HISTORY

 
History of Inventor Fred Ferguson

1978 to 1980: The Magnus Spherical Airship:

(See Walter Cronkite Interview)

 

The Magnus Spherical Airship was invented by Fred Ferguson in 1978. This unique airship utilized the "Magnus Effect" for the first time in lighter-than-air-craft.  The Magnus Airship was a large, round, helium-filled sphere that rotated backwards as the airship flew forward, producing lift ("Magnus Effect").  Magnus Lift was generated proportional to the airspeed flowing over the sphere; the faster the vehicle the higher the Magnus Lift. This is the same effect which allows a baseball thrown by pitcher to 'curve', or a golf ball  hit by a golfer to 'slice'.

The Magnus Spherical Airship was designed to carry heavy payloads. The resulting Magnus lift at cruise speed was greater than the buoyant lift and total lift could be up to 60 tons.

The Magnus Airship received the attention of General Abrhamson, the director of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or Star Wars program in the 1980's.  The General asked Fred "If you could lift 60 tons to an altitude of 1,000-ft, how much payload could you carry to 60,000-ft?" This discussion led to a contract for a lighter-than-air platform that could carry surveillance equipment to high altitudes as a warning system for enemy missiles launched against the United States.

Several designs were completed but when the Star Wars project was cancelled the Magnus Airship Project lost funding.

This design was later (30 years) used as a potential source of renewable power, converting the spinning motion of a tethered platform electricity and it became the Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS turbine).

1993 to 1998: Heavy Lift or High Altitude Airship: 

In 1993 and 1994 Fred Ferguson was awarded two patents on a Dirigible Airship.  This was an airship in the form of a self-powered, elongated dirigible comprised of at least three sections connected together by flexible joints. The sections including a front section with propulsion devices and control surfaces, at least one intermediate section designed to carry a payload and a rear section with control surfaces. The flexible joints allowed limited articulation between sections under gust conditions, thus absorbing in-flight stresses. No heavy internal supporting structure was required and maximum lift would be provided for payload.  Cost per ton-mile would be as economical as surface transport.

This airship was designed so that was the same technology could be used for either for Heavy lift or for High Altitude applications.  The Heavy lift Airship would have aircrews and deliver payloads to remote areas or could be used by companies like FedEx or UPS for normal movement of goods between cities at a lower cost per ton-mile.

 

The High Altitude Airship was designed to be unmanned and would carry a lighter payload, (communications / surveillance gear) and sufficient fuel to stay on-station at high altitude for 3 to 6 weeks.  

 

In 1998 the heavy lift-type 48-foot long x 6-foot diameter Sectional Remote Powered Vehicle (RPV) was flown by Thomas Wolstenholme and Fred Ferguson over Pasteje, north of Toluca (Mexico) at about 10,000 feet ASL.

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2004 to 2010: Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS):

 

See Project Earth, Infinite Winds Episode on Discovery Channel (Infinite Winds preview starts at minute 34:30)

Magenn Power was founded by Mac Brown and Fred Ferguson. The Magenn Air Rotor System (MARS) was designed to be the next generation of wind turbines with cost and performance advantages over existing systems.  MARS was designed to operate at 1,000 feet where winds are stronger.

MARS is a lighter than air tethered wind turbine that rotates about a horizontal axis in response to wind, generating electrical energy. This electrical energy is transferred down the tether for consumption, or to a set of batteries or the power grid. Helium sustains the Magenn Air Rotor System, which ascends to an altitude (up to 1,000 feet) as selected by the operator for the best winds. Its rotation also generates the “Magnus” effect. This aerodynamic phenomenon provides additional lift, and helps keep the MARS stabilized.

The Magnus effect causes MARS to pull up overhead to maximize altitude rather than drift downwind on its tether.

 

The higher winds at 1,000-ft increase the total lift and keep the MARS tether tight to maximize power output.

 

Discovery Channel did a seven-part series called Project Earth and an one hour special, 'Infinite Winds' which featured Fred Ferguson and his Magenn Air Rotor System. 

 

For more information, please see videos here:

2010 to 2020: Waterotor Energy Technologies (W.E.T.)

Realizing the water has 840 times more energy density than the air, Fred Ferguson decided to take the design of the Magenn Air Rotor System and put it under water.  SUCCESS.  After years of testing, redesigning and retesting Waterotor has brought the efficiencies of a simple Savonius rotor (8%) to near 36%.

The Waterotor breakthrough is that it is a high drag and high lift device.  No other water technology has these qualities.  The US Patent office opined that Waterotor is a GAME CHANGING BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY, it is a new era of energy capture due to an entirely different turbine blade design (the blade has high lift plus high drag)."and the design of the blade is very unique and should be called the "Ferguson Blade" named after its inventor Fred Ferguson

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Patents by Inventor Frederick D. Ferguson

 

Frederick D. Ferguson has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Information below is from JUSTIA Patent Site.

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR IMPROVED WATER ROTORS

Publication number: 20170241397

Abstract: According to some embodiments, a drum may be submerged in water and extend horizontally along a center axis between a first point on a first side of the drum and a second point on a second side of the drum opposite the first side. Three curved vanes may be attached to the drum such that the vanes, when acted upon by a water flow perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis, wherein an edge portion of each vane, located substantially opposite the drum, defines a plane substantially parallel to a plane defined by a surface of the drum located between the edge portion and the axis. An electrical generator coupled to the drum may convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy.

Type: Application

Filed: December 2, 2016

Publication date: August 24, 2017

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Systems and methods for improved water rotors

Patent number: 9739253

Abstract: According to some embodiments, a drum may be submerged in water and extend horizontally along a center axis between a first point on a first side of the drum and a second point on a second side of the drum opposite the first side. Three curved vanes may be attached to the drum such that the vanes, when acted upon by a water flow perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis, wherein an edge portion of each vane, located substantially opposite the drum, defines a plane substantially parallel to a plane defined by a surface of the drum located between the edge portion and the axis. An electrical generator coupled to the drum may convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy.

Type: Grant

Filed: December 2, 2016

Date of Patent: August 22, 2017

Assignee: WATEROTOR ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES INC.

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

Systems and methods to generate electricity using a three vane water turbine

Patent number: 9512816

Abstract: According to some embodiments, a drum may be submerged in water and extend horizontally along a center axis between a first point on a first side of the drum and a second point on a second side of the drum opposite the first side. Three curved vanes may be attached to the drum such that the vanes, when acted upon by a water flow perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis, wherein an edge portion of each vane, located substantially opposite the drum, defines a plane substantially parallel to a plane defined by a surface of the drum located between the edge portion and the axis. An electrical generator coupled to the drum may convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy.

Type: Grant

Filed: September 20, 2011

Date of Patent: December 6, 2016

Assignee: WATEROTOR ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES INC.

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR IMPROVED WATER ROTORS

Publication number: 20130069372

Abstract: According to some embodiments, a drum may be submerged in water and extend horizontally along a center axis between a first point on a first side of the drum and a second point on a second side of the drum opposite the first side. Three curved vanes may be attached to the drum such that the vanes, when acted upon by a water flow perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis, wherein an edge portion of each vane, located substantially opposite the drum, defines a plane substantially parallel to a plane defined by a surface of the drum located between the edge portion and the axis. An electrical generator coupled to the drum may convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy.

Type: Application

Filed: September 20, 2011

Publication date: March 21, 2013

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Systems and methods for tethered wind turbines

Patent number: 8148838

Abstract: According to some embodiments, a plurality of airborne bodies may each extend horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point. Each body may be, for example, at least partially filled with a gas and two or more vanes may be provided airborne with each body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis. Moreover, one or more electrical generators may be airborne with each body to convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy.

Type: Grant

Filed: November 16, 2010

Date of Patent: April 3, 2012

Assignee: Magenn Power, Inc.

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR TETHERED WIND TURBINES

Publication number: 20110121578

Abstract: According to some embodiments, a plurality of airborne bodies may each extend horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point. Each body may be, for example, at least partially filled with a gas and two or more vanes may be provided airborne with each body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis. Moreover, one or more electrical generators may be airborne with each body to convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy.

Type: Application

Filed: November 16, 2010

Publication date: May 26, 2011

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR TETHERED WIND TURBINES

Publication number: 20110109097

Abstract: According to some embodiments, an airborne body extends horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point. The body may be, for example, at least partially filled with a gas. Two or more vanes may be provided airborne with the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis. Moreover, one or more tethers may be coupled to anchor the body to a third point, and one or more electrical generators may be airborne with the body to convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy. According to some embodiments, a surface airborne with the body may direct at least some of the wind force into an area defined by a vane and/or orient the airborne body in a position substantially normal to the wind force.

Type: Application

Filed: November 16, 2010

Publication date: May 12, 2011

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Systems and methods for tethered wind turbines

Patent number: 7859126

Abstract: According to some embodiments, an airborne body extends horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point. The body may be, for example, at least partially filled with a gas. Two or more vanes may be provided airborne with the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis. Moreover, one or more tethers may be coupled to anchor the body to a third point, and one or more electrical generators may be airborne with the body to convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy. According to some embodiments, each vane comprises a horizontal blade panel attached to and extending along the body.

Type: Grant

Filed: September 10, 2009

Date of Patent: December 28, 2010

Assignee: Magenn Power, Inc.

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Systems and methods for tethered wind turbines

Patent number: 7775761

Abstract: According to some embodiments, systems and methods for tethered wind turbines may be provided. In some embodiments, a system may comprise an airborne body extending horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point, wherein the body is at least partially filled with a gas. The system may further comprise, for example, two or more vanes coupled to the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis are operable to cause the body to rotate about the axis to generate a Magnus effect lifting force. According to some embodiments, the system may comprise one or more tethers coupled to anchor the body to a third point.

Type: Grant

Filed: January 25, 2008

Date of Patent: August 17, 2010

Assignee: Magenn Power, Inc.

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR TETHERED WIND TURBINES

Publication number: 20100032963

Abstract: According to some embodiments, an airborne body extends horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point. The body may be, for example, at least partially filled with a gas. Two or more vanes may be provided airborne with the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis. Moreover, one or more tethers may be coupled to anchor the body to a third point, and one or more electrical generators may be airborne with the body to convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy. According to some embodiments, each vane comprises a horizontal blade panel attached to and extending along the body.

Type: Application

Filed: September 10, 2009

Publication date: February 11, 2010

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Systems and methods for tethered wind turbines

Patent number: 7602077

Abstract: According to some embodiments, an airborne body extends horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point. The body may be, for example, at least partially filled with a gas. Two or more vanes may be provided airborne with the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis. Moreover, one or more tethers may be coupled to anchor the body to a third point, and one or more electrical generators may be airborne with the body to convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy. According to some embodiments, each vane comprises a horizontal blade panel attached to and extending along the body.

Type: Grant

Filed: July 15, 2008

Date of Patent: October 13, 2009

Assignee: Magenn Power, Inc.

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR TETHERED WIND TURBINES

Publication number: 20080296905

Abstract: According to some embodiments, an airborne body extends horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point. The body may be, for example, at least partially filled with a gas. Two or more vanes may be provided airborne with the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis, are operable to cause rotation about the axis. Moreover, one or more tethers may be coupled to anchor the body to a third point, and one or more electrical generators may be airborne with the body to convert rotational energy produced by the rotation about the axis into electrical energy. According to some embodiments, each vane comprises a horizontal blade panel attached to and extending along the body.

Type: Application

Filed: July 15, 2008

Publication date: December 4, 2008

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR TETHERED WIND TURBINES

Publication number: 20080181773

Abstract: According to some embodiments, systems and methods for tethered wind turbines may be provided. In some embodiments, a system may comprise an airborne body extending horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point, wherein the body is at least partially filled with a gas. The system may further comprise, for example, two or more vanes coupled to the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis are operable to cause the body to rotate about the axis to generate a Magnus effect lifting force. According to some embodiments, the system may comprise one or more tethers coupled to anchor the body to a third point.

Type: Application

Filed: January 25, 2008

Publication date: July 31, 2008

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Systems and methods for tethered wind turbines

Patent number: 7335000

Abstract: According to some embodiments, systems and methods for tethered wind turbines may be provided. In some embodiments, a system may comprise an airborne body extending horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point, wherein the body is at least partially filled with a gas. The system may further comprise, for example, two or more vanes coupled to the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis are operable to cause the body to rotate about the axis to generate a Magnus effect lifting force. According to some embodiments, the system may comprise one or more tethers coupled to anchor the body to a third point.

Type: Grant

Filed: May 3, 2005

Date of Patent: February 26, 2008

Assignee: Magenn Power, Inc.

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Dirigible airship

Patent number: 5348251

Abstract: An airship in the form of a self-powered, elongated dirigible which comprises at least three sections connected together by joints. The sections including a front section with propulsion devices and control surfaces, at least one intermediate section designed to carry a payload and a rear section with control surfaces. The joints allow limited articulation between sections under gust conditions and tend to return the sections to aligned condition in calm air. A cover may provide a streamline exterior shape for the airship; alternatively the sections may have rims which mate together when there is no articulation to provide a smooth exterior shape.

Type: Grant

Filed: April 5, 1993

Date of Patent: September 20, 1994

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Dirigible airship

Patent number: 5203523

Abstract: An airship in the form of a self-powered, elongated dirigible which comprises at least three sections connected together by joints. The sections including a front section with propulsion devices and control surfaces, at least one intermediate section designed to carry a payload and a rear section with control surfaces. The joints allow limited articulation between sections under gust conditions and tend to return the sections to aligned condition in calm air. A cover may provide a streamline exterior shape for the airship; alternatively the sections may have rims which mate together when there is no articulation to provide a smooth exterior shape.

Type: Grant

Filed: September 9, 1991

Date of Patent: April 20, 1993

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Aircraft having buoyant gas balloon

Patent number: 4366936

Abstract: An airship is provided utilizing a spherical balloon filled with buoyant gas such as helium at a pressure substantially greater than atmospheric so that its dimensions are substantially unaffected by changes in atmospheric pressure or temperature. The spherical balloon is rotatably mounted on a normally horizontal axle having end portions projecting from opposite sides of the balloon, and includes a rigid load supporting yoke including two arms extending upwardly from a central load supporting structure and each with an upper end suspended from the axle. The yoke arms carry engines which propel the airship in a forward direction transverse to the axle, and means are provided for rotating the balloon about the axle so that the balloon front surface moves upward relative to the centre of the balloon and provides lift due to the Magnus effect.

Type: Grant

Filed: November 4, 1981

Date of Patent: January 4, 1983

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Aircraft having buoyant gas balloon

Patent number: 4365772

Abstract: An aircraft is provided utilizing a spherical balloon filled with buoyant gas such as helium at a pressure substantially greater than atmospheric so that its dimensions are substantially unaffected by changes in atmospheric pressure or temperature. The aircraft may take the form of a self-propelled and self-contained airship, or may be merely a passive device for providing lift and intended to be towed by and controlled from a helicopter. The spherical balloon is mounted on a normally horizontal axle having end portions projecting from opposite sides of the balloon, and includes a rigid load supporting yoke including two arms extending upwardly from a central load supporting structure and each with an upper end suspended from the axle.

Type: Grant

Filed: December 16, 1981

Date of Patent: December 28, 1982

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

 
Airship

Patent number: D270829

Type: Grant

Filed: January 26, 1981

Date of Patent: October 4, 1983

Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson

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