Not all aircraft have wings, for instance NASA's Steve Austin Bionic Man series style lifting bodies. Introduction to this thought process can be provided by a quick view of this site;
On a planet such as Mars where the winds are extremely high such as 200 knots but the atmosphere is not very dense you would not need wings. This web site is interesting and worth reading;
Once you reach a certain speed are you really flying in air or did the shock wave move all the air away and you are now riding the wave itself?
And if you are riding the wave or in the wave how can you create a wave ahead of the plane at slow speeds so you can accelerate without the friction of the air at low altitudes? And how do you test this in a wind tunnel? Make the air move past the model at speeds of mach 6 or more? Not. And how can you send a wave out in front of the plane to create an out going wave, which can return or stay with the aircraft at its relative speed? And what the hell do you do if the aircraft suddenly falls back into real air all at once? If you create a tube of none air from a pulsating energy mass out ward from the plane, how can you be sure the aircraft can pull it's self at a rate fast enough to stay in the wake of the wave? Can you send out ion charged beams, which will pull the aircraft within the tube created by the beam that has diminished the air in front of the aircraft without causing the aircraft to turn side ways if it brushes up against the sidewalls of the non air tube created? Perhaps the original aircraft and the original thoughts of flying and aerodynamics miss the real picture? After all it was long ago and look at all the different combinations thus far created from the Wright Brothers to the JSF? Just think of all the wacky design contests and back to the drawing board ideas that occur when we dump what we believe is the total limits of all of mathematics, aerospace and known physics? There are those who want to steal the data from other species and are on a mission to find out new methods from future friends? There is a whole contingency of reverse engineering aerospace engineers who have put a lot of imagination to the graph paper.
So much goes into new ideas and theories. Feasible in the literal sense? Of course, and we are seeing so many different combos and ideas that even Burt Rutan cannot keep up. If you look at some of his best designs you will see that some have no tails, no emphages, no fuselages, etc. Look at some of Jack Northrop's Designs? His flying wings, looks very similar to the modern B-2 Bomber doesn't it? Yesterdays ideas and plans are today's greatest achievements.
Lesson here? Never stop dreaming and thinking, question everything and never stop believing, anything is possible that is the only guarantee. The Germans in WWII had some break through designs with their Henkel and even the Komet fighter interceptor. Some of which ended up in the hands of American Aerospace engineers who for decades perfected the designs. Mankind is not too dissimilar to the hundredth monkey in that regard. They copy us and we copy them and later in the Century it was the Russians and US copying each other building the F-15 and the Foxbat. The Mig 29 and others. What have we learned? At each step we have learned so much. And are we finished now? No way. Are we done with our advancement? No. This is only beginning as we find that we are running out of ways to increase performance of the aircraft we are changing the air itself and why not? Why think inside the box?
Then we have the X-36 and other hypersonic thoughts and models and tests and whooaaa, where do we go from here? What about the spacecraft can we fly them in the atmosphere too? A little on air, but what about after we take the air away? Can we then fly them near the Earth's Surface but minus the air? Perhaps? Can we fly these craft here and now? Land and take them off of runways? And do you really think we are the only ones with Space Shuttle, re-entry designs? Let us think about this for a second? Yes of course the Brits too and the Russians and just in case you thought people are not working on making this stuff a reality check is needed, because not only are they working on this stuff as we speak they are flying them too. Then there are the secret stuff now being made like the Aurora and the TR-3 B Black triangle once again proving that if your limit your mind you cannot expand your horizon.
Natural Laws and physics dictate flight right? Yes, of course, however have you considered how to change the natural laws for split second needed to change the physics in our known flight characteristics? So we know what air is right and how an aircraft's characteristics comply with natural known laws within what we call Air and we know about thrust, drag, relative wind/lift and gravity. But when you are void of air and when you transition to space everything changes in what we think we know. And this may explain some of the thoughts on UFO travels. Of course this abstract thought is way ahead of most countries, which are still thinking of entering space.
Look at the X-Prize and free enterprise trying out all the new designs. We already have the engines and they work fine and have been tested again and again. No, we are not the only ones with this technology. Other nations are pushing the envelope too, spending money in R and D and taking the risks, which are associated with success and failure. No matter what you think of all this new high tech aerodynamic thought, it shows one thing; The human spirit is alive and well and we will boldly go where no man has gone before and come back to tell about it. Hey all this is possible right now. So let's do it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs