MIT researchers did a test run of a 2.45 kg experimental aircraft that was able to propel itself 60 meters without any turbines or moving parts. If scaled up, this technology could result in planes with no fuel combustion emissions.
Make your home smarter than the average home
Make your life smarter, simpler, and more convenient with IoT enabled TVs, speakers, fans, bulbs, locks and more.
Click here to know more
It might sound something straight out of science fiction that a plane without any moving parts is able to stay in flight. However, researchers at MIT have achieved this feat with a 2.45 kg plane that uses electroaerodynamic propulsion to fly for 60 meters. The technology used for making this possible had been around since the 1960s, reports MIT Technology Review. However, at that time, researchers concluded that enough thrust could not be created to keep a plane in flight. Steven Barrett, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT took an interest in the research in 2009 and came up with an idea of how to refine the technology so that it could be used to fly a plane.
Electroaerodynamic propulsion is based on the concept of ionic wind. To achieve flight, the plane uses high voltage to generate ions around two electrodes. In this case, 40,000 volts was applied to do so. When the electrodes are charged, an electric field is created between them, which causes ions to be transferred from a smaller electrode to the larger one. On their way, the ions collide with normal air particles and create ionic wind, which propels the plane forward. As ions are moving between the two electrodes that create thrust, there are no moving parts involved.
While it took Barrett and his team about nine years to successfully implement the technology, this technology needs to be refined further. The plane is barely able to carry its own weight and it was tested inside a wind-free gym with only about 12 seconds of air time. “Although it is still a long way off from commercial gas turbine propulsion … electroaerodynamic propulsion has the potential to be a game-changer for short-range, small-payload drone flights,” Priyanka Dhopade, a researcher at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute, said.
Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of Thinkdigit.com as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.
We are about leadership-the 9.9 kind! Building a leading media company out of India.And,grooming new leaders for this promising industry.