The flying machine of the future my flying machine will be heavier than air, but it will not be an airplane. It will have no wings. It will be substantial, solid, stable. You cannot have a stable airplane. The gyroscope can never be successfully applied to the airplane, for it would give a stability that would result in the machine being torn to pieces by the wind, just as the unprotected airplane on the ground is torn to pieces by a high wind.
My flying machine will have neither wings nor propellers. You might see it on the ground and you would never guess that it was a flying machine. Yet it will be able to move at will through the air in any direction with perfect safety, higher speeds than have yet been reached, regardless of weather and oblivious of "holes in the air” or downward currents. It will ascend in such currents if desired. It can remain stationary in the air, even in a wind, for great length of time. Its lifting power will not depend upon any such delicate devices as the bird has to employ, but upon positive mechanical action.“ "You will get stability through gyroscopes? I asked.
Through gyroscopic action of my engine, assisted by some devices I am not yet prepared to talk about, he replied.
Powerful air currents that may be deflected at will, if produced by engines and compressors sufficiently light and powerful, might lift a heavy body off the ground and propel it through the air, I ventured, wondering if I had grasped the inventor’s secret.
Dr. Tesla smiled an inscrutable smile. All I have to say on that point is that my airship will have neither gas bag, wings nor propellers,” he said. It is the child of my dreams, the product of years of intense and painful toil and research. I am not going to talk about it any further. But whatever my airship may be, here at least is an engine that will do things that no other engine ever has done, and that is something tangible.
Nikola Tesla Writings
Tesla’s New Monarch of Machines. New York Herald, Oct. 15, 1911.