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Now we have the technology to start working on the Star Trek

  • MIT researchers build a work plane without moving parts
  • Driving on & # 39; Ion winds & # 39; at 60 meters
  • "Now, the options for this type of drive system are sustainable"

Airplanes that fly without moving parts are now a reality.

Maybe you saw them on the Star Trek, silence through silence on the Ionian winds.

Aeronautics and MIT astronomer Steven Barrett saw them when he was small. And now he developed the Ionian plate of the wind of his childish dreams.

Here it is in action:

For the first time, the plane was flying without moving parts.

"In the long-term, airplanes should not have propellers and turbines," says Barrett. "They should be more like a shuttle in Star Trek, which only has blue shine and quiet slip."

What is powered by these wire lines are on the front of the model:

The "Ionic Wind" is generally known as the "electro-eodonic thrust" and is based on a principle first identified in the 1920s.

Describes the wind or thrust that is produced when the current is transferred between a thin and thick electrode. If enough voltage is applied, the air between the electrodes can produce enough thrust to trigger a small plane.

But in practice, the reality of this has never progressed beyond the hobbyists who raise small models, tied to high power forces, from their workstation.

Nine years ago in a helpless night at the hotel, barrett Barrett went to work on the back of the envelope to find a way to turn theory into a sustainable propulsion system.

And just recently, in a gym at the MIT DuPont Athletic Center, they made a 5 meter wingspan flight and flew 60 meters without the help of moving parts.

They re-flown 10 times, while the plane had produced enough thrust on several occasions to maintain it at similar distances each time.

"This was the simplest plane we could design, which could prove the concept an Ionian plane could fly," says Barrett.

"It's still somehow far from the plane that could perform a useful mission. It needs to be more efficient, fly longer and fly outside."

Jonah, how are they doing?

The power comes from a bunch of lithium-polymer batteries in the hull of the hull.

But the key to this came from the members of Professor David Perreot Pover Electronics Research Group at the Laboratory for Electronics Research

They designed a power supply that converted the battery output to supply power to 40,000 volt – enough to charge the wires through a light power converter.

Here is a technical explanation of what is going on, through MIT Nevs:

Once the wires are powered, they act to attract and remove negatively charged electrons from the ambient air molecules, such as a large magnet that attracts iron. The air molecules left behind are newly insulated, and in turn attracting negatively charged electrodes on the back of the aircraft.

As the newly formed ion cloud flows to the negatively charged wires, each ion collides one million times with other molecules of air, creating a thrust that drives the plane forward.

We've already seen ionic drives. NASA has a system called HiPEP, and a student at the University of Sydney Patrick "Paddi" Neumann has a system that wants to take a long journey through space.

But none of them has to fight gravity.

The Barrett team can now continue to try to improve the efficiency of its design, to create more ionic winds with less stress.

"It took a lot of time to get here," says Barrett. "Moving from the basic principle to something that actually flies was a long way to characterizing physics, and then it came to design and made it work.

"Now, the options for this type of drive system are sustainable."

Here's another video of the test:

Read more about the results of the test in the journal Nature.

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