MIT has built the first-ever plane with no moving parts. Instead of turbine blades, propellers, and fans, the aircraft relies on an “ionic wind” — a silent but strong flow of ions, produced onboard, which generates enough thrust to propel the plane over a sustained, steady flight.
“This has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which are quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions,” said Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT.
Barrett envisions ion propulsion technology paired with more conventional combustion systems to create more fuel-efficient, hybrid passenger planes and other large aircraft.
What do you think? Will “Ionic Wind” Aircraft Someday Support Hybrid Passenger Planes?