This unique toy is based on an idea from the 1860s. Namely, an upward-gliding airship, which was actually built and flown by a Dr. Solomon Andrews of New Jersey, long before the Wright Brothers lifted off. A book was written about this airship and attempts to improve it, by best-selling author John McPhee, in his classic, “The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed.” The book has developed something of a cult following for “airship believers.” Highly recommended!
A corporation was formed in the late 1960s to accomplish improvements to the Andrews’ airship, but, in spite of millions of dollars spent, the various designs never worked. In the mid-1990s, elementary school teacher and inventor, Daniel Geery (aka yours truly!), read that book and realized that the same principles could likely be tested in water, relatively easily and cheaply. After 5,000 attempts to make a lateral-gliding water model, the AquaGlider was the result, the first modification of Archimedes' 2,500 year old principle explaining how things float.
You can also Google “waterwing in air” to watch an air-borne version gliding up on a YouTube video. Though this design doesn’t change density and is tied to a fishing string, it does demonstrate that a properly crafted vehicle can cruise laterally upward in air. I also made a number of smaller models, with about a three foot wingspan, but unfortunately failed to capture them on film.
Due to various improvements in materials and much greater ease of engineering, I shifted to a different design, now known as the Hyperblimp, which can be seen in action at www.hyperblimp.com (be sure to check the videos under the gallery tab, as well as the video on the homepage there).
Additionally, my novel, A Summer with Freeman, is available through Amazon, Kindle, and other book sellers. This fast-paced, adventure-filled book describes how the AquaGlider works, through one of the more inventive characters. I would call this an extremely humorous, coming-of-age novel, recommended for anyone 14 years or older--a "modern day Huck Finn," if you will, taking place in the late 1950s on Long Island, New York.
WARNING! This is a gliding toy, NOT a buoyancy or flotation device or a life preserver - do NOT use it to float with,
and do NOT swim after it in deep water, unless you are a very good swimmer. Adult supervision IS NECESSARY for non-swimmers.
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