From Theory to Reality: The Magnetic Air Car


By Ed Martinez
October 27, 2009

Have you ever heard about the magnetic air car? It’s not a new concept and most definitely not a car making its debut in the latest Hollywood blockbuster—at least not yet. The idea of a magnetic air car is derived from a concept developed by J.M. Custer more than 75 years ago. In 1932, he not only built the world’s first compressed air car, but he also had a working prototype that actually ran. His vehicle utilized an engine that was developed by Roy J. Meyers, the inventor of the “Absorber.” The “Absorber” was a device that absorbed electricity from the air, which could then be converted into usable energy.

The car consisted of four fuel tanks filled with compressed air that made it possible to drive for 500 miles at a speed of about 35 miles per hour. The engine required no mechanical moving parts traditionally found in gasoline motors—no cooling or ignition systems, nor a carburetor.

Custer’s concept has resurfaced, and a company in the heart of Silicon Valley is developing a prototype vehicle that is going to revolutionize our mode of transportation—as we know it. I caught up with Steven Leonard from Magnetic Air Motors, Inc. and spoke to him about his remarkable endeavor. Leonard is a visionary and a modern-day Tesla in his own right. The technology he is developing will provide abundant, inexpensive, non-polluting energy that will not only power vehicles, but homes, ships, planes, appliances, etc.

I asked Leonard what prompted him to begin working on this concept and learned that it was the work of Chen Ning Yang from Princeton and Tsung-Dao Lee from Columbia University. “They wrote a theory on a motor … building a motor in which more energy goes out than goes in. They proved their theory and won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957. Based on that assumption, it can be done,” Leonard noted. This was his inspiration and because of the work of Yang and Lee, he wrote a book called ‘Magnetic Air Cars, The History of Magnetic Motors and Compressed Air Cars,’ and dedicated the book to them and other visionaries and inventors like Thomas Bearden, Dr. Nikola Tesla and Joseph Newman—just to name a few.

Having a great deal of experience in mechanics, Leonard understood the concept and physics behind the theory. “I met with Paul Donovan, who was a thirty-year master mechanic also. He asked me if I could fill up two 10-gallon tanks in ten minutes at 200 psi. I came back to him about two weeks later, and I told him I could do it in 19 seconds,” exclaimed Leonard. Paul is now the chief technical officer of Magnetic Air Motors, Inc. The team is also composed of other prominent individuals, including Jim Vye, president and CEO. Jim worked as a program manager for Hughes Aircraft. He helped manufacture the cruise missile. Ron Powers is an advisor to the company. He helped design mock-ups for the space shuttle and the international space station. “We’ve got a pretty good dynamic engineering team that actually believes that we can take this from a theory and turn it into reality,” added Leonard.

I asked Leonard how the new prototype is going to work. “The biggest challenge is, can we fill up two ten-gallon tanks in approximately 10 minutes? That is the key. We have to have enough free energy to do that,” he explained. He plans on using a pump compressor that will fill the tanks at 200 psi, which requires 17 horsepower. The magnetic motor can provide the 17 horsepower needed, but it can actually provide a total of 33 horsepower. A simple 12-volt battery starts the motor. The pump compressor drives an air cycle machine. “The air cycle machine is basically air bearing turbochargers … I don’t have to prove that air bearings are the future, because NASA and Toyota have already stated that they are the future of all propulsion systems on the planet. If they say it, it must be true … if I say it, it’s not,” jokingly added Leonard. The main benefit of air bearings is that they do not require oil or fluids or any maintenance for about one hundred years.

The prototype will have a total of four air bearing turbochargers. “You have to remember that air bearing turbochargers are designed to run F-22 aircrafts. They are also putting air bearing turbochargers on 767 airbuses. Air bearings provide energy, just like fuel does. You’ve seen what a hurricane can do. I can put a level 5 hurricane under your hood,” Leonard exclaimed.

Magnetic Air Motors, Inc. technology diagram.

The problem he has to overcome is not pressure, but how it’s released and controlled—how to keep the car from blowing up. The key, he noted, is not to over-engineer and only allow 80 percent of the pressure to operate it. “That will give you more than enough and still break all speed records,” he added. The prototype will not have a transmission, as most vehicles do. Instead, he will be using a pneumatic torque converter, which will bring the compressed air to the wheels.

Leonard also plans on adding computer intelligence to the motor in the prototype. He is adding GPS and UHF as communication devices to interact with the vehicle. “You will be able to turn the power on and off remotely. You will also be able to log in and access the vehicle through a website to see how the motor is running, and also gather data,” he concluded.

Leonard is indeed a visionary who is working aggressively to complete the design and have a prototype up and running later this year. He has support from local, state and federal government agencies. He believes that providing a new abundant, non-polluting, inexpensive electromagnetic energy to power the world can solve the energy crisis. Keep an eye out for Steven Leonard and Magnetic Air Motors, Inc. in the near future. Rumor has it, his prototype could be featured in an upcoming motion picture.

Post a comment