Well, I'm quite ignorant in aerodynamics in general, but I couldn't find any aircraft that fits this description. And yes, I know that wouldn't be as efficient as a conventional aircraft, but I'm still curious.

From what I read in this forum about wings and aircraft that uses the Magnus Effect of Coanda Effect on spinning wings aren't as efficient than a fixed wing, and a quote I saw is very clarifying: "a golf ball uses the Magnus/Coanda Effect to fly because it doesn't have wings, an airplane, in other hand, does" (it wasn't in these exactly words, but...).

  • The idea:

So, the idea is that a magnetic equipment would be inside of a sphere (I can't tell what texture or material such sphere would need) and it would spin the spherical shell so it would use the Magnus/Coanda Effect to change direction and speed. Imagine it like a spinning bullet in the air.

Of course, I can imagine it wouldn't be possible to take off with this thing, even if you somehow made it float (with a magnetic bed, I think).

  • The problems:

In any case, I can think it would have a lot of problems from taking off and landing. Even so, I'm still curious about how such machine would perform.

For now, I can only think that this thing would hit the ground in a really interesting way.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Your imagination is to be commended, but this question is better suited for worldbuilding SE. Voting to close as science fiction/fantasy speculation rather than aviation, but I would consider keeping it open if you could make some piece of it actually realistic and/or relevant. (for example, the spinning spherical shell...) $\endgroup$ Dec 12 '21 at 22:39
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Search on YouTube and you'll find lots of people who have built models that more or less fly with cylindrical wings using coanda effect. Overall, it's a pretty safe bet that a serious airplane built like that would suck. It comes down to what would be the point in the first place. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Dec 13 '21 at 1:12
  • $\begingroup$ Not to mention the famous basketball drop down a dam face with a fairly modest spin -- it's got a significant glide ratio by the time it's built up some speed. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 13 '21 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ There were serious proposals in the 1930s for spherical wing/cabin aircraft with a pivot on the pitch axis and external frame supporting landing gear and stabilizers for control. I don't recall how they proposed the pilot see to steer... $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 13 '21 at 20:30

Three problems that I see with this idea...

  1. Objects like golf balls rotate in flight. The surface facing forward is not the same like it is in an aircraft. The dimples in that case reduce the eddy flows.

  2. From a lift perspective, In static flight it only has reduced drag. It does not generate any lift whatsoever unless it has rotation.

  3. There are better ways to reduce drag that still allow you to generate lift.

It may make sense once we have some form of anti gravity, but then it would just be easier and likely lighter to make something slip streamed and that takes it out of the realm of ASE.

  • $\begingroup$ Golf balls most certainly do produce lift -- get a good 3D track of a ball coming off a driver (lowest spin of any club). Its path is concave upward for more than 1/4 of its flight. Magnus effect is about lift. Baseball pitches curve because of Magnus lift. Set up to spin an empty tube out of a paper towel roll and you can make it do a loop. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 13 '21 at 20:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Both only because they are rotating. Aircraft cannot rotate in that manner and still fly. $\endgroup$ Dec 13 '21 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ Go look at an archive of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazine covers from, say, 1925 to 1940. You'll see at least three or or four ways this was seriously proposed (though I don't know that any of those aircraft were actually built). Hint: helicopters pass control to the rotor from the non-rotating fuselage, either through a hollow main shaft or via swash plate (fixed on one side, spinning on the other). Yes, you need external engines and stabilizers with 1930s tech, and providing vision for an interior pilot was probably an unsolved problem in the day... $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Dec 13 '21 at 20:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Helicopters do not rotate the body around the propulsion. It is a fixed structure. You would have to carve gouges in the body to pass the mast and tail and that would create so much drag as to negate any benefit from Magnus/Coanda. $\endgroup$ Dec 13 '21 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know why the neg, you might disagree with me and that is fine. but I also don't see you giving an answer either. $\endgroup$ Dec 13 '21 at 20:53

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