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What mechanisms exist for generating lift on a static object?

Condition is: Other than propellers

I know that generating lift on a static object in a sense of anti-gravity for e.g. drone is not possible, to my knowledge, however which current up to date physics application can "cheat/emulate" generating lift on a static object.

Could something else except classic propellers be used to make an object (e.g. size of a 2-3 feet long vehicle/drone model) flying?

I would like to know answer to my question from "physics"point of view, before going to engineering room and finding more facts there.

So, are there other possibilities except classic propellers?

You can touch my question from 2 points of view:

1) Amateur - meaning I don't have access to the latest technologies they are using for experimental flying machines in the army

2) Godlike - meaning I have access to the latest technologies they are using for experimental flying machines in the army

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It seems to me you're really asking what mechanisms exist for generating lift on a static object. I would edit your title to remove contentious words like "anti-gravity". – John Rennie Mar 20 '13 at 11:18
Reopen vote since the offending content has apparently been removed. – Michael Brown Mar 20 '13 at 13:10
@Derfder: how about "what mechanisms exist for generating lift on a static object" and then add the restriction other than propellers (so no helicopters) in the body of the question. – John Rennie Mar 20 '13 at 14:42
I've voted to reopen :-) – John Rennie Mar 20 '13 at 14:44
Well, rockets (incl. mass drivers) and magnetic levitation are the methods I know about off the top of my head, though I don't know what you consider "static" and whether you would consider these "Godlike" powers. – Michael Brown Mar 20 '13 at 15:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is not a physics answer, but perhaps it could point the way to one. Although: Here's some physics.

Assuming that with "static" you mean "hovering", I think an ornithopter (from Greek ornithos "bird" and pteron "wing") could do the trick.

It looks like fun! And...

The hobby variety seems to be able hover.

enter image description here 2008. I built this four-winged RC ornithopter for a demonstration at IIT Bombay. It represents a concept for a manned ornithopter at 1/10th scale. The wingspan is 36 inches. The four-winged design gives this ornithopter excellent slow-flight capabilities, and it can even be configured for hovering flight.


And so can a possibly military version. Not the mean machine you'd expect! :)

enter image description here Because ornithopters can be made to resemble birds or insects, they could be used for military applications, such as aerial reconnaissance without alerting the enemies that they are under surveillance. Several ornithopters have been flown with video cameras on board, some of which can hover and maneuver in small spaces. In 2011, AeroVironment, Inc. announced a remotely piloted ornithopter resembling a large hummingbird for possible spy missions.


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+ It could be argued that this a propeller, but anyway I like it! – Mike Dunlavey Mar 20 '13 at 18:32
@MikeDunlavey Birds have propellers? Good luck arguing that with an ornithologist. :) – Keep these mind Mar 20 '13 at 18:49
If by propeller the OP means any sort of airfoil to which power is applied, it remains attached to the vehicle, and its lift vector can be directed upwards. – Mike Dunlavey Mar 21 '13 at 1:53

protected by Qmechanic Mar 20 '13 at 21:29

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