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MIT researchers fly first-ever aircraft with no moving parts

Every aircraft requires moving parts to push air around to help them fly. However, researchers have successfully fl
Published November 23, 2018 Updated November 24, 2018

Every aircraft requires moving parts to push air around to help them fly. However, researchers have successfully flown a new aircraft without any moving parts, flying it simply on ionic wind.

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created and successfully flown an ionic wind powered aircraft that does not use any moving parts to help make it fly.

Taking his inspiration from ‘Star Trek’, researcher Stephen Barrett said, “In the long-term future, planes shouldn’t have propellers and turbines. They should be more like the shuttles in Star Trek, that have just a blue glow and silently glide.”

The aircraft is not, however, like an actual commercial airplane-sized, but is a 16ft wide machine that stays airborne with the help of charging wires with a high enough voltage of 40,000V that they strip negatively-charged electrons from air molecules, which are quickly attracted to negative electrodes at the aircraft’s back, leaving the air ionized. The collisions from the newly-formed ionic wind produces the thrust required to keep the aircraft aloft, reported Engadget.

Moreover, it should be kept in mind that despite this aircraft’s flight was a successful one, it will still take it a long time to use this technology high in the skies. This ionic-powered aircraft is an uncrewed model weighing only 2.45kg. It merely flew 197ft across a gym, and needed a large electrode to produce enough thrust.

Being aware of this fact, researchers believe that their technology can be used for powering smaller drones rather than entire passenger planes. However, one of the researchers also claim that this could be used in combination with traditional plane engines for making the overall craft more fuel efficient by re-energizing the air that passes over the aircraft and eliminating drag, reported The Verge.

“This is the first-ever sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system. This has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which are quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions,” Barrett said.


Video Courtesy: nature video

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018

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