Aerodynamics of a flying sphere. It has been said that in the future we maybe flying around anti-gravity type spheres, but this does not mean it will not have to deal with relative wind in our own atmosphere. So what are the aerodynamics associated with sphere? Well believe it or not we can borrow much information from sports. Think of a baseball flying out of the field and into the stands signifying a Home Run or even a Grand Slam.
Can a flying sphere turn, like a curve ball in baseball? You bet it can with or without the anti-gravity control mechanism. Spin will determine much of this. Like a helicopter lateral control and anti-spinning devise to prevent the vehicle turning due to relative wind and uneven weight distribution, The sphere must have a proper center of gravity which makes things such as fuel difficult. The fuel used must be in the center of the sphere and it must be in a container, which shrinks as the fuel is used in exact proportion of the volume expended. Otherwise you will get the curve ball effect.
We can obviously learn a lot about sports for our aerodynamic studies on different types of future crafts. I think you will find that R and D can be spent when money is involved in Entertainment, such as the Ben Bova Novel "Mars" where the cliff dwellings were going to be turned into a giant tourist place, such future thoughts are based on the past as well. Capitalism tends to be able to support such things. Entertainment in the form of movies also funds many things.
Art imitates life. War also provides us with the must win efforts needed to put necessity in the mother's seat. Thus today we have satellite TV, Weather, Communication and such things as Nuclear Energy, Microwave ovens etc. A flying sphere must counteract the lift caused by it's shape as well. This may be a little more difficult to factor in as the speed changes, speed of wind changes both direction and speed, etc. Here are some thoughts on the effect of the relative wind on the 322 nippled object, which has become a symbol of American Wealth and recreation and elite status.
We know from studying UFO types of shapes that there are significant issues with vertical take-off spheres, the military and interested theorists have tested these things and discovered that the differences once up to speed are substantial almost to the point of being un-usable as it approaches super-sonic. Actually when traveling within a dense atmosphere or fluid like water, that shape does not work well compared to other shapes we have discovered;
When we study under water submersibles we also see interesting fluid dynamics involved. Since we have been building spheres for deepsea exploration we have studied these things. In fluid dynamics the only difference in that from air is the density of the fluid. If you drop a marble from a boat this is the flow it creates on it's way to the bottom. As we study all types of shapes, we see that some are better than others for different needs. Unfortunately a flying sphere is the best for combating gravity and control, but it is not the best for forward momentum within a dense atmosphere. Is our need to promote the sphere over other shapes a factor of our surroundings. Such as the moon, stars or Earth? And if the Earth is not involved in such innate needs since we did not even believe the Earth was roundish until the last millennium.
We may find that a sphere is not the best shape of a flying craft, which can defeat the effects of gravity. Actually gravity is a rather weak force when compared to other forces in such as that of ion bonding, quantum physics, etc. In the future controllable thrust through jets like that in a Jacuzzi may provide the answer to counteracting gravity and simultaneously providing stability while traveling within an atmosphere, ocean, gas or hot liquid. But probably the sphere although it lends itself to magnetic levitation to counteract gravity may not be as feasible for traveling through the same atmosphere at high speeds. If you have thoughts on how to complete a flying sphere project and provide adequate controls at both high and low speeds using other technologies.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs