The Vortex Thruster

Inventor Mikhail Goldshtik claims that a 1 square-meter Vortex Thruster can generate 4 tons of thrust with 17 times less energy than a conventional jet. Get the details on American Antigravity’s 2003 replication of this device, complete with detailed photos of our airflow tests to determine whether the real performance matches the incredible claims!

“The basic working principle is to create a strong swirling flow to produce very low pressure above a lifting surface, which generates thrust. Swirl in the incoming flow is achieved via an open vortex chamber, and the resulting low pressure rarefaction is intensified by an airfoil-shaped diffuser, which ensures an attached flow without separation. The flow enters the swirler, acquires angular momentum and exits over the diffuser, where it reverses direction (by the Coanda effect) and is ejected into the ambient fluid. Such a flow is like an artificial tornado, creating a strong rarefaction (low pressure) zone on the upward-facing, internal top surface of the vortex chamber. Since there is higher ambient pressure on the external bottom surface of the chamber, a lift force is generated by this pressure difference. Additional rarefaction is created by the flow over the upper surface of the diffuser by its airfoil shape. Operating parameters for the vortex chamber must be determined to avoid separation over the diffuser. Such attached flow over the diffuser is possible since the Coanda effect is much stronger in the presence of swirl and is also stronger in turbulent flows.

Physically, the difference between conventional jet propulsion and the vortex thruster is that in the former, the net force generated and the power requirements are determined by the same axial velocity component. In the vortex thruster, a large net force is generated primarily by the tangential velocity component, but only a relatively small axial flow rate, and hence, relatively small power is required.” – Dr. Mikhail Goldshtik