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Ion Propulsion - The Plane With No Moving Parts


Ion Propulsion - The Plane With No Moving Parts

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Ion drive: The first flight

Researchers from MIT have flown a plane without moving parts for the first time. It is powered by an ‘ion drive’ which uses high powered electrodes to ionise and accelerate air particles, creating an ‘ionic wind’. This wind drove a 5m wide craft across a sports hall. Unlike the ion drives which have powered space craft for decades, this new drive uses air as the accelerant. The researchers say it could power silent drones.

Read the original research paper:

Read Nature’s Editorial which also raises possible concerns about how a silent drone might be used:

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The first aeroplane propelled by ionic wind

Researchers used high-voltage electrodes to ionize air and accelerate it, the resulting ionic wind produces a thrust force in the opposite direction to ion flow. In the future, the ion drive concept could be used to power cleaner and quieter aeroplanes.

Research: Flight of an aeroplane with solid-state propulsion
Haofeng Xu, Yiou He, Kieran L. Strobel, Christopher K. Gilmore, Sean P. Kelley, Cooper C. Hennick, Thomas Sebastian, Mark R. Woolston, David J. Perreault & Steven R. H. Barrett
Nature, DOI:10.1038/s41586-018-0707-9
Video footage courtesy of Steven Barrett
ion drive

Ionic wind: MIT flies first-ever plane with no moving parts - TomoNews

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — Engineers at MIT have managed to fly an airplane with no moving parts.

The aircraft was designed to resemble a glider, it weighs roughly two kilograms and has a 5-meter wingspan. The plane has two rows of wires under its wing. The row at the front end of the wing carries 20,000 volts of positively charged particles called ions.

The ions are then attracted to the row on the back end of the wing which carries a negative charge of 20,000 volts. As the ions move to the back row they collide with neutral air pushing it behind the glider and generating electroaerodynamic thrust, driving the aircraft forward. This air is called ionic wind.

According to their study, published in the journal Nature, the team tested the glider inside a gym where it managed to sustain flight and travel 60 meters, making it the first solid state flight — or flight without moving parts like turbines and propellers.

Engineers participating in the study hope this technology can be the first step towards designing aircrafts that are quieter and do not emit combustion emissions.

Engineer Steven Barret says the team was inspired by the futuristic space crafts from Star Trek. Let's hope the technology they've developed lives long and prospers.
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How Do You Build a Plane With No Moving Parts?

MIT engineers built an ion-drive powered aircraft, producing enough thrust for sustained, steady flight.

Do you have ideas on how to contribute to this topic? Start a ProjectBoard and collaborate with others:

Tesla / Slayer Ionic Propulsion

OPERATION IN A VCUUM: Time has passed since posting the video and I've learned allot about what's going on. I don't have a way to test the experiment in a vacuum, but I'm nearly positive that the vacuum chamber would look a little like a plasma globe and there would be no propuslon. The novel thing about this clip is the spinner moves forward from the negative ions coming off the copper point of the spinner. The spinner points are anodes. Usually in an experiment of this kind or that of a triangular lifter as many have made, there is both an anode and a cathode. I think it is necessary to have both to work in a vacuum. There js ion drive engines working in the vacuum of space but they have additional equipment. There Is and anode, cathode, magnets and the release of xenon gas to get the results they need. If I could find out more about the magnets I might consider making a miniature model and putting just the engine in a vacuum.

This is a little demonstration of energy flowing off a spinner at the top of a solid state Tesla coil. The sharp points on the spinner seem to focus the ion stream or what ever it is that propels the spinner. The question would be what is actually the prime mover and what is moving? Is it actually pushing air or is it a stream of something else?

After studying the comments since the post I've learned many things about this experiment. So far the best explanation comes from a recent comment from a viewer who posted a very informative link. I'd like to share it with everyone:

I still have some experiments to try because I have questions as to why the focus is so clean and directed in the video but we'll see what I come across. I'm very thankful for everyone's comments and participation with the experiment.

Many have mentioned the sound of a fan that comes on when the flame of the torch is blown out. They also complain about my mouth making funny noises. The explanation for both of these are in this short video:

I've been asked to post a circuit drawing. Here is a drawing of the resonator and receiver setups that are in my videos listed below:

Here are a few pictures of the spinner. The wires are #18 and about 5 inches long and bent as shown. Any pointed screw or post like I made is attached to the top end wire of the coil. The brass or copper button that I have is about 1/2 inch in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. You need a punch mark or drill point in the bottom so the spinner doesn't fall off the post (anode)

Here is a play list with some of my other Tesla experiments including demonstrations of running motors with wireless transmission:



Scientist at MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology have managed to come with novel and revolutionary Star Trek like aircraft propulsion. The researchers at MIT have developed what best could be described at Star Trek like ion propulsion for small aircraft that uses latterly no fuel to propel the aircraft through the air.

The aircraft was tested in the MIT Gym and the research was published in the Nature, under title Flight of an aeroplane using solid state propulsion. The significance of MIT finding might not be apparent to many but research and findings could lead to revolutionary steps in aerospace design and propulsion.

Literally we are talking Star Trek concepts and designs, with ideas at this junction are pure science fiction. If I could draw the parallels on this discovery, Kitty Hawk or the Wright Flyer would come to mind, and this might sound hyperbolic to some, but the significance couldn’t be underestimated.

Since the first aeroplane flight, aircraft were propelled by a simple concept of moving surfaces and some form of propeller or a turbine. Although, currently it is the best form of getting from A to B, this method of propulsion was around for nearly 110 years. However, no matter how much we improve the propeller turbines or jet engines, they’re still relatively inefficient and cumbersome, often creating additional drag on aircraft it propels. The fact these engines also require fossil fuel, adds additional complexity to entire concept and fallibility of the current aircraft designs.

Solid State Aircraft Propulsion, changes these dynamics significantly, however before you jump for joy, it is early days and currently this technology can only apply to tiny aircraft, less than 500g. What makes this concept so fascinating is the way MIT engineers managed to achieve stable Electrodynamics concept, propulsion using electrical forces to accelerate ions in a fluid.
Solid State Aircraft Propulsion has been proposed as an alternative method of propelling aeroplanes—without moving parts, nearly silently and without combustion emissions, the thought of that is simply mindboggling and very Star Trekish. As a massive Trekie, and fan of most things sci-fi SSAP concept just takes me to that universe. Do I think this is the technology that could one day when scaled up, be utilized for propulsion of all aircraft, I certainly hope so.

The MIT team in their tests from 2016 to 2018 created an aircraft with a wingspan of 5 meters that weighed 2.45 kilograms. It has a number of thin electrodes running across its wings, and at the front of these are thin wires, while at the back is an aerofoil – a curved surface to produce the lift, like on a regular plane wing. The thin wires at the front are charged to positive 20,000 volts, while the aerofoil at the back is charged to negative 20,000 volts, creating a strong electric field. At the front, electrons are removed from nitrogen molecules in the air to produce ions. And as these accelerate to the back, they produce an ionic wind, which gives the plane thrust.

The basic idea is that if you ionize air, which means removing an electron from it, you can accelerate the air with an electric field. Over the course of 10 test flights, the plane successful flew about 60 meters (200 feet) in about 12 seconds with a thrust efficiency of about 2.6 percent. But as the speed increases, the efficiency of the system increases, just like in a regular plane. Theoretically just over 1,000 kilometres per hour, faster than a passenger jet, and it is 50 percent efficient.

The technique is similar to how ion engines are used in some spacecraft to travel through space. However, those spacecraft rely on ionizing a fuel – such as xenon gas – to produce thrust. The plane developed by the MIT team does not require propellant, instead relying only on the thin wires and an off the shelf lithium-polymer battery.

At the moment the technology is limited, with the plane being very much a prototype. But the future possibilities are exciting. In the near-term, this thrust system could be used to power small drones, making them near-silent as they wouldn’t have any propellers like regular drones. Tests on the plane are continuing, with the team now able to turn the plane in the air with a remote control rather than just flying in a straight line.

At the moment the technology is limited, with the plane being very much a prototype. But the future possibilities are significant. However, don’t expect large commercial airplanes using this technology being available any time soon, we’re talking perhaps another 50 or even 100 years of development before that will be possible, however it is nice to dream of such future.

Revolutionary Star trek inspired 'ion propulsion' plane engine with no moving parts is unveiled

A new generation of flight: Revolutionary Star-trek inspired 'ion propulsion' plane engine with no moving parts is unveiled by MIT researchers (and it actually flies)

The five metre (16ft) wingspan glider-like plane has no moving parts
An 'ionic wind' of colliding electrically charged air molecules provides the thrust
It could prove to be the future of air travel, bringing an end to the noise
Unlike other planes, it also produces no greenhouse gases or other pollutants

I've assembled an Ion Thrust Engine at home / ONE MILLION VOLTS POWER

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Ion Thrusters - How they work, and building an Ionocraft

In this introduction to ion thrusters, I get into how Ion propulsion works - and how to make an ionocraft.

The X3 Ion Thruster Is Here, This Is How It'll Get Us to Mars

The X3 is made possible thanks to a collaboration among NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Michigan.

It's a new type of propulsion engine that smashed records during test firings. This engine and other electric propulsion systems will help us reach distant planets faster than ever before.

How NASA’s Rover Team Reimagined Mars 2020

Thruster for Mars mission breaks records

An advanced space engine in the running to propel humans to Mars has broken the records for operating current, power and thrust for a device of its kind, known as a Hall thruster.

Plasmadynamics & Electric Propulsion Laboratory

The PEPL mission: Make electric propulsion (EP) devices more efficient and of better performance Understand spacecraft integration issues that could impede the widespread use of these devices on scientific, commercial, and military spacecraft Identify non-propulsion applications of EP systems

NASA Plans to Build a Moon-Orbiting Space Station: Here's What You Should Know

This outpost, known as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, will help humanity extend its footprint out into deep space and also enable a variety of interesting scientific and commercial activities on and around the moon, NASA officials have said.

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IONIC THRUST | A new hope for spaceflight |

While they may be in their infancy, ionic engines offer the best chance for space travel. We break down how these exotic thrusters work, and demonstrate a beloved curiosity, the ionic lifter.

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| IONIC THRUST | A new hope for spaceflight

Engineers at MIT fly first plane with no moving parts

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Engineers at MIT have designed a plane that flies using only ionic thrust.

The aircraft was designed to resemble a glider, it weighs roughly two kilograms and has a 5-meter wingspan. The plane has two rows of wires under its wing. The row at the front end of the wing carries 20,000 volts of positively charged particles called ions.

The ions are then attracted to the row on the back end of the wing which carries a negative charge of 20,000 volts. As the ions move to the back row they collide with neutral air pushing it behind the glider and generating electroaerodynamic thrust, driving the aircraft forward. This air is called ionic wind.

According to their study, published in the journal Nature, the team tested the glider inside a gym where it managed to sustain flight and travel 60 meters, making it the first solid state flight—or flight without moving parts like turbines and propellers.

Engineers participating in the study hope this technology can be the first step towards designing aircrafts that are quieter and do not emit combustion emissions.

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The Future of Airbus Airliners is Hybrid Electric - AINtv

Find out how Airbus and Rolls-Royce are paving the way for electrically powered airliners. We've got video of the E-Fan prototype flying at the Farnborough International Airshow, and a look at how the electrical distributed propulsion works.

MITs ion drive plane has no moving parts


How Do Ion Engines Work? The Most Efficient Propulsion System Out There

People always ask me why we’re stuck with chemical rockets. Seriously, exploding a bunch of hydrogen or kerosene is the best we can do?

Good news, there are other, exotic science fiction-sounding propulsion systems out there which use electromagnetic fields to accelerate atoms, allowing their spacecraft to accelerate for months at a time.

I’m talking about ion engines, of course, and several spacecraft have already used these exotic thrusters to perform some of the most amazing missions in the exploration of the Solar System.

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Plane without moving parts | Ion drive |Daily Dose Of Technology

This video shows the concept behind the first plane without any moving parts.It works on electric power.With the help of ions of the air molecules the plane usually travels in air.

Self contained Ion Powered Aircraft with onboard power. US patent number 10,119,527 filed in 2014.

If this video does not start from the beginning, please rewind it a few seconds to see the craft lift off.
This craft with no moving parts, has been able to lift its power supply using only ions since about 2006! In this video, this version of the craft flies for 1 minute and 51 seconds continuously, with a few seconds of short flights worth of energy still left in the onboard power supply. This particular flight took place on 08-06-17.
Since the craft is tied down with nylon thread, the clearest visual indication of lift is during the takeoff and landing, but it produces a very stable upward pull. Here is a shortcut to one of many news broadcasts about the device, when it was demonstrated for officials:

MIT was not the first, even though many of the news outlets say so, thank goodness many of them are now catching on. This device has also been transported twice to GLIDE here in Ohio, where it was demonstrated and examined in operation. In addition to that, the flight has been observed numerous times in front of aerospace engineers.

Overview of MIT's solid-state airplane

Wingless EFE Touring Craft MHD

Wingless EFE Touring Craft (MHD Propulsion SSTO)

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Earth – the year 2021 CE – A new craft is about to be unveiled.

Thank you all for coming.

Today we’re introducing a novel aerospacecraft with a radically different propulsion system – the Electron Flow Engine, or E.F.E. if you prefer.

This craft, which we call the EFE Touring Craft, or the EFE-TC, is wingless, highly maneuverable, and best part of all, it can hover in near silence for days on end.

But that’s only half the story: today we’re going to be testing its single stage to orbit capabilities.

Any questions?

How does this “Electron Flow Engine” work?

Great question.

All over the surface of the craft are located microwave beam transmitters, used for ionizing the surrounding air...

This video was in part brought to you by our awesome patrons.

Sooner or later such a scenario will indeed become a reality.

2017 – we stated in our first video, The Alcubierre-White Warp Drive: “...routine flights to and from space will become common place.”
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Guess what... it’s now beginning to come true. Step by step, SpaceX, and to a lesser degree others, are making the dream of commercial space travel become a reality.

As commercial space travel becomes increasingly commonplace, it’s only a matter of time when individuals, such as yourself, will be needed to work in space, or on another planet such as Mars.

Elon Musk is doing his part in delivering us into space and to Mars. But that’s only half the story. Over the years he has repeatedly expressed the desire for others to participate, by picking up where he leaves off.

Therefore, we, AsteronX, are striving – putting together a team to fill in the resource, equipment, personnel, and technological gap between us, Mars and space.

Technologies such as the one we’re about to discuss falls within these gaps.

This time around, space travel is completely revolutionizing the world in ways that, frankly, seem more like science-fiction than reality, and yet it is reality – it’s our new future.

There is nothing new about this technology. What is new, however, is in the way we plan to employing it.

This tech literally holds the promise of making such a craft, as we have presented at the beginning, become a reality, and in fact, with testing could even enable a Single Stage-to-Orbit (SSTO) spaceplane, perhaps sooner and much less expensive than anyone expects.

What is this technology you ask?

It is based on Magnetohydrodynamics or MHD for short.

Magnetohydrodynamics deals with the magnetic properties and behavior of electrically conductive fluids such as plasma, liquid metals, salt water, electrolytes, and of course, ionized air.

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