MIT Engineers Fly Star Wars-inspired Plane with No Moving Parts

A glimpse into the future of aircraft with no moving parts.



PUBLISHED BY
Anna Domanska



TAGS:


3 years ago




Scientists at the Massachusetts University of Technology have built the first-ever silent airplane with no moving propellers or jet turbines and requires no fossil fuel.

The plane with no moving parts is powered by an “ionic wind,” or electro-aerodynamic thrust. The movement of ions, i.e. electrically charged atoms or molecules, provide momentum to the ionic wind.

The silent plane’s wingspan is just five meters. MIT team says one day, the technology could party propel passenger planes, or part of a fuel-efficient hybrid model.

“This is the first-ever sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system,” says Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. “This has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which really quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions.”

MIT aircraft plane with no moving parts

A new MIT plane is propelled via ionic wind. Batteries in the fuselage (tan compartment in front of plane) supply voltage to electrodes (blue/white horizontal lines) strung along the length of the plane, generating a wind of ions that propels the plane forward.
Image: Christine Y. He

MIT predicts that in the near-term, the ion wind propulsion system could be used to fly silent drones. The ion propulsion when paired with more conventional combustion systems could create more fuel-efficient, hybrid passenger planes, and other large aircraft.

The silent airplane with no moving parts is detailed in the journal Nature. It’s astounding to learn that the concept of ionic wind dates back to the 1920s.

MIT plane with no moving parts

A general blueprint for an MIT plane propelled by ionic wind. The system may be used to propel small drones and even lightweight aircraft, as an alternative to fossil fuel propulsion.

The silent airplane with no moving parts weighs about five points with a five-meter wingspan. MIT tested the design inside a gym where it successfully flew the plane a distance of 60 meters. The test was repeated ten times.

Anna Domanska
Anna Domanska is an Industry Leaders Magazine author possessing wide-range of knowledge for Business News. She is an avid reader and writer of Business and CEO Magazines and a rigorous follower of Business Leaders.

Recent Posts

Nokia to launch T20 tablet with 10.36 inch display

Nokia to launch T20 tablet with 10.36 inch display

The Nokia T20 will sport a 10.36-inch display and will have 4 GB RAM along with 64 gigs of native storage.
2 days ago
Ford sees surprise Q2 profit despite chip shortage and manufacturing hassles

Ford sees surprise Q2 profit despite chip shortage and manufacturing hassles

“The business is ‘spring loaded’ for a rebound when semiconductor supplies stabilize and more closely match demand.”
2 days ago
Audi A6 E-tron Production Launch in 2023

Audi A6 E-tron Production Launch in 2023

Audi has confirmed that there will be multiple variants of the etron, including “basic versions optimized for minimum consumption and maximum range.
3 days ago
Royal Dutch Shell buyback lifts investor sentiment

Royal Dutch Shell buyback lifts investor sentiment

Royal Dutch Shell commences share buybacks before the end of this year while reducing its first quarter dividend to 16 cents per share, a 66% cut.
3 days ago
Citizens Financial to acquire Investors Bancorp in $3.5 billion NYC push

Citizens Financial to acquire Investors Bancorp in $3.5 billion NYC push

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. and Investors Bancorp announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger in a cash-and-stock deal worth $3.5 billi
4 days ago
Apple Q3 Earnings Break Records Again!

Apple Q3 Earnings Break Records Again!

Apple Q3 earnings prove the Cupertino giant remains unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic as sales rise across all product lines.
4 days ago