T Builds Revolutionary New Plane With No Moving Parts

A plane powered by supercharged air particles

They have flown the plane without moving parts on contrary to Wright Brothers plane, that flew with the help of moving parts such as propellers, turbine blades, fans, powered by the combustion of fossil fuels or battery.

Researchers at MIT have revealed video footage of what could be the beginning of a new aeronautic revolution where aircraft of the future are super-quiet gliders.

Scientists have taken a major step towards creating an aircraft of the future, one powered by an ion drive rather than using moving parts and fuel like conventional aircraft.

Illustration of the world's first ionic-wind-powered aircraft.

As they flow, they collide with air molecules, creating thrust - enough for a flight of up to 197ft.

The flight is a milestone in "ionic wind" technology and could pave the way for quieter and environmentally cleaner aircraft in the future, engineers said when they published their findings in the journal Nature on Wednesday. The plane, which weighs about 5.5 pounds and has a wingspan of 16 feet, flew steadily, but the researchers didn't cut the power quickly enough and it kept going until it crashed into the far wall of the gymnasium.

To get airborne, V2 relies on generating an electrical field near an array of thin filaments called "emitters" at the front of the wing to ionize the air. Wires near the front of the wing are positively charged, while others in the back are negatively charged, and ions are sent barreling back to those negatively-charged wires in a sort of magnetic pull. Testing the design inside a gym, the team successfully flew the plane a distance of 60 meters, a feat that was repeated 10 times.

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The main challenge facing the team now is designing a smaller battery which can produce more ionic winds with a lesser voltage. A silent aircraft with no moving parts may be advantageous as an urban monitoring vehicle or for transporting small packages, thus avoiding the annoying noise pollution generated by mechanically propelled drones. "But I started looking into this and went through a period of about five years, working with a series of graduate students to improve fundamental understanding of how you could reduce ionic winds efficiently, and how that could be optimised".

The flight is the result of nearly a decade of work on the concept, a project that saw the researchers dusting off and updating concepts from the 1960s to the point that powered flight was actually possible. Ideally, Barrett would like to design an aircraft with no visible propulsion system or control surfaces. "It needs to be more efficient, fly for longer, and fly outside". Down the line, the team hopes to combine ion propulsion with traditional thrust systems to create larger hybrid aircraft, potentially even cargo and passenger planes.

Prof Barrett said: "This was the simplest possible plane we could design that could prove the concept an ion plane could fly".

Prof Guy Gratton, an aerospace engineer and visiting professor at Cranfield University, said: "It's clearly very early days: but the team at MIT have done something we never previously knew was possible in using accelerated ionised gas to propel an aircraft".

Dr Barrett added: "It took a long time to get here".

"You could imagine all sorts of military or security benefits to having a silent propulsion system with no infrared signature", said MIT professor Steven Barrett, a co-author on the Nature study.



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