Magnetic propulsion in space

Can the idea of magnetic propulsion applied in magnetically levitated trains be used in aerospace?

My conceptual model is as follows : using the magnetic field of earth ( very weak I know) to repel a superconducting coil, with large surface area and moving very fast . Thus the lifting force should be enough for aviation .

for example : make aircraft wings from a super conductor plate at the bottom and a paramagnetic material from the top so repelling magnetic field lines beneath the wings.

I know that would require a huge wing span and very high speed but , What about the concept?

Does anyone have any equations that would describe this?

russ_watters
Mentor
Since theh magnetic field of the earth is so weak, it isn't possible to build a large enough magnet to levitate an object above the earth itself.

Assuming this propulsion is possible, how would you plan to support a huge wingpsan from the fuselage? Also, how slow would the flight controls response time be on a huge wingspan?

Can the idea of magnetic propulsion applied in magnetically levitated trains be used in aerospace?

My conceptual model is as follows : using the magnetic field of earth ( very weak I know) to repel a superconducting coil, with large surface area and moving very fast . Thus the lifting force should be enough for aviation .

for example : make aircraft wings from a super conductor plate at the bottom and a paramagnetic material from the top so repelling magnetic field lines beneath the wings.

I know that would require a huge wing span and very high speed but , What about the concept?
Just to understand what you want to do: Do you want the earth's magnetic field to generate the lift or the propulsion of the craft, or both?

I think of you had enough energy to reach the speeds you need to make the force required to generate lift, then at that speed you could just use conventional methods for lift.

Magnetic take off rails have been conceptualised for a while now to aid the take off of aircraft. With much the same principles as the maglev trains, a rail accelerates the aircraft to take off speed and/or more to propel it into the air. Maybe you could use a combination of ideas, seeing that you would have magnets/superconductors on the craft anyway, just a thought...

How strong is the earth's magnetic field, do you have a number? Does it vary a lot around the earth? It obviously varies with height above the earth too, yes?

I'm not an expert on magnetism, but I hope that helps a little on along the way.

P.S. your diagram looks suspiciously like a flying saucer, I hope what you want to do hasn't been patented by ET's or the government

How strong is the earth's magnetic field, do you have a number? Does it vary a lot around the earth? It obviously varies with height above the earth too, yes?
oooi, bad news, just did a little reading on the subject: earth's magnetic field is around 0.3-0.6 gauss (about 100 times weaker than a fridge magnet!). It compresses in the day and expands at night and it is governed by inverse square laws (assuming you're close enough).

this could be tricky...

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Can the idea of magnetic propulsion applied in magnetically levitated trains be used in aerospace?

My conceptual model is as follows : using the magnetic field of earth ( very weak I know) to repel a superconducting coil, with large surface area and moving very fast . Thus the lifting force should be enough for aviation .

for example : make aircraft wings from a super conductor plate at the bottom and a paramagnetic material from the top so repelling magnetic field lines beneath the wings.

I know that would require a huge wing span and very high speed but , What about the concept?

Mech_Engineer
Gold Member
Argh! My eyes!

FredGarvin