ELECTRIC FLYING MACHINES: Thomas Townsend Brown

FREE FLIGHT

The “successful” results of his NRL encounter further encouraged him to reach his originally envisioned goal of space flight. But he would do so on a non-military level. Numerous military personnel were now commandeering aircraft industries. Such individuals would be useless to him if co-opted by establishment concerns. In that case, their every endeavor would be marred and marked by a simple concern to resist new technology for the protection of investments.

He would take his system to privateers. Commercialization of spacecrafts would revolutionize the very manner in which citizens envisioned themselves. The gravitators would indeed work in space with far greater efficiency than they did in his earthbound lab experiments. The engines did not require the military excess common with ordinary rocketry.

It was so strikingly clear that Dr. Brown was not concerned at all with the rejections of NRL or military developers. Their own stealth had betrayed them. He knew there were crafts already being deployed in test facilities. He knew that the future of his technology had a future. The manner in which the NRL had first approached, inquired, acquired, and then rejected his work told all.

The commercialization of spacewarp systems was predicated on the practical simplicity and relative inexpensive of their development and industrial deployment. Dr. Brown was not going to be stopped this time in achieving his spaceward dream. It was not money he needed. His was the mind on which they had built. He had the dream and the knowledge. No one funded his work henceforth. The NRL maintained their cautious and cloistered distance. It was his own fortune, which was consumed in perfecting these experiments and making scientific history. But costly equipment and gigantic facilities were not the necessary resource. The dream was the only necessary resource.

When American investors failed to join his project, he answered queries made by foreign companies. Traveling abroad to Europe in 1955, where he believed more willing hearts and competitive minds were listening to new ideas, he began his presentations. He first demonstrated his system in England, but received no commitment of funding. Investors there were thoroughly embroiled in duties of the empire, unable to disentangle themselves from their first loyalties.

But, the National Aeronautic Society in France greatly desired to examine these designs for testing and development. His demonstrations captured them completely. Enthralled with the potential access to space flight, their enthusiastic plans for his technology took off at once. Calculated proposals indicated that larger disc aerofoils would become increasingly more efficient than the models. Upscaling the voltage supply required a new type of engine. While French engineers were temporarily obstructed by this impasse, he reintroduced his ideas about ion rockets. He developed his most famous and powerful MHD jet engine in France. The lightweight MHD power pack could be supported by the craft itself, removing the noisome connection to ground. In addition to his oil tank demonstrations, he successfully performed the gravitator experiments in Paris at the highest obtainable vacuum. These tests, made in 1955, proved conclusively that “ionic wind” activities were not the cause of thrust. In fact, not only was it impossible to detect any sort of ionic winds, but it was found that the gravitator became ever more powerful with increased vacuum.

The only liquid fuel would be the ionic “seed” materials with which to provide charge. Inert liquid gases, seeded with salts would provide the powerful fuel for his electric arc jet. In addition, permanent magnets would split the ionic jet into electropositive and electronegative charges of stupendous potential. This lightweight system would produce over three million volts, simultaneously supplying both initial thrust and gravitator action potential. Now the systems carried their own power supplies and could support sizable payloads.

A quick merger between rival factions of the National Aeronautic Society brought Brown’s dreams down. Thoroughly disappointed and out of funds, Brown returned to the States in 1956. Nevertheless, he had reached toward his dreams with success. He had the system and the patents to prove it. In 1957, he was invited to work on antigravity designs with Agnew Bahnson, a wealthy businessman. Brown traveled to North Carolina to establish a privately funded antigravity research laboratory.

While Bahnson and King were intent on developing and patenting designs of their own, Brown was simply becoming a consultant. This disappointing poise caused him to refrain from sharing much of his technology with them. Nevertheless, he did attempt to urge them into considering his discoveries, and the superiority of his patents. There are films of some of the experiments in which an older Dr. Brown may be seen standing alongside Mr. Bahnson and Frank King. Smiling, warm, and friendly, he is seen demonstrating the Brown Effect on a small (but weighty) metal disc. A momentary impulse appears, and the disc noticeably rocks to and fro. It does not seem that they were at all intrigued with this prospect.

In a freak accident of the strangest kind, Bahnson was killed. His private plane ran directly into a high-tension line. The research lab continued for a time with Bahnson’s associates, who patented several inefficient electric wind-lifted devices. During this latter period, Dr. Brown spoke with Frank King of certain theories, which he had apparently kept to himself for years. His experimental research had convinced him that inertial mass differed from gravitational mass. He taught that these differences could be elicited only when mass was electrified.

Positive charging at high potentials would increase inertial mass while decreasing gravitational mass. Negative charging at high potential would increase gravitational mass while decreasing inertial mass. Dr. Brown had proven this in a great number of strictly controlled demonstrations. The development of rocket planes emerged from the commercial drawing boards as the “best means” for reaching space. The corporate venture, co-opted by both established money and military entanglements, was destined for disappointment. In the typical “nationalization” policy, and on the very eve of its success, the X-IS venture was twisted out of designers’ hands and placed entirely in military control. The obvious reasons for a military “first” assault on space need no further discussions. No commercial space ventures would be “permitted”.

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