A team of engineers from Massachusetts Technological University conducted successful tests of the world’s first prototype of a flying apparatus, in which there are no movable elements, and the thrust is created by an ion engine.
Unlike aircraft with propellers or turbines, Mit decided to use thrust generated by the movement of the air itself. The design of a new type of aircraft includes a battery and a power transducer generating a fairly powerful electric field, which can ionize atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen. Charged molecules begin to move to the electrode, the neutral air particles pushing. As a result, the so-called ion wind is created, which provides cravings.
Before the flight of such an aircraft was considered impossible, but the development of technologies and materials allowed scientists to return to the development of this idea. Although to create a working model, engineers had to go to a number of compromises. With the help of computer modeling, they developed an optimal thin aerodynamic profile with an electrode under which eight wire lines (2×4), creating an electric field. Then the wings and the tail were added, and the battery and electronics were suspended at the bottom. The mass of the entire design is less than 2.5 kg.
Flight frames number 9. Accelerated 2 times.
For the launch of the apparatus, an elastic cord was used, due to the impulse from which he flew only 10 m, but when generating an ion wind, he could overcome six times a large distance and even gained height. Tests have shown that such an engine cumulatively creates a power of 5 H per kW of power consumed, which is comparable to reactive indicators. However, due to the low efficiency of the prototype, at the moment its efficiency is only 2.5%. Although the developers say that the increase in the wings’ scope can increase this value to 5%, even without technical improvements.
Engineers have already compiled a huge list of possible improvements that will help improve the flying apparatus. These trial launches are most likely not included in history, but the technology is quite promising, due to the possibility of creating silent commercial drones.
Russian engineers are also developing electronic systems for flying devices. They submitted technology