impeller n.

a device used to produce propulsive thrust


  • 1936 C. W. Diffin Blue Magic in Astounding Stories Jan. 97/1 page image Charles Willard Diffin bibliography

    In my little ship the impeller was only a foot across. Yet it brought me here.

  • 1940 E. Hamilton Three Planeteers in Startling Stories Jan. iv. 26/2 page image Edmond Hamilton bibliography

    He shot floatingly away from the wreck. As his momentum faded and he began to float back toward the wreck, Thorn switched on the impeller in his hand. The blast from it kicked his space-suited figure on through space.

  • 1951 R. A. Heinlein Puppet Masters xviii. 98 page image Robert A. Heinlein bibliography

    There were no more shots, which was good, as I would have been a duck on water from then on. My starboard impeller began to run hot, possibly from the near miss or perhaps simply from abuse. I let it heat, praying that it would not fly apart, for another ten minutes. Then, with the Mississippi behind me and the indicator 'way up into "danger" I cut it out and let the car limp along on the port unit.

  • 1966 P. Anderson Ensign Flandry iv. 27 page image Poul Anderson bibliography

    Truly his gravity impeller wouldn’t lug him much further until the capacitors were recharged. He didn’t plan to use it again.

  • 1980 B. Daley Han Solo and the Lost Legacy xiii. 137 page image Brian Daley bibliography

    ‘Hot pursuit,’ answered Han. ‘No time to punch tickets, folks: stay gripped!’ He rammed up the impeller control, red-zoning the engine. The hover-raft shot out of the cave, nearly losing Bollux, who had been in the process of boarding. Badure and Chewbacca dragged him aboard.

  • 1983 J. May Nonborn King iii. v. 273 page image Julian May bibliography

    The sky was brilliant cobalt without a cloud, and the air almost dead calm; but the vessel was making a steady six knots, its solar-powered impeller augmented by metapsychic thrust from the PK specialists on watch.

  • 1993 D. Weber On Basilisk Station ii. 27 page image David Weber bibliography

    The impeller drive created a pair of stressed gravity bands above and below a ship—a wedge, open at both ends, though the forward edge was for deeper than the after one—capable in theory of instant acceleration to light speed. Of course, that land of acceleration would turn any crew to gory goo; even with modern inertial compensators, the best acceleration any warship could pull under impeller was well under six hundred gravities, but it had been a tremendous step forward.

  • 2003 J. Ringo There Will Be Dragons iii. 31 page image John Ringo bibliography

    Take for example power skiing. All that you had to work with was a small T handle. This generated a shield-shaped force-field under foot and an impeller wave. The impeller could be used to hover the craft or push it forward. By driving forward over the water, with the anti-gravity neutralized, the system could be used to ski across the surface of the water using weight to adjust the angle of attack and turns.

  • 2021 C. J. Anders Victories Greater Than Death xiii. 69 Charlie Jane Anders bibliography

    The locker contains the makings of a personal impeller—basically, a jetpack that can go up to a dozen miles per second—and I can’t even see how they fit together.

Research requirements

antedating 1936

Earliest cite

Charles W. Diffin, in Astounding

Research History
Suggested, and most cites submitted, by Ben Ostrowsky.

Last modified 2021-09-02 14:18:43
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.