A few researchers at MIT have reportedly developed an aircraft which is efficient enough to fly in the air without the use of moving part according to the reports submitted by MIT Technology Review. The could achieve this feat by utilizing electroaerodynamic propulsion. The electroaerodynamic propulsion utilizes a pair of electrodes which are helpful in pushing ions by creating ionic winds.
The phenomenon dates back to the glorious 1960s and Apple.Inc even had considered using the technology to cool down its MacBooks way back in 2012. However, this is the first that the electroaerodynamic propulsion technology has been taken into consideration for developing an airplane.
The fact about the prototype model is that the plan is a miniature model that weighs around 2.45 kilograms and the model can easily be scaled up to a size of a commercial aircraft which would provide the plane with various noise levels, safety, maintenance as well as environmental benefits over the conventional aircraft. However turning this into a reality is quite a big task. For instance, the battery which is required for supplying the necessary 40,000 volts of propulsion system required is going to be massive and it would also create great challenges as far as the weight is concerned.
The researchers are currently speculating that this technology involving electroaerodynamic can be used especially to power small drones rather than using them to power a conventional passenger plane. On a second note, one of these researchers has also theorized that it can also be used to combine with the conventional engine of the plane for making the aircraft completely fuel efficient. And the propulsion system can also be attached to the skin of a plane for reenergizing air which travels along with the aircraft.
The electric plane was barely able to keep it afloat in the air which lasted for around 12 seconds.