What Makes It Go
Gravity... Lord of Light:
Matter vying for the same space.
Consciousness IS the space.
Matter and space support each other
Like a dream void of substance,
Or a fragile bubble,
Held apart only by a breath.
of The Heart Sutra
How to lose weight without throwing away the ship
– or the passengers
Rockets must lose 90 percent of their weight in fuel just to thrust the ship
into orbit. Sometimes they lose human life. Are there other ways to do this
without the waste and risk? Dean built a centrifugal force engine that lost 5%
of its weight while running on a floor scale. According to many physicists,
even that slight weight loss would have been enough to have made us a
space-faring race. So why aren’t we walking on the Moon and Mars today thriving
with an interplanetary economy?
Sadly for Dean and the rest of us the political atmosphere of the 1950s, and
resistance from the scientific community enchanted with the fireworks of rocket
propulsion, grounded the Dean Drive.
from a three frame system: Taking advantage of the third derivative
The Reciprocating Impulse Drive (RID)
Inertial propulsion engine E-8 is a two-cycle, 10 Hz reciprocating impulse drive
(RID). It weighs 40 lbs and loses over 27 lbs while running on a floor scale
(two different brand-name bath scales) without ejecting mass - using just 160
watts of power. This is a steady weight loss, not a bouncing scale or resonating
dial effect, from a dependable centrifugal force engine that will not fly apart.
Though my earlier inertial propulsion prototypes run horizontally using
“stick-slip” (friction as a back-stop) because they are single-cycle units (early
versions of E-4
and E-6 - before recent revisions), a multiple-cycle unit like RID can overcome its inertia vertically
because there is no time for “slip”. Also, in-line spring-loaded floor scales
have no “stick” to them. To top it off, this engine has built-in acceleration
detectors that unmistakably display continuous thrust. Dust
particles on the top-plate dance so fast, they clearly float above the engine
from the centrifugal force of its whirling “elliptics”.
Power supply PS-3
is a custom dual DC power supply for inertial propulsion engine E-8
(RID). Hand-built from scratch by the author in 1992 for E-4, then
beefed up in 1996 for E-8, PS-3 delivers upwards 300 watts if
Unlike prior art this drive is lightweight and has no
complicated moving parts to quickly wear-out and break, nor requires regular
lubrication. It runs on man’s most convenient form of power – electricity so it
is clean and quiet. Because RID’s internal forces align with the direction of
travel it’s resilient and dependable.
A megavolt solid-state Impulse Drive could cyclically
knock-up electrons of an engineered substrate creating upward drag on its nuclei
This impulse engine is composed of two carriages that are
suspended by springs on the four rods of a mainframe in-line with a control
platform. Each carriage holds two counter-spinning eccentric rotors of solid
brass weighing 2 lbs each with a 1.5” radius and spin at 300 RPM. This equates
to 5 Hz frequency for each carriage which reciprocates, giving a total engine
frequency of 10 Hz (cps). The direction of rectified force is upwards within the
The Pendulum Test
A common misconception about the pendulum test is
that the drive is supposed to deflect the pendulum far to one side and hold
steady. But if the machine could do that, then it could levitate. Levitation
is not required to propel us in space.
“Impulse drives” are just that… engines that produce a pulse. A pulse is
produced and the system is propelled, and then coasts until the next
The purpose of the Pendulum Test for inertial propulsion is to show bias:
The drive has to work against gravity and recover after each impulse because
it is hanging in a gravitational field swinging the pendulum in an upward
arc. (This is why a frictionless linear translation test is the best way to
define a unidirectional force.)
The big inertial engine E-8 hovers about 1 inch across the line of scrimmage
- even with short 6 ft lines. That in itself is more than sufficient to
maneuver satellites, spacesuits, asteroids and even propel us to Mars.
Baby steps. Star Trek does not happen overnight.
UPDATE 2014: Keep in mind the pendulum test is a
brutal one. Not only does the drive have to translate horizontally, it must
swing itself slightly upward in an arc against gravity - much like a
playground swing. So a pulsed drive must recover from fallback with
each cycle. If the drive - despite falling back - remains on the forward
side of zenith centerline while in operation, then it is exhibiting forward thrust
and not just oscillating equally across both sides of zenith centerline.
Frictionless translation is the true test of a space
drive. E-8 however, was designed primarily to lose weight - which it
does nicely. But on wheels across level rails the main frame rods are only 3/8" diameter
(in an effort to make the machine as light as possible) and
sag a bit causing binding and not allowing the engine to translate.
In May 2013, shortly after my long-time business partner and
friend Craig Herrington passed away, I discovered the perfect timing for
Dean Drives. Now the small engines E-4
and E-6 translate
Translation is all that is needed to retrieve asteroids or to get us cheaply
to Mars. But at the request of our viewers, we have published a YouTube
video of 4 of our engines passing the pendulum test.
E-8 Pendulum Test – June 2009
See the YouTube
Inertial Engine E-8 hanging from four 76-inch long, 75 lb-test steel
chains. Reference board is propped-up behind engine and not in
contact with machine. Engine frequency while running on its side is
13 - 14 Hz.
Engine E-8 hanging at rest with its base-plate
bottom edge aligned with thick black line on reference board.
Engine running and steadily
deflecting from zenith 1-inch plus. Bottom carriage is now providing
Top carriage is now providing thrust. For
reference, the engine base-plate is 3/4-inch thick.
Bottom carriage is about to provide thrust. Note
engine is still deflected from zenith - inertial delay at work.
Top carriage is providing thrust.
Both carriages are in transition and engine is
still deflected from zenith.
Photographed with Kodak
DZ1012 IS at 10 mega pixel resolution
Electric Satellite Engine
Because satellite orbits decay and sometimes need to be moved about, they
require large tanks of retro jet propellant or dangerous nuclear batteries. This
means extra weight, space, and limited life. As such, there is an open market
for an efficient, electric satellite engine. The required impulse drive doesn’t
have to become totally weightless on the ground but it should lose substantial
weight while running. RID is a working prototype of such a drive. Like
conventional engines space drives need a load to push, pull or drag and mass in
weightless space is a load because of its inherent intractability.
The RID’s steady weight-loss equates to about 70% of the engines’ weight and
would be like a 185 lb man in orbit suddenly reducing his weight to 55 lbs; he
would be shot through space with 130 lbs of thrust. In this case, the engine
would propel itself and anything attached to it with 27 plus lbs of thrust.
But this is more than enough force to maneuver a two-ton satellite in orbit.
Mounted in a 360-degree gimble and guided by a radio-controlled joystick this
engine could place an orbiting satellite anywhere – even into deep space and
beyond – using solar or nuclear power. Since this drive functions with five
separate inertial frames (it has two carriages) it’s exceptionally efficient at
160 watts avg. or just 1/5th hp.
Brass vs. Tungsten Rotors:
Both rods are the same height, 3.5”. On the left is a brass rod 1.0”
diameter and weighs 375 gr. On the right is a .9375” diameter sample
tungsten rod weighing in at 669 grams - almost twice as much as the
slightly larger brass rod. Tungsten is usually refined as a powder,
then cast and compressed under high temperatures. It machines like
cast iron and comes in “one inch” diameter rods as shown above –
ideal for Dean Drive rod-rotors because the massive bars take up
less space, resist corrosion and keep a high sheen for low
aerodynamic friction. Because of the prohibitive cost of tungsten,
E-8 has brass rotors.
Mission to Mars
The RID was designed to lose weight only and impel payload already in orbit.
However, from the Moon’s surface RID would lift-off and attain orbit with 20 lbs
of thrust because the Moon’s gravity is one-sixth g. Though the weight of the
engine and its rotors are reduced, the rotor's inertial mass are not and
provides the same force as on Earth (a dumbbell in space has the same
intractance as it does on Earth but without the weight). From the surface of
Mars RID would lift-off with 12 lbs thrust, Mar’s gravity being about
The Balance Beam Test:
The balanced beam is the equivalent to weightlessness in space. The forces inherent in rotary motion allow E-8 to slam the weighted
end of the beam to the floor and hold it's end up while running.
Even though it is a rigid beam, the engine has to work against the
reactive bounce-back of the beam from the weight stack with every
Watch lift-off on
Mars’ orbit swings it close to Earth once every two
earth-years where there is a 6-month window of space travel. With conventional
rocket powered spacecraft a manned trip to the red planet would take the full 6
months, then a 12-month wait for the orbits to conjunct again, then another
6-month trip back home to Earth.
Eight RID engines (8 E-8’s) ganged together in free space could safely thrust
humans to Mars within a month at a fraction of the cost of dangerous rockets.
Once activated, in a short period of time, the spacecraft would impel smoothly
to a very high rate of speed. To slow and brake the craft, the 16-cycle engine
would simply be turned 180º then reactivated – all mounted safely inside the
ship for ease of maintenance and omni-directional control.
|E-8 weighing 40 lbs
||E-8 weighing 13 lbs
Engine at rest and loosely tethered RID on standby weighs 40 lbs and
adaptor table weighs 9 lbs totaling 49 lbs. Note position of brass
rod-rotors and spacing between the carriages.
B. Engine is running with carriages
desynchronized (180°out of phase with each other, or normal phasing)
producing a steady weight loss of over 27 lbs, the scale resolving
at under 22 lbs. Note brass rod-rotor’s position relative to
carriages (also with engine off, these heavy rotors would normally drop
and not rest horizontally). Unfortunately camera flash overwhelms
the LED indicators on the control panel. Photographed with Kodak 200
Slingshot to Saucercraft
Shortly after the dawn of man – long before we invented the wheel – we harnessed
the centrifugal force of the rotary slingshot. Since then there’ve been no
further developments of the potential energy that physics terms “angular
momentum”. It has remained locked up in rotary motion. Hold a spinning gyroscope
and twist it perpendicular to its plane of rotation and you’ll feel a delayed
but powerful reactive force between its two inertial frames. This is the
potential that is temporality stored in angular momentum. But in gyroscopes and
flywheels this potential is spread evenly about the rotor’s orbit.
Concept drawing of a trans-orbital electromagnetic hovercraft
utilizing radial vectored rotors to produce lift. A Ferro-fluid
guidance system about the perimeter tilts the craft in the direction
of destination and also by slowing down the rotors in that quadrant.
The radar dome on top of the canopy also houses the emergency
parachute and a communications link. Solar panels line the top half
of the craft to help power the electric saucer.
Eccentric rotors, on the other hand, do not have a
smooth, even angular momentum so can be configured into oscillatory motion
whereby surge can manifest along the plane of rotation. Then, by shifting this
two-frame oscillator complex within its third-frame housing to increase the CAT,
angular momentum can become kinetic and the rotor’s centrifugal force is no
longer balanced by a centripetal. For a brief moment in an eccentric rotors’
cycle, these two opposing forces are separated and a powerful burst of energy is
efficiently released at the expense of electricity. One day soon – like the
horse and buggy – tires, roads and bridges will be remnants of the past, thanks
to Norman L. Dean's inertial propulsion drive.
Steven M. Hampton
Centrifugål Dynamics Co.
have contributed to the development of these engines:
|Norman L. Dean
|William O. Davis, PhD
|G. Harry Stine
|Norman Parrish, PhD
|John Campbell, Jr.
|Craig “T” Herrington
|Sensei John Angelos
|Cris Angelos, PhD
|Thomas Valone, PhD
|And many others
too numerous to mention...
Drive: 9 lb centrifugal force engine accelerates 2g with 20 lb surge
THE PENDULUM TEST
There are various ways to test for thrust or impulse from a closed
propulsion system – all have disadvantages. But only the pendulum test
allows for the drive to be observed from one vantage point with the lowest
intractance. Since 1993, I have experimented with various pendulum
configurations on nine different inertial drives that I’ve designed and
built. So, I would like to clear up a few common misconceptions on how
impulse drives react with a hanging pendulum. First, let’s review how this
test came to be so recognized as a means to measure linear force from such
A Brief History of Swing
“The first known use of a pendulum to test thrust was done in 1915 by Robert
Goddard using a ballistic pendulum. Benjamin Thompson a century earlier
determined the speed of a projectile when it was fired into a heavy plate
suspended by a pendulum to calculate the speed of the projectile. Goddard
modified this by attaching a rocket to a heavy pendulum and then igniting it
to observe how high the pendulum rose. A better procedure was soon devised
in which the force exerted on a test stand was measured continuously by
observing the compression of a spring, then later, by a strain gauge
attached to the test stand.” (Raymond Friedman, A History of Jet Propulsion,
Including Rockets © 2010)
The Turtle is in The Race
Once again, the ballistic pendulum test must be modified to accurately test
impulse drives. Since the forces involved here are generated in cyclic
manner, the test must be viewed like the earliest version as it was used to
test cannons. A continuous deflection of the pendulum from zenith will not
result with these drives as can be expected when testing jets or rockets.
According to the inventor Norman L. Dean (who invented the earlier version
of our drives and was the actual inventor the gyroscopic navigation guidance
system used today on air and spacecraft), to overcome gravity, a device
needs to impulse 7.4 Hz (cps or cycles per second). Our drives operate at
around 4 Hz and a continuous thrust is not needed in space when a series of
impulses will do. A common misconception about the pendulum test is that the
drive is supposed to deflect the pendulum far to one side and hold steady.
But if the machine could do that, then it could levitate. Levitation is not
required to propel us in space. “Impulse drives” are just that – machines
that produce a pulse. A pulse is generated and the system is propelled, and
then (in space) it coasts until the next impulse which is additive.
Hang ‘Em Low
The real purpose of the pendulum test for inertial propulsion is to show
bias: The drive has to work against gravity and recover after each impulse
because it is hanging in a gravitational field swinging the pendulum in an
upward arc against gravity. Remember, we are still within a gravity field.
Amazingly, the length of the lines has little effect on the results. But
what the lines are made of does: The heavier the lines, the less stray line
oscillation. So which pendulum test is best and true?
Many physicists advocate a 4-point pendulum test where the lines terminate
above at four separate places. However, this forces the drive to have to
lift itself in order to deflect from zenith – if it could do that, then it
could levitate – we are testing for thrust generated horizontally, not
Remember the rush of the playground swing? A 2-point zenith termination (at
the top of the swing set) allows for the least amount of resistance needed
to get yourself high in the air. But in order to really get ourselves up
there, we had to kick-up our legs in an upward arc. Kicking our legs out
parallel to the ground (as with a 4-point test) would hinder the swing: When
testing for thrust from an In-Space drive, gravity must be neutralized. So,
in the 2-point pendulum test we have discovered that by tilting the front of
the engine 10 degrees upward while hanging on the pendulum (using light
chains), gives us that arc needed to follow the swing of the lines with the
least amount of gravitational resistance as can be seen from our
accelerometer test results. The negative spikes and variance in the waveform
can be resolved with better machining of the drive because like all my other
drives, I hand built this machine.
Steven M. Hampton
Oct. 31, 2020
Endnotes / Bibliography
 John W. Campbell, Jr., The Space Drive Problem,
Astounding Science Fact and Fiction, June 1960, pg 98.
 John W. Campbell, Jr., That Fourth Law of Motion, Analog, May 1962, pgs 4
 Like any other form of propulsion, inertial engines need a load or enough
mass to stabilize the mainframe of the drive. In the case with RID’s weight loss
demonstration gravity is the load. In space it would be the inertial mass of the
satellite or spacecraft that would provide the load.
Photographs and drawings by Steven Hampton © 2007, 2013,