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:


2 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.

Avatar
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

Weak US job report results in volatile market

Weak US job report results in volatile market

A weak job report resulted in a record close on Friday for the US stocks. The US labor department’s monthly non-farm payrolls report revealed employers hired 266,000 new workers
20 hours ago
Star and Blackstone launch bids to buyout Australia’s Crown Resorts

Star and Blackstone launch bids to buyout Australia’s Crown Resorts

A bidding war has broken out between Australian casino company Star Entertainment Group and US private equity investor Blackstone Group over Crown Resorts, Australia’s bigges
20 hours ago
5 Most Expensive Divorce Settlements in History

5 Most Expensive Divorce Settlements in History

Almost half of the marriages end in divorce is an oft-quoted adage, but surprisingly, this is not true in today’s world. The reasons are varied, gender equality, the higher p
2 days ago
JPMorgan Chase appoints two new CIOS in bid to make its C-suite more diverse

JPMorgan Chase appoints two new CIOS in bid to make its C-suite more diverse

JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by assets, has appointed two new executives to head its information units in a bid to make its workforce more inclusive and increase racial an
2 days ago
US solar energy sector sees 7% drop in jobs

US solar energy sector sees 7% drop in jobs

The U.S. solar industry witnessed a 7% cut in jobs due to the coronavirus and increasing use of labor-saving tech in the industry, according to an industry report. Job decline is n
2 days ago
Blackstone puts in an offer of $1.68 billion for St Modwen

Blackstone puts in an offer of $1.68 billion for St Modwen

Blackstone, the private equity firm, is planning to acquire St Modwen Properties, a logistics and housing developer, for £1.2bn ($1.68 billion) in a bid to take advantage of the P
4 days ago