Compressed AIR MOTOR Runs Car (Jan, 1932)

Compressed AIR MOTOR Runs Car

EITHER the era of “free air” is about to come to an end, or the cost of motoring is about to be reduced to practically nothing. In an amazing demonstration conducted recently in Los Angeles a standard automobile chassis, powered with a newly-developed compressed air motor, whizzed around the city streets at not one cent of cost to the driver for fuel.

The engine, which is the result of six years of research by Roy J. Meyers, resembles in general appearance a radial airplane motor. It is mounted in an upright position in the same space occupied by a gasoline motor in standard cars.

  1. jayessell says: September 24, 20066:34 pm

    Modern compressed air car:

    The article seems to describe a perpetual motion machine.
    A battery heats the air as it enters the engine and then
    the air returns to the tank?
    Not one cent for fuel?
    Even the people of 1932 must have wondered about the cost
    of compressing the air.
    I’d like to see the letters from readers in the
    months following this article.

  2. […] […]

  3. Justin says: November 15, 200712:05 am

    so does this car actually run on compressed air or is it more of a sterling-heat engine?

  4. rangani yogesh says: February 29, 20088:12 am

    it is good invention for our future ,i salute them bywhom developed this car.

  5. NeoSaint99 says: April 10, 20082:13 am

    What is the source of this advert?
    I have found it on several sites but am still unable to find out where it came from
    As mentioned above, it seems to discribe a perpetual motion machine
    This sort of machine cannot exist according to the laws of classical physics
    And this machine definitely operates according to these laws by the description of it

  6. Charlie says: April 10, 20089:19 am

    This site is the original source for the scan. The original is from the January 1932 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine.

  7. Rishabh Chaddha says: May 3, 200812:49 pm


  8. Paresh says: May 4, 20089:01 am


  9. jayessell says: May 4, 20083:11 pm
  10. jayessell says: May 4, 20083:17 pm

    Google for FRENCH AIR CAR

  11. jayessell says: May 4, 20083:26 pm

    It’s like an electric car but using compressed air tanks
    instead of rechargeable batteries.
    Energy is needed to compress the air but there’s
    nothing stopping it from being wind, solar, hydro or nuclear.
    No greenhouse gases!
    And… no toxic battery materials!

    (Sheesh! Why am I having trouble posting?)

  12. Carl Pinkston says: May 16, 20089:31 am

    Come on, it is a joke… he was a scammer.. similar to his invention “the absorber” that gets electricy out of the air, while he was serving his prison time in arizona..

  13. Matt Burkholder says: May 31, 20087:52 am

    There appear to be two discussions going on around this ad. First the ad does appear to be a scam. Where it claims to be heated, used, cooled, and returned to the tank is a process that is not possible without outside energy. He is describing a perpetual motion machine which cannot exist. I though at one point it was referring to getting free air from filling stations (they used to do that) to run your car at no cost. That would have been possible unit the owners caught on and started charging for air.

    Second, there are groups working on legitimate air cars that use compressed air to power the vehicle. Air power may be a cheaper, simpler, better way to store power and transport it with the vehicle. Any claims about ‘zero pollution’ depend entirely on the source of the power used to compress the air. If that power source is fossil fuels then the car still produces carbon emissions.

    Unfortunately bad science like the ad above continues to spread. I watched a show on one of the ‘factual’ channels (discovery or history) talking about modern air powered cars and motors. The announcer made the implication the you could use a air motor to run your compressor to power your air motor. Another impossible machine!

  14. Eliyahu says: May 31, 20089:16 am

    If the car were actually able to create its own compressed air as it goes, why would it need four huge cylinders of compressed air on the back? Even if we allow for some possible regenerative braking to recover some air into the system, the basic principles of thermodynamics teach us that you can’t get something from nothing. In other words, there’s no such thing as free lunch, and perpetual motion machines won’t work any better now than they did during the hayday of such scammers.

  15. compressed air motor says: June 2, 20089:19 am

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  16. Mike says: June 13, 200810:15 pm

    i like this concept… im interested in learning how to build one. i’ve been researching how to take any car currently i pick up for cheap and doing the same concept and converting the gas motor and sealing it and making it compressed air engine. it has been done before and im very interested so if anyone knows more about this e-mail me 🙂

  17. JD says: June 17, 20084:43 pm

    Sure glad to see The Air Car discussed. Taking a light weight front engined rear wheel drive vehicle, pull engine & radiator, clutch assembly. Bolt a freewheeling radial air motor to the transmission. Install carbon fiber air tank where motor & radiator was. Use a needle valve & safty valve between air tank and motor for speed control & psi reduction. Put small scuba compressor in trunk with geared down DC motor to pump up main air tank. Add solar panels on roof, trunk and hood to drive the DC motor. Hopefully you could compress air for 20 to 30 miles of city driving per day in Sunny climates. Sincerely Submitted, JDH

  18. yusef neimat says: July 5, 20088:46 am

    i am yusef from gordan cuontery arab i have invention motor car and he work from onther think not petrol i am relly want help the peopl in the world my invention storing

  19. de Charentenay says: July 9, 20088:52 am

    He guys, I’m trying to buy one of those ‘French’ air compressed cars (as I’m in France should not be so difficult) but cannot find anyone who want to sell it. Even MDI motors, on their website, you can just say you are interested. (Very French : invent but avoid selling, money can hurt).

    Anyone who has an idea where I can buy for real that stuff ?

    As I just have to go to office in the morning and back home in the evening, which is a total 40 km, this is the most perfect solution for me. No gazoline, no batteries, a roof for rain, and 4 weel to stick on snow.

    Maybe I’m not the only one in this situation. Say… 100 million potential customers !



  20. Dan says: August 1, 20085:58 am

    This article does not describe a perpetual motion machine as suggested by some posts as it requires an electric heater running from a battery. It is however still great technology and is currently being developed by various companies who are aiming at putting it into production. Including Tata and Ford. A copmany in Melbourne have developed an engine for the car


  21. Peter Tew says: August 19, 200812:25 pm

    Just read where Tata Motors of India (world’s first $2500 car) is in negotiations with MDI in France to go into production of an “air motor” vehicle. Maybe that’s why you can’t buy one yet. I would like to see a commercial alternative-fuel car just to show the world we know how to do it!

  22. Toronto says: September 6, 200811:16 am

    But compressed air isn’t an energy source, it’s a storage medium, like hydrogen or batteries or big rubber bands.

    It does, in theory, allow offsets such as not burning stuff in high-density situations, or using ‘off peak’ power to recharge, or using wind/solar/atomic power indirectly for transportation.

  23. jayessell says: September 7, 20085:05 am

    Like I said in #11.

    One company is trying to develop a dual action engine.
    Compressed air for short trips, internal combustion for long trips.

  24. ws160 says: October 28, 20081:26 pm

    People keep ref to the above as an ad. I got the impression it was a one page news account just like they print today in Popular Science or Popular Mec. there is another company Magnetic Air Car Inc. that is putting together a phototype in Calif. They are an R&D think tank. they want to prove the concept, then lic it out to auto builders to put into production. It uses batteries to get the who thing started,

  25. Doug says: January 17, 20095:53 am

    Great idea, one of the Haynes Saucer is a flying car that uses this same principal of green technology. works great

  26. Prof. BR Singh says: January 24, 200911:14 am

    In fact that very idea is not new. Air Engine were developed in 1762 and it is regular use in mines too. But to cater the transport technology in now a days as alternate is need on account of air pollution which is main cause of Global Warming and subsequent effect on mankind as well on society.

    Thus it should be develop in fast way as alternate to IC Engine which may also make sustainability to fossil fuel apert from reduction in huge pollutant being released through tail pipe.
    I am also working on Air Engine for motorcycle and design research is over.

    Wishing all the best to Mechanical Engineers who are responsible for this situation and find best alternate transport technology .

    Prof Bharat Raj Singh, Lucknow, UP, India.

  27. Brook Hayes says: February 24, 200912:18 am

    I have an original article from James Prescott Joule and Lord kelvin in 1851 on the air engine that they designed. Just think, 158 years later, we are starting to catch up with their research! The key issue is the pressure tank(s). There are aluminum, iron, and carbon metal alloys that need to be perfected soon to reduce or eliminate the pressure and safety issues. We do NOT need a Hindenberg disaster to stop progress for 50 years. NASA had a solar operated device with a motor at each wheel. The air engines at each wheel might be better than dealing with one larger engine and transmission systems to each wheel. A separate tank for each motor and wheel would reduce both size and dangers of the use of a large tank. Hope these ideas may be of value(I’m an inventor, too).

  28. david maybury says: July 30, 20103:54 am

    looking for sellers of cars that run on compressed air

  29. Didier says: August 2, 201012:54 am

    To know all about the Airpod, a small city vehicle running on compressed air, have a look at my site The car is expected to be marketed by the end of this year, by the Luxemburg company MDI, with its first plant in Nice, France. Two are already in use on Amsterdam airport and one has been aquired by the Miami science museum. The car carries a 230 liter carbon fibre air tank filled at 350 bar. It should run for 200 km at a maximum speed of 70 km/hour, and cost around 6000 to 7000 euros.

  30. Richard says: April 16, 20116:01 am

    There is a car being developed in San jose, ca. that is based on this car research. Tata cars in India run on compressed air as well as a Korean car. Perpetual motopn it is not. The main reason this car did not take off is due to car and oil companies cheap gas engines.

  31. Toronto says: April 16, 20113:13 pm

    Richard: Most Tata’s run off perfectly ordinary petroleum fuels when they’re not setting fire to themselves.

    Most Kia’s don’t catch fire but also use petroleum.

    And I know of no oil company making any gas engine, cheap or otherwise. You still need power to compress the air: it’s a storage medium, like a battery.

    (Petrol *is* sold far too cheaply. That’s why a product can be made from raw materials mined in North America, shipped to China, and shipped back and still be cheap.)

  32. hakeem says: January 5, 20123:56 am

    sure we will make that kind of vehicle ,soon

  33. […] Source: Modern Mechanix, 1932 […]

  34. […] Compressed AIR MOTOR Runs Car […]

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