Article from the 1930s with a concept for a Vacuum Dirigible (Sky Whale).
“LONG before the invention of the Mongolfier fire balloon, and just as soon as it was discovered that air has weight, an ingenious clergyman, the Rev. Francis Lana, S. J., suggested that the buoyancy of a vacuum might be used to make an air-craft rise (as sketched at the right). This was the first real scientific suggestion for a lighter-than-air craft; before his time, people had suggested putting dew in a vessel, because “dew has a natural tendency to rise,” as shown by its evaporation. But, unfortunately, it is hard to make a ball which can resist a pressure of a ton to the square foot without collapsing, and yet be lighter than the air it displaces.”
The Singularity’s Children SkyWhale flexes its hull to ‘swim’ through the air and uses Magneto-Hydrodynamic affecters in its hull-envelope to accelerate plasma across its skin reducing drag and providing thrust.
The SkyWhale vacuum dirigible keeps its envelope open by magnetically containing super-fluid and spinning it through a helical loop up and down its hull. This active dynamic structure employs centripetal forces to keep the envelope open and requires less mass than an equivalent passive rigid structure.