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Schauberger, Solitons and the Coanda Effect

While waves normally come in a succession of oscillations, a soliton is a self-reinforcing solitary wave, a single oscillation that maintains its form and energy along its path of propagation. Such a solitary wave can, for instance, travel along a canal and remain essentially unchanged for a long stretch.

John Scott Russell, a Scottish engineer living in the 19th century, was the first to observe and describe such a solitary wave in a channel of water:

"I was observing the motion of a boat which was rapidly drawn along a narrow channel by a pair of horses, when the boat suddenly stopped - not so the mass of water in the channel which it had put in motion; it accumulated round the prow of the vessel in a state of violent agitation, then suddenly leaving it behind, rolled forward with great velocity, assuming the form of a large solitary elevation, a rounded, smooth and well-defined heap of water, which continued its course along the channel apparently without change of form or diminution of speed. I followed it on horseback, and overtook it still rolling on at a rate of some eight or nine miles an hour, preserving its original figure some thirty feet long and a foot to a foot and a half in height. Its height gradually diminished, and after a chase of one or two miles I lost it in the windings of the channel. Such, in the month of August 1834, was my first chance interview with that singular and beautiful phenomenon which I have called the Wave of Translation''.


John Scott Russell's Soliton Wave Re-created in 1995 by scientists at - Heriot-Watt University.

The Coanda effect, named after its discoverer, the Romanian Henri Coanda, is the tendency of a flow of liquid or gas to adhere to and follow a curved surface. Sails and airplane wings make use of this effect to efficiently convert air flow (wind) into forward motion of the boat or lift for the airplane.

Historically, Viktor Schauberger had observed how trouts are able to stand still almost without any effort in fast-flowing mountain streams and he noted how they would, at the first sign of danger, accelerate like an arrow shot from a bow, not downstream, but against it. They do this by passing water through their gills and expelling it along the sleek body. Schauberger called itt "the secret of trout propulsion" and modeled technical propulsion systems after it. One of his implementations of the principle was called a repulsine and this page shows some designs and early implementations. Unfortunately, most of Schauberger's hardware and unpublished notes were lost in the 1950s.

How a soliton in air or water and an application of the coanda effect may combine into a useful propulsion force is also the subject of a very interesting article Mike Emery recently forwarded. Tom at montalk.net describes in this article how toroidal solitons - we know them as smoke rings - and the adhesive qualities of fluids could be put to good use in aeronautic and marine engineering applications.

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Coanda Soliton Effect

(Original at montalk.net :: (CC) 20 July 04)

Solitons are toroidal waves of energy showing very little dispersion over long distances. Smoke rings, for example, keep their shape for several feet whereas ordinary smoke diffuses immediately and drifts away. Far from a mere curiosity of nature, solitons have tremendous aeronautical and marine engineering applications.

Bad Coanda Example

The Coanda effect was unknown to me until seven years ago, when in an issue of UFO Universe Magazine, it was mentioned in relevance to Nazi saucer research of the late 30's and early 40's. In the article, an illustration of the effect was given as follows: one holds a pie plate at a slight angle beneath running water and observes it flowing over the edge, curling around and adhering to the surface beneath for a few millimeters before dropping down into the sink. The adhering tendency of water, or any fluid, to a curved surface is known as the Coanda effect.

I tried this and the experiment was very unconvincing. The adherence seemed more to be an example of capillary action or surface tension than the mysterious Coanda effect. In Rex Research catalogs an info packet on the Coanda effect was listed, but I neglected to purchase it at the time due to disinterest stemming from the failed experiment. Why could it possibly have failed?

Better Coanda Example

Many years later I ran into the effect again, this time outside a campus lounge. The lounge was separated from the lobby by rounded 2' diameter columns with large glass panels between the columns. There was a half inch gap between a column and its glass panel, with air rushing outward from the gap. Placing my hand a full quarter turn around the column from the gap, I could feel the air current still reaching my palms. This could only mean the film of air followed the column's surface for a considerable distance, unequivocally demonstrating the Coanda effect. How this relates to solitons will be explained shortly.

Encounter with Solitons

In ninth grade, the science teacher pulled out a metal coffee can that looked like a drum with a hole cut in the bottom. When he pinched and released the balloon material stretched across the top, a puff of air would shoot out the bottom which could hit anyone in the back row. Because it was merely air, the puff could not be seen. I had fun shooting my dog across the room with it, as he would bark madly and run in circles from the invisible disturbance. It wasn't until I put smoke in my own version (from burnt paper, not cigarettes, mind you!) that I saw the puffs for what they were: solitons. In this case, they were smoke rings.

Many household items produce solitons, such as empty milk jugs when punched from the sides, or tupperware bowls with holes in the lid and the tupperware bowl I filled with colored water and immersed in my bathtub. The resultant soliton traveled slowly from one end to the other before disintegrating as it hit the wall. I tried making solitons of air in water, but none would result.

Why the first Example was Bad

This in accord with the lounge column Coanda effect revealed what was wrong with the illustration given in UFO Universe Magazine. Apparently the fluid must be of the same density as the medium in which it exists for the effect to work best. Water over the pie plate existed in air, and thus the effect was barely noticeable. Air solitons in water also did not work. Only colored water in water, or air films in air would produce these effects.

Stan Deyo Combines Coanda with Solitons

A year later I ordered a videotaped lecture by Stan Deyo entitled The History of Free Energy and Antigravity from the Adventures Unlimited catalog. To my surprise, Stan spent considerable time on the topic of smoke rings. However, he took it beyond merely that.

In the video, he described a model boat he had built. It combined the Coanda effect and soliton phenomena to produce produce propulsion in water radically efficient relative to simple boat and propeller. The boat paradoxically shot water, beneath water, in the direction it would be propelled. On the bottom front side was a thin slit situated above a hump in the hull, from which water was ejected. The slit and hump looked like a shark's mouth and chin. Water pumped from the slit would curl around the hump and travel toward the back, forming a thin moving film across the bottom surface, almost like a fluid conveyor belt. At the rear was another hump and intake port which sucked the water back in. Thus, the entire bottom half of the boat acted like a tank tread, with water coming out the front, traveling to the rear, and getting sucked back in.

The whole boat, in essence, did not drag across the water, but rolled across it. The wheel itself was a thin film of water which curled around the hump in a Coanda like fashion. Normal boats and their propellers are analogous to horses and ploughs in dirt, requiring considerable energy dispersed in the form of a wake or in ploughed ground. Deyo's boat, however, rolled across the water, leaving no wake, and thus indicates extreme efficiency. A bullet dragging through dirt stops soon, but a ball rolling across ground can go the distance.

Next, Deyo showed black and white government footage of the AVRO craft, supposedly the fed's investigation into the advantages of saucer shaped air crafts. In the footage, the craft could barely lift more than a few feet off the ground. Scientists were puzzled, as the jet engine should have been more than adequate to navigate to the skies. Stan pointed out that because the jet engines blew down, a soliton shape emerged and the whole thing acted as one giant smoke ring whose preferred direction was down. The craft flew at the balance point between the soliton's thrust and that of the jet engine against the ground. The whole experiment was passed off to the public as a failure, ending rumors that the government was responsible for discs being sighted. Of course, the AVRO craft was a failure...until its engines were reversed. Then it took off faster than Clinton's pants.

That is where his lecture ended on this fascinating topic, but my mind was still racing full speed ahead.

Deyo's Ideas Extended

The same principle can be applied to a submarines, I reasoned, shaped like a lemon or football which shoots water out the front tip, curls it to the back, and sucks it back in. The submarine would be encased in a moving layer of water, rolling through the ocean with barely any resistance. Because the surface area of water moving backwards is so large compared to the amount being shot out to the front, the entire thing would move forward. Unbelievable speeds would be possible with such a submarine since it would roll, not drag, through it. A stationary observer would see any ripples in the submarine's fluid skin standing still with respect to the ground, meaning there is really no drag except for fluid friction between the fluid skin and hull--which is considerably less than drag in normal submarines.

Now, the submarine example is similar to Deyo's boat, except in addition to the bottom tread of water, there is a top half. If one were to make the submarine more plump and bring its ends closer together, one would see two treads in the submarine's cross section. This cross section is identical to that of a soliton.

In other words, Deyo's boat and the "yellow" submarine are mechanical equivalents of solitons. If a soliton can go through air or water for long distances with only minute initial input of energy and travel at such speeds, imagine what a self powered motorized soliton could do. Even if speed were limited due to turbulence, the energy efficiency of such a craft would be ludicrous.

Other Examples of Solitons

At certain novelty shops or toy stores, little things called "snakes" are sold, which are water filled balloons with a long hole down the middle. If you try holding it vertically with your hand around it, the thing drops right out and hits the floor, no matter how hard you try to grab onto it from the sides. The Snake is an amusing example of a soliton.

In a recent science news story, an artificial intelligence computer simulation of evolving sea creatures was made and allowed to run for a while. Many creatures evolved whose shape and function was that of a soliton, rotation their skin around their bodies from front to back. This is physically very difficult to do, but the programmers did not incorporate physical limits in their simulation. This merely illustrates that solitons are indeed exemplary of efficiency.

This principle may also be applied to sleek cars or bullet trains, which could blow a film of air out the front, curl it over the top, and suck it in the back. A bystander on the road would feel no wind as the car drove by since the film of air on the car would blow backwards with velocity opposite to the car's. A feather dropped in front of the soliton car as it sped down the highway would quietly rise up, then quickly drop down to its previous position as the car passess...without being blown about as expected. Such a car could achieve greater speed down the road than any other without the soliton mechanism...perhaps alerting the cop who drops his jaw to his chest, then the donut into his coffee without ever realizing the connection.

Solitons and Some UFO's

Looking at some antigravity patents I got from Rex Research which I had ordered years earlier, I came across one particular patent (sorry, don't have the patent or number handy) showing a doughnut shaped disk with arrays of ion needles on its skin. The arrays of needles worked on the principle of ion wind (heavily researched by Townsend Brown in his later years after the feds placed a gag order on his original antigravity work). Air molecules in the vicinity of the needles would become negatively ionized, then repelled, creating wind. In principle, the doughnut shaped craft would create a flow of wind around its hull, going in the top and jetting out the bottom. Unfortunately, the patent holder did not know (or perhaps did not reveal) soliton principles. His craft would have met the same fate as the publicly displayed AVRO craft. However, reversing the needle direction would create a solid state, disc shaped craft that would roll through the air at tremendous speeds and make almost no noise, giving off a faint blue or orange glow due to high voltage necessary for ionic propulsion. Sound familiar, folks?

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A cousin to the Coanda effect is the Magnus effect. A rotating drum in the wind will transform wind power into forward motion, similar to a sail but more efficiently for comparable surface area. This has been used for propulsion of a ship by Anton Flettner, a German engineer, and by Jacques Cousteau in a similar manner with his turbosail.

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writing from Oahu in refuge for now.
Hey, this is fascinating. I recall an article I think involving this type of propulsion for ships in the periodical "Fair Play", a magazine for shipping business and naval architecture. Around 1982. Surfboard design may have some elements of this. Venturi effects have any relationship to this? I have a new paipo board (special body board) developed by ancient polynesians and perfected by this fellow named Lindbergh (Hawaii paipo designs) over here that has multiple compound curves and slight concave bottome design with a sort of dinner plate appearance. It looks quite strange, but it is the fastest thing on a wave yet developed, possibly. Neal

Would you like to have this information
published in the Journal of New Energy?
If so, send me an article for publication.
We expect to soon be back in publication
for this J. of New Energy.

Regards, Hal Fox, Ed. J. N. E.

Larry B. says by email:

This makes me think about the Klystron cavity resonator commonly used in radar waveguide applications.
Are you familiar with the process of 'SNR' or 'Signal to Noise Ratio'?
SNR transreceive can be accomplished on lower frequencies, typically MF and lower HF but it requires huge antennae - particularly for the Receive end.
Specifically the db level of the signal is lower than that of the db level of all background 'Noise' (white or cosmic noise). The receive antennae MUST be either a perfect wavelength match or a very precise harmonic - maybe even second or third harmonic depending on ambient RF conditions.
It is very doable but is far too expensive to be practicable or useful. The beauty of the SNR method is SECURITY !! The actual signal is undectable because it is lower than the noise but it is transmitted in a spread spectrum technique of huge breadth - I mean HUGE !!
This would catch Grahams imagination.

My reply:

Thanks Larry,

good to hear from you.

Yes, the transmission of signals below noise level is very interesting. The spread spectrum technique could conceivably provide for a method of data transmission for mobile phones and broadband computering that is not a negative influence on our health, unlike the microwave packet transmission we're using today.

Stephan Fuelling comments by email:

Fascinating article that you put together.

I have studied aero and fluid dynamics during my Master's at the RWTH Aachen, Germany and there are a few interesting facts that I wanted to contribute:

An airfoil (i.e. the cross section of an airplane's wing) can be modeled by means of a source and a sink in a streaming medium such as air!

It tried to find a simple illustration on the web but couldn't find one, maybe I look it up in one of my books later next week.

So the airfoil is in itself like a smoke ring (cross section), only its inner part is completely taken up by the airfoil's body. Your example of the submarine closely resembles the marriage of this airfoil ('aquafoil') concept with the smoke ring/Coanda effect.

Looking on Google for an example I also stumbled upon this interesting article that talks about lift due to a vortex that is attached to an airfoil, which is much higher than that of the original airfoil!

Preview of this article: http://pdf.aiaa.org/jaPreview/AIAAJ/1986/PVJAPRE9424.pdf

Dear Stephan,

thank you for that comment, which I appended to the article.

yes, if you can find any other reference illustration, please do send it along.

Although it would require a bit of re-thinking, the implications of the use of solitons and the Coanda effect in maritime engineering are nothing short of staggering. I have for some time imagined ships such as a catamaran on two cigar-form swimmers, which could be motorized to use the "trout motor" principle Schauberger talks about and which Tom (montalk) describes very well in his article. Such propulsion should outdo anything currently available for both speed and fuel efficiency. All you'd need is an electric motor in the swimmer that expels water at the tip and sucks it back in at the rear end, similar to today's water jets, but more gentle to achieve adhesion flow and acting the other way around, i.e. back to front.

You say you tried making solitons of air in water with no positive results. Here is a possible example from my days of scuba diving.

On a dive trip to the Bahamas, someone brought an article about blowing "air rings" under water. We (unknowingly) were going to the perfect site to try it. Sure enough it worked!

You need almost exactly 15 feet of water. If memory serves well, that is the depth of 2 atmospheres of pressure. There can be no current.

We lay on our backs on the bottom of a small cove, we had gone to to dive a blue hole in it's center. While laying still take a breath and hold it. Remove the regulator from your mouth, then wait for the movement-caused eddies to die down. Exaggerating, you make a "pop" movement with your lips.

Out pops an air ring! Just like a smoke ring, but with a really cool difference. As expected the air floats up to the surface AND the air ring stays intact all the way up, expanding in diameter as it rises. At the surface it looked to be about, you guessed it, fifteen feet in diameter.

It may be a soliton, it may be the effect of compressed gas expanding as it rises or some combination of the two. It was all very unscientific, but a nifty thing to see.

Here is a comment by Philip Madsen, received by email:

Interesting. Strangely enough years ago I applied an idea to a car, that might have been similar to what you invisaged. The idea was to make the vehicle takes its own air with it thus avoiding slipstream, and the piston pressure/vacuum load.. eliminating head wind. But I'll let my writing of the time speak for itself.



STANDARD CONCEPTION: Streamlining is designing a projectile in such a manner so as to minimise atmospheric drag. There are two major components of drag.

1. friction losses rapid increase with speed
2. suction major loss but limited to atmospheric pressure

streamlining involves involves providing easy movement of air from the front to rear of projectile.

CONTRARY APPROACH: This evolved from the following considerations

A. power to a MV considerably increases with speed; its not linear,

B. a vehicle travelling at 60mph with a tail wind of 60mph eliminates the speed function in the formulae of 1&2 above. i.e. the major loss.

THEREFORE, if a motor vehicle or projectile could by its design create a pocket of atmosphere surrounding it and moving with it , friction would not exist and suction almost negligible. only the air turbulence loss, friction between the pocket atmosphere and the general environment, is involved.

MY THEORY is quite simple, will eliminate drag losses at any speed, the new losses in the design being set by the conversion factor efficiency. These involve fan design efficiency, bearing efficiency etc. We dispense with most conventional slipstream design, the vehicle can be boxcar or tubular with mininum tail modification. We are here talking about vehicles or projectiles (powered) that do not depend on atmospheric lift, that is not to say though that an aircraft might not be so designed so as to have the wings outside the dragfree pocket.

SIMPLE ? Yes. Remember the old joke about the truck driving along powered by a windmill mounted on the back turning in the wind of its own making, and this is of course a joke. But has anyone ever considered the two entirely different environmental effects using standard propellor theory, of a stationary fan in a 60mph wind versus a 60mph travelling fan in a stationary atmosphere. From standard Windmill theory, simply stated : (a) the stationary fan's rotation reduces the wind speed behind the blade by say 75% (design limits). (b) conversely the travelling fan's rotation creates a pocket of "wind" moving behind the blade at 75% (design limits) of the fans forward velocity. NOW: All you do is put your driven vehicle in the pocket of wind BEHIND the fan, eliminating the DRAG, and then recover and recycle the fans mechanical energy.


energy cost = e (to move & rotate fan) -e (recycled)

EXPERIMENTAL METHOD to verify. Place a conical body, base in the direction of motion, at the periphery of a high speed balanced rotating arm, which is driven at high speed by an electric motor which is monitored for power consumption at velocity V. P1 = W1 watts. Inside the body is a generator with fan removed.

Fit the fan blade in front of the base of the cone and repeat at the same velocity. P2=W2 watts. Due to the load of the fan W2 will be slightly greater than W1. Now load up the generator to max output still at velocity V to W3 watts. W2 will increase to W4

W4 -W3=ACTUAL POWER COST and will be lower than W1 if theory is correct.

N.B. when measuring W1 a disc equal to the weight and diameter of the fan and up against the base of the cone should be in place.

Philip Madsen

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My reply:

Thank you Philip,

your idea is interesting but I doubt whether it would work.

You have to mount the windmill in a fixed position to the car body. Even if the windmill is in front of the car, and shades the body from air friction, it will have to be pushed through the air at great cost.

By the way, has anyone ever tried to simulate or build the set-up as proposed by you?

Update Feb. 2008

I just ran into a video on YouTube which shows the idea - no telling whether it's real or not though. Probably a spoof.


Dosent a jetski use this principal and if not I am sure it would be a cheap and easy thing to retro fit.

The only problem I see is that you are not completely submersed so you deal with air and water once again as you are both above and below the surface but if you were able to displace both.

Or how about a propeller powerd plane a single wing type shape propeller in front inside a housing which surrounds the planes inner body and has 1 small hole in the tail would it provide more work seeing as the air around the inner body would produce less friction and would provide more propulsion as the air exits the rear?

I have just stumbled across this forum by accident but would like to encourage all of you who are researching toroidal phenomena to persist in doing so with great vigor. My wife, Holly, and I formed a company name HALO Orbital Technologies LLC last year. It's only function is to develop a marketable saucercraft using toroidal propulsion. I have taken my toroidal propulsion concepts as outlined in the video to the air now with the help of a young and very experienced RC aircraft engineer. We are about 4-6 weeks away from the first test flight.

We are quite pleased with the design now and are eagerly anticipating the launch.... Watch out for new "UFO" reports in May/June between and including Texas and Colorado.

We have so much knowledge to share and will do so if finances permit. We hope to make the release of this technology a profitable venture to self-fund other technologies which you will find most intriguing....

Also, I have finished part 1 of a 3-part paper I am writing. Part 1 is entitled, "The G.E.M.Stone Papers - Part 1: The Inertial Nature of Electrical Phenomena in Aether Space" and deals with empirical testing data plus mathematical analyses of the results. It defines all electricity in pure inertial terms in an "aether space' (dark energy? dark matter?). This paper explains the mystery of the total energy flowing in a circuit versus the amount consumed by the load in the circuit.

Part 2 is in progress as we speak and deals with empirical testing and theory of gravity I have witnessed and tested in both hemispheres of this planet. It is entitled, "The G.E.M.Stone Papers - Part 2: The Inertial Nature of Gravity in Aether Space". This paper shows a simple electrical test which shows vector differences in gravity between the north and south hemispheres of this planet.

Part 3 will deal with empirical testing and theory of 'magnetic' field interactions. It will be entitled, "The G.E.M.Stone Papers - Part 3: The Inertial Nature of Magnetism in Aether Space"

All three phenomena are interrelated.

You would have seen this paper before now as I submitted Part 1 to the IEEE (of which I was a member until this year). They wanted to totally own the copyright to it and when I protested they decided the content of my paper and its numerous illustrations were just too technical for their readership.

Anyway, guys, be encouraged. Several of us are working on the next great Copernican revolutions in propulsion and energy exchange.

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