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MIT engineers complete world’s first flight of plane with no moving parts
The lightweight aircraft doesn’t depend on fossil fuels or batteries, Via DeZeen
Engineers at the Massachusetts University of Technology have built an ion-powered plane that flies without propellers or turbines, and requires no fossil fuel.
Instead, the plane is powered by an “ionic wind”, or electro-aerodynamic thrust. This comes from the movement of ions – electrically charged atoms or molecules.
In a world first, the MIT team flew their plane, which has no moving parts and looks like a glider, across a 60-metre gym.
While the plane built by the MIT team is small — its wingspan is just five metres — the researchers say that one day, the technology could partly propel passenger planes, as part of a more fuel-efficient hybrid model of aircraft.
In the meantime, the ionic wind could be used in place of propellers to make silent drones.
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