results than heavy
rotating masse, because the unidirectional trust is more constant
and this reduces the jerky motion.
The measured speed is about 24 meters per hour
This test seems also to confirm the fact that the Thornson
Inertial Engine produces an unidirectional thrust.
In spite of the light rotating weights used (2x1.5 g), the TIE
device is able to move itself on smooth surface (for the 220 g TIE
slider version), and on water (for the 820 g TIE floating box
Video : http://jnaudin.free.fr/videos/tiewater.ra
Video of Thornson presenting his device; includes schematics.
#0302 DVD: Thornson's Strange Physics (90 Mins)
US4631971 // EP0128008 // AT42993 // CA1222209 //
Apparatus for Developing a
Inventor: THORNSON BRANDSON R
EC: F03G3/00 IPC:
F03G3/00; F03G7/00; F03G3/00; (+2)
-- A propulsion
device comprises two symmetrical wheels mounted in the same plane
for rotation about parallel axes at right angles to the plane and
driven synchronously in opposite directions. Each wheel carries a
pair of gearwheels which rotate around the axis of the wheel with
the wheel and support eccentrically a pair of planet masses. The
masses are arranged such that their distance from the axis of
rotation of the wheel increases and decreases under control of the
gearwheels. At a position immediately prior to the maximum
distance of the planet from the axis, an electromagnetic device
restrains outward movement of the planet mass so that when
released the planet mass provides whip-like action inducing a
resultant force in a direction at right angles to the plane
containing the axes of the wheels.
This invention relates to an apparatus for developing a propulsion
force, which force can be used to propel the apparatus.
Propulsion of an object without contact with a relatively fixed
body for example the ground or a planet surface is generally only
obtained by movement of air or other gases in opposite direction
to the movement of the object under the effect of jet or propellor
systems. In the absence of a suitable atmosphere, for example in
space, propulsion is generally obtained by rocket systems or by
other systems which involve the projection of particles at high
velocity from the object. Such systems of course require the
consumption of fuel since the fuel must form the particles to be
Attempts have been made for many years to develop a propulsion
system which generates linear movement from a rotational drive.
Examples of this type of arrangement are shown in a book entitled
"The Death of Rocketry" published in 1980 by Joel Dickenson and
However none of these arrangements has in any way proved
satisfactory and if any propulsive effect has been obtained this
has been limited to simple models.
It is one object of the present invention, therefore, to provide
an improved propulsion system which obtains propulsive force in a
resultant direction without the necessity for the opposite
projection of particles.
Accordingly, the invention provides an apparatus for developing a
propulsion force comprising two symmetrical bodies, support means
mounting the bodies for rotation about parallel spaced first axes
and driving means for synchronously rotating the symmetrical
bodies about the respective axes in opposite directions, each body
including a pair of planet masses, means mounting each planet mass
on the respective body, said mounting means being arranged such
that the respective mass can freely rotate eccentrically about a
second axis parallel to the first and such that the second axis
rotates with the body about the first and moves radially relative
to the first in timed relation to the rotation of the body so as
to move during each cycle of rotation of the body from a position
of minimum spacing to a position of maximum spacing and back to
the position of minimum spacing from the first, and means for
cyclically inhibiting and releasing rotation of the planet mass
about the respective second axis so as to cause the planet mass to
pivot inwardly relative to the first axis whereby said releasing
causing a force outwardly of the first axis with the bodies
arranged such that a reultant force from said forces lies at right
angles to a plane adjoining the axes.
The inhibiting means preferably is arranged on the body for
rotation therewith and uses electromagnetic forces to restrain the
movement of the planet mass. In addition the positioning of the
electromagnetic restraining device is such that the planet mass is
released immediately prior to its position of maximum spacing from
the first axis so that it provides a whip-like action while
travelling at its maximum velocity.
The use of this basic technique can be incorporated into a vehicle
propulsion system by providing four such bodies with the axes
arranged at the corners of a rectangle so that by changing the
body with which each body is associated in a pair from one
adjacent body to another adjacent body forces in four different
directions can be obtained. This effect can be further enhanced by
mounting the bodies in pairs around the periphery of a circular
Preferably the bodies are in form of wheels or discs which support
the planet masses and gearwheels for controlling the movement of
the axes of the planet masses.
With the foregoing in view, and other advantages as will become
apparent to those skilled in the art to which this invention
relates as this specification proceeds, the invention is herein
described by reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part
hereof, which includes a description of the best mode known to the
applicant and of the preferred typical embodiment of the
principles of the present invention, in which:
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In the drawings like characters of reference indicate
corresponding parts in the different figures.
Examples of the apparatus will now be described in relation to the
accompanying drawings in which:
cross-sectional view along the lines 1--1 in FIG. 2 of one
rotatable body or EZKL of an apparatus according to the invention
in stationary position.
is a cross-section
along the lines 2--2 of FIG. 1.
is a cross-section
along the lines 3--3 of FIG. 2.
is a schematic
illustration of the motion of one of the planet masses of FIGS. 1,
2 and 3.
is a further
schematic representation of the motion of the planet mass of FIG.
is a schematic
illustration of the path of movement the planet masses of an
apparatus incorporating four such bodies.
cross-sectional view along the lines 1--1 of FIG. 2 showing two
bodies associated into a complete apparatus according to the
is a schematic plan
view of an apparatus providing a complete propulsion system for a
is a schematic side
elevational view of the propulsion system of FIG. 8.
cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 1 of a modified arrangement
of one body or EZKL.
FIGS. 11 through 15
sequential positions of the body of FIG. 1 at 45 DEG spacing with
the pendulum masses omitted for simplicity of illustration.
Referring firstly to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, one example of a body or
EZKL is illustrated and comprises a housing 10 formed in three
sections 11, 12 and 13. The section 11 comprises a relatively
thick plate having a pair of bores 15 formed approximately half
the way through the plate, the bores being of such a dimension
that they intersect adjacent the centre of the circular plate 14
and approach approximately the outer wall thereof. The bearings
incorporating a ball-race, support a pair of discs 18, 19 for
rotation in the plate.
The second portion 12 comprises a circular plate concentric with
the plate 14 so as to close the bores 15 and similarly provides
counter bores for receiving a pair of bearing rings 20, 21
symmetrically to the bearing rings 16, 17. Similarly, the bearing
rings 20, 21 support discs 22, 23 for rotation about the same axes
as the discs 18, 19. The discs 18, 22 are linked by a pin 24 so
they co-rotate and similarly the discs 19, 23 are mounted upon a
shaft keyed to a respective gear wheel 26, 27 for co-rotation with
the respective disc. The shaft is also mounted in bearings 28, 29
provided in the third section 13 of the housing.
In this way, two separate wheels, one provided by the discs 18,
22, the pin 24, the shaft, the gear wheel 26 and mounted for
rotation in three bearings, and the other being provided
symmetrically by the other discs and co-operating portions are
provided. The two wheels are driven in the same direction by a
co-operation with a stationary gear 30 mounted in bearings 31
provided on the portion 13 while the body as a whole is rotated by
a shaft 32 driven by means (not shown).
It will be noted that the pins 24, 25 are mounted eccentrically
relative to the axis of rotation of the respective wheel. It will
also be noted that the wheels are driven in opposite directions at
the same rate of rotation and hence remain in synchronism.
The pins 24, 25 are mounted near the periphery of the discs and
each supports a respective planet mass 33, 34 each of which is, as
shown in FIG. 1, circular in plan view and mounted eccentrically
relative to the pin such that its centre of mass is spaced from
the axis of the respective pin. The bores 15 are of such a
dimension that under normal rotation of the discs 18, 19 about the
respective rotation axis, the respective mass 33, 34 is flung
outwardly so as to lie along a radius joining the rotation axis
and the pivot axis of the respective body. The dimension of the
bore 15 is chosen such that it is circular with a radius slightly
greater than the distance of the furthest point of the mass 33, 34
from the respective rotation axis.
The movement of the gears 26, 27 and the crank pins 24, 25 through
180 DEG of the body movement at 45 DEG spacing is illustrated in
FIGS. 11 through 15 and it will be seen that each crank or pin
varies in distance from the axis of the stationary gear 30 with
the greatest distance of the crank 24 in FIG. 11 and the shortest
distance in FIG. 15.
Also in each of the plates 14 is provided a partly annular cut-out
35, 36 each of which contains an electromagnetic coil 37, 38,
powered by a power source and timing device schematically
indicated at 39. The electromagnets 37, 38 act to inhibit the
outward movement of the respective mass, one of which is indicated
in FIG. 4 in various positions of its movement.
The path of the rotational movement of the pin 25 is indicated 251
and the rotation axis of the disc 19 comprising part of the wheel,
is indicated 252. The path of movement of rotation axis 252 is
indicated at 301. Four positions of the mass 34 are indicated
respectively at A through D and it will be noted that the position
C is inhibited inwarwdly of its normal position so that the centre
of mass of the planet mass 34 in the positions B and C is no
longer on the radius joining the rotation axis 252 and the pivot
In FIG. 5, the position D is shown and also at D1 is shown the
position immediately prior to the position D where it will be
noted that the centre of mass of the planet mass has been drawn
inwardly relative to the rotation axis 252 and rearwardly relative
to the motion of the pin 25.
It will be noted that the effect of the electromagnets or coils
36, 37 is limited to one portion of the cycle of the wheels and
immediately downstream of the effect of the coils, the mass is
free to swing outwardly about the pivot axis or pin 25 and
relative to the rotation axis 252.
The pulling force is produced by the whip-like increased momentum
of a dense mass provided by the bodies magnified through a
centrifugal force when each body completes this acceleration phase
with an abrupt stop upon its return to its normal orbit path and
simultaneously it resumes normal orbiting. This very brief abrupt
stopping action produces the pulling impulse caused in effect
within the device and transfer this unidirectional force to that
which the device is anchored or attached upon.
The bodies are concentrically, bearing mounted upon the crank
portion of the discs. The motion of the planets is of a
pendulum-type nature through 360 DEG. The device therefore
comprises two planets mounted opposite each other and contained
within their own half section of the device. The action of each
planet is contained in its own section area. The main drive shaft
32 is mounted on bearings (not shown) and secured, by means not
visible in the section of FIG. 2, to the frame 10. The gear 30 is
fixed to bearing 31 and thence to a control mechanism (not shown)
to maintain it stationary at controlled positions such that the
shaft 32 can rotate relative to the gear but is meshed relative to
the gears 26, 27 to ensure their maintaining of positioning of the
crank shafts during operation. The housing 10 rotates around the
gear 30 so that the gears 26, 27 complete two rotations each as
the housing 10 completes one rotation. When the three gears are
aligned vertically with the crank portion or pin in an extended or
outward position and away from the device main axle 32.
Arrangement of this positioning with the device rotating, creates
a new planetary orbit within the device. From external
observation, this orbit takes on the appearance of an illusionary
wheel within the device but its illusionary axis is away from the
axis of the shaft 32.
The electromagnets 36, 37 have the ability to influence and hold
each planet, when activated. The rotation carries the planets to
and away from the electromagnetc field. The electromagnets act to
maintain a short radius of the planet relative to the device axle
during a specific rotation of the planet orbit and through a
special electronic timing device cease magnetic activity releasing
the planet at a specific location to return to its orbit where its
mass, ending is interrupted journey, produces the pulling force,
prior to resuming its normal orbit path and resuming into the
cycle. This pulling force release point location is isolated to
that position where the radius between the planet and the device
axle is at its greatest distance. The velocity of each planet is
in a constant harmonious cycle of change.
As the rotation of the housing 10 is held constant, the planet
velocity is at a maximum at the release point as the radius to
that of the axle 32 is at its most extended point. Its velocity
decreases as its gear brings the planet closer to the axle 32.
Upon one half turn of the device, the planet crank shaft gear has
completed one complete rotation and reduced the radius of the
planet relative to the axle 32 to its minimum length therefore
reducing the planet's orbit velocity to its slowest orbit speed.
The planet orbit velocity continuously increasing then decreasing
takes on a cycle wave length like pattern in regard to momentum
forces. This pattern is in balance conversely with the opposite
planet actions occurring simultaneously. One planet balances the
actions of the other laterally but not perpendicularly.
Operating in a 0 gravity field, a single device as shown would
conform to Newtonian law and simply oscillate around its centre of
mass as there would be no stabilizing factor to aid the device.
The pulling force emittor would cause the device to travel in a
circular path due to initial lack of stability or footing to push
Hence it is of necessity that a device rotating in a clockwise
motion is linked and joined together with a second device as shown
in FIG. 7 rotating in a counter-clockwise rotation, vertically
aligned, with their pulling pulsations directed together in one
direction perpendicular to the centre line of their main axles
laterally aligned. The opposite rotating devices are controlled by
a device schematically indicated at 40 to rotate synchronously in
opposite directions and are turned to emit their pulsations timed
exactly together. All lateral movement that occurred with a single
device has now been neutralized or negated due to opposite and
equal action and reaction and is balanced through the interaction
of one device upon the other. The perpendiclar motion of the
tandem devices has not been neutralized and when magnets are not
activated, each device moves forward and backward between its
centre of balance. An inching forward effect may be experienced in
operation during that period where magnets are not activated in 0
gravity. These tandem devices with magnet actuation combined with
the lateral stabilization through interaction balancing maintain
balance as each planet is held in, maintaining the short radii
between the planet and device axle uniformly during the planet
loading cycle portion of orbit. The pulling forces at the release
points of the two devices are greater than that momentum force of
the opposite planets at their minimum radii to the device's axle,
thereby creating movement in one direction of the devices.
Therefore, any objects attached to the tandem devices is carried
in that direction of the pulling force release point.
The acceleration of the craft in a 0 gravity or normal gravity
field remains constant if rotation is maintained and hence the
velocity continuously increases.
Under 0 gravity conditions, decrease of velocity is achieved
through reversing the direction of the pulling force release
points of the device in the opposite direction.
Manoeuverability is attained in a similar manner through the
control of the stabilizing gears of the devices together with the
rate of rotation and the magnetic field strength of the
Acceleration of the device can be controlled by varying the rate
of revolution of the device, and the magnetic strength of the
electromagnets. Momentum acceleration is logarithmically
continuous during the operation of the device.
A directional change over 360 DEG plane is attained through
adjusting the position of the stabilizing gear 30 which re-locates
the release point of the pulling pulsations of the planets.
To cease movement, that is to effect a stopping action of the
device and of any objects attached thereto, the stabilizing gear
30 of the device is reversed in direction. The pulling pulsations
then act at 180 DEG relative to the initial direction to bring the
device to a stop.
It is to be noted that each device must be tuned to operate
properly. With the planet in the 6 o'clock position (as shown in
FIG. 6 with the shortest radius between the planet and the axle
32), the corresponding gear 27 turns in the same direction as the
wheel. The crank portion carrying the free moving planet begins to
take the planet back to the electromagnetic field. The magnetic
force takes hold of the planet restricting the planet from
maintaining its centrifugally created position. The planet pickup
begins at the 5 o'clock position. This action restricts the radius
between the centre of the planet to the main wheel axle to assure
the length compared to its natural centrifugally held position.
This holding action is maintained until that line from the centre
of the main wheel axle and the centre of the crank gear axle
reaches the approximate position of 1 o'clock. Depending upon the
r.p.m. of the device and the momentum affecting the size of the
planet mass, the timed deactivation of the magnet will occur
within an advance and retard control. When the planet is released
at 1 o'clock, the timing must be such that mass reaches its
extended centrifugal position upon reaching the 12 o'clock
The range of pulling force strength is determined by the size of
the device and its maximum usable rate of revolution. Each pair of
devices delivering a greater pulling force than their weight on
earth determine the number of such devices to be used to
accomplish the work required.
The most adaptable and suitable method of installation to power a
vehicle craft utilizing this pulling force only for craft mobility
will be circular and internally mounted for servicing access. The
pairs of devices will be matched opposite each other at the ends
of diameter at the periphery of the circle of devices. This is
illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9 where the pairs are illustrated
schematically at 41 and the circular frame at 42 the mate or pair
to each device can be interchanged depending upon the need for
craft manoeuverability. Thus for example a mating of the wheels 43
and 44 in a pair will cause an upward force while changing the
mated pair to 43 and 45 will cause a sideways movement. Thus the
pairs formed by wheels 41, 43, 45 and 46 form a rectangular cell
of wheels indicated generally at 451. Two pairs of wheels 431 are
arranged in a plane at right angles to that of the wheels 41, 43,
45, 46 to provide maneuverability around the axis of the frame 42.
The functions of the devices would be computer controlled,
particularly with regard to the rate of revolution, magnetic field
strength, advance and retard of magnetic release and central
stabilizing gear direction.
The motion of the planets of the pair of devices is schematically
illustrated in FIG. 6.
The planet is taken into its orbit through its attraction to the
electromagnets causing a warping effect on the planet visual orbit
path as shown. As explained previously, the pendulum mounted
planet is turned 90 DEG away from its natural centrifugally
created position through the effect of the electromagnets on its
motion. The planet's momentum and velocity are at their greatest
during this orbit phase and the momentum is magnified as the
planet is released by the electromagent allowed through
centrifigal force to return to the original centrifugally created
orbital path at the top of the cycle or the release point. The
velocity of the planet now beings deceleration action until it
reaches that point opposite and furthest away from the release
point which is referred to as the 0 point or shortest radius
between the planet and the main wheel frame axle.
Therefore, as the main wheel retains a set continuous rotation, it
is observed that the momentum of the planet is a variable,
increasing and decreasing pulsations within the wheel.
Visualizing the main wheel and describing the planet's position,
with the magnets not activiated, it is noted that their relative
momentum is equal at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. It is further
noted that at the 0 point or 6 o'clock position, the momentum of
the planet mass is less than that relative to the mass momentum at
3 and 9 o'clock positions. The planet velocity at the release
point or 12 o'clock position is at its greatest.
When the electromagnets are activated, there is produced a visual
warping of this orbit path as shown in FIG. 6. This effect is
produced by a magnet holding the planets steadfast after leaving
the 0 point where it begins the acceleraton portion of the cycle.
Therefore, the planet's momentum remains constant and does not
increase during this holding portion of the orbit's cycle. The
planet is out of its centrifugal balance position. Prior to the
planet reaching the release point area, allowing the planet to
return to its centrifugal position. During the planet's return, it
is observed that the velocity of the planet has been further
increased through centrifugal force as the planet pendulums itself
to its original orbit path. The inertia of the kinetic energy of
the planet mass is dispersed at the end of its momentum
acceleration completion at the release point position resuming its
orbit position and again begins its next orbit velocity changing
The planet therefore produces a pulling effect upon the disc to
which it is attached and this pull is transferred to the main
wheel frame to which it is seccured.
Referring now to FIG. 10 there is shown a modified arrangement
incorporating a wheel generally indicated at 50 of the type
illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 incorporating the stationary gear
30 and the rotating gears 26 and 27 which provide the axes which
rotate around the shaft 32 (not shown in this figure). In place of
the planet masses 33 and 34 which are formed as simple pendulums
eccentrically mounted on the gears, the planet masses of this
arrangement are provided by weights 51 and 52 which are
constrained to move within a pair of rings 53 and 54. The rings
are carried on the rotating gears 26 and 27 eccentrically relative
thereto so that again the masses 51 and 52 are constrained to move
relative to the wheel 50 in a path illustrated in dotted line at
55. In view of the eccentricity of the mounting of the rings on
the gears, the path lies closer to the axis of the fixed gear 30
at the 6 o'clock position as illustrated at 52 than it does at the
12 o'clock position as illustrated at 51. Thus the planet is
moving at a maximum velocity at the largest distance at the 12
o'clock position. The use of rings in place of the rigid eccentric
mounting of the pendulums of the earlier embodiment enables a
greater degree of freedom of the movement of the masses 51 and 52
so that a greater kink or distortion of the path can be obtained
by the electromagnetic restraining devices schematically indicated
at 56 and 57.
The position of the rings on the gears can be adjusted so as to
vary the eccentricity whereby the movement of the masses can be
tuned for greatest efficiency.
In addition in this embodiment the electromagnetic devices 56, 57
have a plurality of separate fingers or portions 58 which can be
separately actuated in order to control the timing and positioning
of the electromagnetic effect. It will be appreciated that as the
angular velocity of the wheel 50 changes under control of the
device 40 illustrated in FIG. 7, the path of the planet masses 51
and 52 will vary and therefore in order to properly tune the
device the position and timing of the electromagnetic effect must
also be variable.
The device shown in FIG. 8 is in a suitable propulsion system for
a vehicle. A simplified propulsion system can be obtained using
two rectangular cells of the type indicated at 451 each of four
wheels and arranged at right angles. This can be mounted in a
propulsion pack including a suitable power source in the form of
electric motor for driving the wheels.
In a further alternative arrangement (not shown) one or more of
the rectangular cells formed by four such wheels could be mounted
on a belt or harness which could be particularly effective in
supporting a parapelegic or other person who would otherwise
Since various modifications can be made in my invention as
hereinabove described, and many apparently widely different
embodiments of same made within the spirit and scope of the claims
without departing from such spirit and scope, it is intended that
all matter contained in the accompanying specification shall be
interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.
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