Tesla’s flying machine, 2

October 29, 2010

updated 08-02-2014

from Tesla’s Flying Machine, page 1

Tesla’s Flying Machine
Page 2

“Tesla’s Flying Stove”

“Not the airplane, the flying machine,” responded Dr. Tesla.

This wood frame etc. was my 1st attempt at building the machine

A few weeks later, I traded these motors for 10,000 rpm 1/5hp motors.


see enlargemen

Sept.12th, 1992

Second Tesla Space Drive Design
Since nothing is said about weight being an issue, my second
(all steel) frame was built to be rigid, not light-weight.

it was right after this that I figured out the speed
requirement and the variables that affect it


Third model, with 10,000 rpm ele. motors

Tesla parts

The only expensive parts are the motors, (aluminum) pillow blocks, and mitre gears.
The pillow blocks, and mitre gears, combined, totalled $138.44. About a 2 foot square sheet of aluminum was less than $10. The shafts are also aluminum and cheap.

The shafts and pillow blocks are also, now, aluminum alloy. This model was fine but, the frame was just a little flimsy.

Note: I used the red/orange (Lovejoy) jaw couplings because they were a cheap easy way to attach weights on a shaft. I just replaced the set-screws with bolts. For a good close-up, click on the photo above (the 3 photos) to see an enlargement.


Experimenting out in the back yard, 1993

here I and a friend discovered the frame flexed a little


Final design: January 1994
using .090 inch aircraft aluminum ($9)
and 2 22,000rpm air motors ($50)

the frame is rigid and the motors are very light weight

I made the frame taller to accommodate longer arms and, slower speed requirements but, that was not necessary. However, there is an increased strength and reduced stress benefit to the double arms.



photographed on Fri., March 24th, 2006


Oct. 20th, 2007:
A few weeks ago +/- I tried it without any crossbars but, the weight and inertia were still too much for the motors. we got maybe 200 rpm but, we need maybe 600 to 800 rpm?   I think the air pump where I am trying it, is not as strong as the one I used in Phoenix.

Nov. 2007:

I bought 2.5″ bolts and 1.5″ bolts so I have 2 more options. If the 2.5″ does not reduce the weight and inertia enough to enable the motors to get up some significant speed, I can try the 1.5″ bolts.

Cutting the length, and weight, in about half (from 4.75″ to 2.5″ bolts) reduces our net radius from about .1″ to about .025″ and our needed speed from about 600+ rpm to about 1200 rpm. Although it was an improvement, It just was not enough improvement and we switched to the 1.5 inchers. (see “December 2007″ photo below) We started it up and the speed finally seemed significantly improved. A mechanic said it looked like it was going about 5 or 6,000 rpm. Great! Finally! Still, nothing more happened and we turned it off.

(we have no way of confirming how fast it was going – I think maybe only 1 or 2,000 rpm)

December 2007

Afterwards, I realized several potential problems. (1. The force may have been exerted downward instead of up (we need to try turning it upside down) and, (2. the 2 air hoses were adding weight to the system, holding it down. We need to prop the hoses up so that they do not add weight to the system.


Jan. 30th 2008:

We tried it again, right side up and upside down. We held up the 2 air hoses. But, no movement, no lift. It may be that we need 3-4000 rpm but are only getting 1 or 2000.

Testing at an auto body shop, Jan 30th 2008

June 30th 2008

If we got several thousand rpm, enough(?), then, it didn’t work. If not, then either a further reduction in the mass and inertia of the rotating weights and / or a change to stronger motors is needed.

Hopefully, we can get a sufficient speed increase by further reducing the weights & inertia. If not that, then by getting the weight of the motors off the frame by using couplers to extend the 2 shafts out beyond the frame.

March, 2009

I started getting calls from a TV production co. in Calif. wanting to put my flying machine on a Discovery Channel special.

I stopped at the auto shop, told them about it. They told me that they have gotten a new, stronger, compressor. Now is the time to try again!

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Saturday was a disappointment. The new compressor provided significantly more power than the old one. The speed was much improved, very impressive, “more than enough”. This time I do think it was up to 3 or 4000 rpm, if not more. However, the weather was bad, raining, and I only did half the test. Still, it did not move. There was plenty of speed in the rotating masses. So, either I had it upside down, 50-50 chance of that being true, since it is totally symmetrical, or there is some stumbling block, some criteria I have not thought of.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009, 9am

Tried it again. The speed, again, seemed enough. But, again, I can’t be sure, and it did not go up.


unknown tesla drive

2011, Footnote:

A frame is cheap, a person can design and build one around motors they come up with, the smaller the better, perhaps. Smaller motors can generally run at higher speeds. Extension rods, longer rods, can be used to get the motors off the system, and that will reduce the total weight greatly.

Here is one Marcelo B. built. Glad to hear from him.


back to Tesla’s Flying Machine, page 1


74 Responses to Tesla’s flying machine, 2

  1. al on March 18, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Unless you can create an eliptical orbit where the down stroke is longer than the up stroke either by weight change or timing, you will have a gyroscope. it’s a good start.

  2. D. Ballarini on February 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    This device is not a gyro that is designed to hold a position in space. I’m going to try and describe the kinematics of this engine as I think Tesla may have intended by reference to the famously published diagram. This device was designed to wobble in order that some of the centrifugal force from the spinning arms is biased “into” the page of the Tesla diagram along the X axis. We have to look at the current diagram and consider that with the arms K, H, G, and J in the shown present orientations and rotations, the edge of the frame supporting arm G would be dipped “into” the page at its maximum deflection, about ready to accelerate upwards in the wobble, with masses G and J providing some centrifugal force “into” the page, whereas edges containing K and H would be at a neutral position of deflection, presently with K’s frame edge going down, and H’s frame edge presently traveling up in the wobble. As a result, K’s arm and H’s arm will be both oriented to the left, with the edge of K’s frame deflected at its maximum into the page, after 90 degrees of rotation of all the arms, causing the centrifugal force off of K and H now to point a little bit “into” the page. This phasing of the wobble of the frame as described would only happen if the deflection vs arm mass position is out of phase by 90 degrees as would occur near vibrational resonance.

  3. Jw Bodean on February 24, 2015 at 11:24 am

    How can it go up? It’s holding its position. That’s what the gyros do!

  4. Don Ballarini on February 15, 2015 at 3:10 am

    The Tesla inertial engine drawing is incomplete, I believe. There needs to be a minimum of four engines, each engine having the equal amount of mass for the eccentrics, stacked on top of each other about the x axis, to cancel out the horizontal components of the inertial forces and cancel out any inertial force moments in the plane that pass through the x axis. The engines do not rotate, but each engine unit in the stack must be allowed to wobble in order to allow a vertical component of the inertial force that is generated radially outward from each engine stack to provide thrust through the x axis. To explain the rest would require some detailed diagrams to show correct phasing relationships of the all the eccentrics and resultant relative wobble angle displacements, but the wobble action of an engine must act against the wobble action of another engine in the stack with a 90 degree phase angle in the harmonic oscillation of the spinning eccentrics creating the correct wobble motion, done through the proper combination of spring support between opposing wobbling engines, tuned to a natural frequency close to the operating frequency of the eccentrics to a wobble to be near resonance. If the phase angle is not 90 degrees (near resonance), you wont be able to force the radial inertial force vector to start slightly pointing, or “falling” toward the x axis to do work on the machine. All in all, this would be an extreme engineering challenge to design the mechanics to accomplish all of the above.

  5. Joel on December 30, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Paul is right. You are almost there. You have to power spin the entire device counter-clockwise on the X-axis (as if you are looking down on it seeing it spin counter-clockwise) as Tesla’s small arrow shows on his drawing. This will initiate the cross-torque and thrust, IF it is mounted to a stationary (yet moveable) object base that is attached to it, while it allows the X-axis to spin continuously while powered. So put a motor under your base to spin the entire device counter-clockwise. Then attach the motor mount to your moveable base and the entire device will be built. Double gyroscopic action. Then you can adjust your RPMs etc. It will fly. If you have the materials, equipment and have made it so far, try this and report back.

  6. Paul on November 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    To get this to fly you need to spin the complete unit around the X axis – AS SHOWN ON TESLA’S DRAWING. Easier said than done whilst still driving the shafts. Maybe that’s why Tesla never built it, he hadn’t worked out how to drive everything. He also talks about very higher rpm’s. This is a double gyroscopic device that needs rotating around the X axis which will provide a force in the direction of the X axis. If you get it right with the weight and rpm the force will be large enough to defy gravity.

    What is shown and explicitly stated in the source document is the orbit of the “eccentrics’ center of mass”

  7. Dave on September 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Replace for rotating counterweights with Bar magnets. Using a three phase electric motor supply the speed continues to increase until the power supply is cut or the load is greater or the motor burns. Keep up the good work wish I had the time.

  8. Marcelo on August 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    unknown tesla drive
    Picture of device in the hand is my machine build with DURAL. (your find in Flickr and You Tube)) I understand now the machine work like pendulum, the key is speed of GC.
    Marcelo B.

    yes. . . . and it is good to finally meet you.

  9. Gary on August 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

    After reading your article on the flying machine I have noted a grave oversight ( although simple to fix ) The author has carefully followed and faithfully attended to more details than the original manuscript denoted. As he is committed to this project I would seek the opportunity to converse with him and bring the subject in question to light. Please send along this inquiry to him at your earliest convenience.
    Sincerely, Gary L Ralph

    He and everyone else will see and benefit from it most when posted here

  10. Marty on July 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

    I have looked at this and if I may try to help, in the drawings of Tesla’s there is no insulator between the motors and the rods on any drawings that I have seen, you may try to remove the lovejoy, and go with a keyed collar to them rods, also I see no frame in any of the Tesla drawings you may want to try to insulate the pillow blocks to the frame.
    It is just a thought but it might help.

    True, the frame is not shown nor described in the text. I built a minimal frame to keep the weight to a minimum and still be rigid – durable. I was even able to find aluminum rods and throw out my steel ones. Since Tesla does not mention the frame, it must be arbitrary – wood, steel, aluminum, … whatever. Weight is the issue.
    This is purely mechanical, no electricity-magnetism involved-detected, but generating an inertia around the center of gravity of the device. the Lovejoys are keyed collars – steel. Yes, if I had been able to find aluminum collars, anything lighter, smaller, that would have been better. Thank you.

  11. jordan on July 12, 2014 at 7:33 am

    you tell all the people who comment to build their own instead of doing it yourself the right way and proving Tesla correct. I suspect this is because you can’t do it and are afraid to admit defeat.

    If you could read a blueprint, (given by Tesla, above) you would know the “right” way. All who want to try something different are encouraged to do so.

  12. Bill on June 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Have you tried putting this thing on a scale while in operation? Any fluctuation in the reading would indicate that a force is being applied, with or against gravity. It’s not highly scientific, but would show if you’re on the right track. BTW, keep up the awesome work!

  13. anon on April 28, 2014 at 1:54 am

    You do know that that’s just the gyro system that’s used twice in his flying machine, vertically and horizontally beneath the skin of the aircraft, but around the passenger area to cancel out the excessive g-force that would be applied.

  14. thomas on March 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Unless you can bend spacetime I don’t think you will be lifting off too soon.You in effect,built a gyro,a gyro is not capable of canceling the effects of gravity.Study Newton’s orbital mechanics,that may put things into perspective a little better.Gyros are great for stabilizing,dampening,balancing input and outputs to get a desired result, and are used in just about everything from RC Helicopter’s to Lit Motors C-1 motorcycle for balance to rockets,sats,etc. you name it .But don’t stop dreaming,you just never know when you might see a better way.
    thomas lewis

    If you don’t understand it, let it go.

  15. fanie on January 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Do the eccentrics as the drawing but change the shaft to fibre for isolation and the eccentrics to the best static plastic material it worked on static forces remmeber to use two different sorses for the drivers to prevent static discharge and remember it works on static change the main frame to a neutral material
    Fanie Nel

  16. John on December 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Your using the wrong eccentrics! Tesla didn’t work with wood or weights. He worked using electromagnetic forces. This device would generate electromagnetic forces if you would use the right eccentrics…….

  17. Grant on December 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Would you like to sell me yours? Is this site glitchy to anyone else? Keeps booting me.

    no problem that we know of. Try going through a proxy server (do a google search for free proxy servers and try one) and see if that gets around, stops, the problem.
    We don’t have any Tesla Drives to sell. We recommend you build one smaller.

  18. Grant on December 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Think of the weights as wings, when the weight is thrown down it causes a slight lift of the frame. However when its thrown up it forces the frame back down. Now, spin the whole frame from the center and centrifugal force will amplify the outer stroke and numb or weaken the effect of the inner stroke. That seems like it would work to me, I wish I could afford to build one.

    spinning does not change the fact that the up and down inertial forces are balanced. No one has any excuse to not experiment themselves. The materials are cheap.

  19. Man on December 10, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Check out Inertial Propulsion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIt661hfr9c
    And do research on that
    Tesla Man

    If the materials are cheap, you should try it yourself. otherwise … there is a lot of experimenting with electromagnetic propulsion.

  20. puru on November 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I noticed you attached the weights not in accordance with the actual plan. Difference being that weights opposite each other are exactly aligned. And are phases out 90 degrees of one another. Hope helps.

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