Ion Propulsion – The Plane With No Moving Parts

Ion Propulsion – The Plane With No Moving Parts

This episode of Real Engineering is brought
to you by Skillshare, home to over 20,000 classes that could teach you a new life skill. Last month MIT revealed their ion propelled
plane. The product of 7 years of development and
the first of its kind. A plane capable of sustained powered flight
with no moving parts in it’s propulsion system. Just as the Wright Brothers announced to the
world that powered flight was possible, this flight lays down a milestone for ion drive
technology that could pave the way to future investment and development. It has the potential to drastically improve
propulsion technology. Having no moving parts is a benefit that cannot
be understated. Parts can be made lighter as they no longer
need to survive the stress of movement. Reduced stress means reduced maintenance and
costs, but perhaps the most immediate benefit we can garner from this technology is reduced
noise. With no noisy combustion or rotating aerodynamic
surfaces stirring up the air, these planes are like gliding owls. A characteristic military contractors will
be eager to take advantage of. But with current limitations, this may take
some time to come to market. Let’s investigate just how this new technology
works, and where it needs to improve in order to compete with current technology. This technology has been in development for
decades now with many spacecraft already using variations on the idea to achieve highly efficient
thrust systems. These engines work on a similar principle
to the ion propulsion of the MIT plane, albeit in a very different environment that lends
itself to the technology. Take the NSTAR ion drive aboard the now retired
Dawn spacecraft. This spacecraft used xenon as a propellant,
because it has a high atomic mass allowing it to provide more kick per atom, while being
inert and having a high storage density lending itself to long term storage on a spacecraft.[1]
The engine releases both xenon atoms and high energy electrons into the ionization chamber,
where they collide to produce a positive xenon atom and more electrons. These electrons are then collected by the
positively charged chamber walls, while the positive xenon atoms migrate towards the chamber
exit which contains two grids. A positive grid called the screen grid, and
a negative grid called the accelerator grid. The high electrical potential between these
grids causes the positive ions to accelerate and shoot out of the engine at speeds up to
145, 000 kilometres per hour. At that speed even the tiny xenon atoms can
provide a decent bit of thrust, but even still this engine provides a maximum of 92 milli
Newtons of force. About the same force a piece of paper will
exert while resting on your hand. But in the vacuum of space there is no air
to sap away the precious energy we provide. With no drag or friction to remove energy
we gradually build up our kinetic energy and gain speed. The dawn spacecraft weighed about 1220 kilograms
at launch with a dry mass of 750 kilograms after the propellant had been expended, so
lets say it has an average weight between the two of 1000 kilograms. Rearranging the force equals mass by acceleration
equation, we can calculate the acceleration this engine could provide at 0.000092 metres
per second squared. A tiny acceleration, but multiple by a week
(604800 seconds) and our spacecraft is flying at 55.6 m/s. Multiple it by a year and it’s flying at
2898 metres per second, that’s 8.5 mach. The latest generation ion drives, dubbed the
NEXT engine, can produce three times the force and has been tested continuously without stopping
for 6 years straight here on earth. That’s enough force to accelerate that 1000
kilograms to 44651 m/s, 130 times the speed of sound. [1] This is an incredible technology, that will
revolutionise how we explore space in the near future, but here on earth it has a completely
different set of challenges. Here on earth planes pose a completely different
challenge. Air will continuously sap away any energy
we input into our vehicle through drag, and so we need to create an ion drive that can
provide more energy than air can remove while travelling fast enough to achieve flight. Not an easy task and the fact MIT have managed
it is mind blowing. Let’s see how they did it. They first needed to optimize their plane
design for the application. Reducing weight to minimize the energy required
to maintain height, and minimising drag to reduce any energy losses to the air. They did this using something called geometric
programming optimization, which allows designers to specify constraints and design criteria
to a programme which will then find the optimal design. [2] After running multiple computer simulations
they settled on a plane with a 5 metre wingspan and a weight of 2.56 kilograms. It would require a flight speed of 4.8 metres
per second with a thrust of 3.2 Newtons [3]. 3.2 Newtons is vastly more than anything achieved
by NSTAR or NEXT engines, but they don’t work in entirely the same way. Ion drives for space need to carry atoms to
be bombarded, within earth’s atmosphere there is no shortage of atoms to ionize and accelerate
and this helps counteract some of the negatives of the drag they also induce. The planes propulsion comes from an array
of ion drives carried below the wing. The positive anode was a thin steel wire,
which helped minimise the drag it induced. While the cathodes were foam aerofoils covered
in thin aluminium, these being light and capable of producing lift to offset their weight. In this case nitrogen is ionized and attracted
across the electric field induced by the 20 thousand volts of electric potential between
them. The nitrogen ions collide with neutral air
molecules along the way to a provide additional thrust. Creating something called ionic wind. Getting that 20 thousand volts of alternating
current is really the most difficult part and the team had to design their own lightweight
high-power voltage converter to step-up the 200 volts of direct current drawn from their
lithium polymer batteries. This energy storage conundrum, as explained
in my electric planes video, is the biggest challenge facing any technology like this. So how does this compare to conventional propulsion
methods regarding thrust to power ratios? A typical jet engine achieves a thrust to
power ratio of 3 Newtons per kilowatt, while helicopter rotors achieve a power to thrust
ratio of about 50 Newtons per kilowatt (N kw-1). This ion propelled plane is estimated to have
achieved a thrust to power ratio of 6.25 Newtons per kilowatt. So, if we could find a way of powering these
devices that didn’t require heavy batteries, could these ion propulsion engines be used? [3] Scaling these propulsion method is not easy,
and individual electrode pairs have their limit in the current they can pass between
them via ion transport, due to limits in voltage and choked flow within the electric field
[4], just as air can become choked within a constricted pipe. This affects something called the thrust density,
which is the area over which the thrust is applied. Jet Engines have a very high thrust density
at over 10,000 Newtons per metres squared, so we can produce a great about of force with
relatively low area. This plane achieved a thrust density of 3
Newtons per metre squared, so it is generating very little force over a very large area. We can just about manage to provide enough
force with 4 3 racks and 2 rows of these electrodes hanging far below the wing, for a plane this
light and slow. The issue here is the same issue that prevents
batteries from being a viable solution for planes, power requirements do not scale linearly
with the mass of the plane, they increase with the square of the mass. While the power requirements to overcome drag
increases with the cube of the velocity. So our ion propulsion power will need to scale
with it, but we cannot simply hang racks and racks of these electrodes beneath our plane. They, along with the structures required to
support them would cause far too much drag, and in turn flight surfaces would need to
scale to counteract the pitching moment this would cause, causing even more drag. This technology is still in its infancy and
there are engineers far more intelligent than I working to figure out ways to apply it. Just think that 114 years ago the Wright Flyer
managed to fly just 35 metres in it’s 11 second first flight. This ion propelled plane managed 55 metres
in 12 seconds, and who knows where we will be in 100 years time. We as a species are continually growing and
learning how to apply these principles. It’s a fundamental part of the human experience
to continuously develop your skillset, just as I have been developing my segue skills
by watching this course by wendover productions about “How to Make an Educational Video
Essay”. You can learn about any number of topics on
Skillshare, like app development or animation. New Years is the perfect time to set some
goals and learn a valuable life skill. These days you can teach yourself pretty much
any skill online and Skillshare is a fantastic place to do it. With professional and understandable classes,
that follow a clear learning curve, you can dive in and start learning how to do the work
you love. A Premium Membership begins around $10 a month
for unlimited access to all courses, but the first 1000 people to sign up with this link
will get their first 2 months for free. As usual thanks for watching and thank you
to all my Patreon supporters. If you would like to see more from me, the
links to my twitter, facebook, discord server, subreddit and instagram pages are below.


  • Benjamin

    There are some minor mistakes in the video.
    The potential difference between the two electrodes (wire and wing) is 40kV, since the wire is charged to +20kV and the wing to -20kV.
    The voltage type is also DC and not AC.

    The DC voltage of the battery is converted to AC by a H-bridge circuit. This AC is transformed to a higher voltage level and finally converted to a high voltage DC by the Cockroft-Walton generator.

  • Diego Gigena

    ionic drive can be seen on swiss army man

  • Samuel Davidson

    How can people expect to create incredible engineering when they can't even speak correctly. Humanity already went through this at the Tower of Babel but apparently didn't learn the lesson!

  • Klippy Klop

    USA decades behind the Germans still. Hermamn Oberth "Wege zur Raumschiffahrt" (Ways for Spacetravel" was published in1923 where he explained his thoughts on the mass savings of electric propulsion and advocated electrostatic acceleration of charged gasses.
    Secondly there is the issue of Lorenz force described by Lorenz in 1895.
    Ionic wind was described in Francis Hauksbee's 1709 Physico-Mechanical Experiments on Various Subjects

  • Holly Noelle

    I had a vivid dream about Ion Drive a long time ago. It is very interesting.

  • Mather Focker

    Spaceplanes, then?

  • rooxy dunggu

    How in the vacum

  • The sick Cichled

    So ion engineers make heat

  • Dubious doubting

    hair brush? Bristles. equals collection surface. space. motion through space. capacitor storage. potential back ground voltage in space ///

  • Lazarus056

    I have a better question, can anyone make an Ion Hover Vehicle?

    Like a Hover-Bike?

  • xC4N4D14NB4C0Nx

    Ayy i hope u paid my boi Trent Palmer for that longshot of his airplane….

  • Bondrewd The Lord of Dawn

    You really should pronounce the letter "A" correctly, I really like your videos but whenever you say "perts" or any other word that contains the aforementioned letter, it becomes annoying. But I might be wrong maybe it's not the letter "A" but please try to improve your pronunciation. Thank you

  • harry walker

    the wright bro,s did not,achieve the first flight.they stole the idea.

  • Jordan Burrill

    Really old DARPA BS. This is not Ion propulsion or ion wind force. That was proven almost 20 yrs. by US AirForce testing.
    This is the same asymmetrical, HV capacitor under a couple hundred thousand volts used as a different configuration called a 'Lifter', that was also deflected – being called ion wind Propulsion.
    But, when put in a vacuum equal to full space, surprise! It still worked! If it were ion wind generation, it would need an atmosphere from which to create the ion field from!
    So what is really going on?
    For that we need to go back to the 1930s and the work of T.T. Brown an electrical engineer who (by accident), discovered Scalar Field Dynamics of the Zero Point Field! He tried to isolate any other possible causes, such as ion wind. He put the device into an oil bath, a vacuum – anything that could account for the effect. Nothing, accept the already modelled quantum Zero Point Energy Field, that keeps the universe in order, through dynamics that are yet to be totally understand.
    The military goes to great lengths to hide this advanced technology! Why? Because it is a fundimental force potential of the universe. The dynamics of which DARPA is secretly researching, because it produces limitless, fuel less energy and propulsion!
    Many amature researchers are researching this without the ion wind nonsense.
    But DARPA (the military), has many yrs. and an almost limitless budget.
    If you want to understand this history, start with the NAZI Bell. Then the 'deep black' test platform of the 1980s , called the TR3-B and the many international sightings of this and more advanced models.
    You are now officially going down the rabbit hole of the Dark World of secret gov. technology dev.
    Here is a book to start you off. "The Hunt For Zero Point" by Nick Cook, the former editor for aero space research of Jane's Defence Weekly.

  • SameSameDifferent

    A plane with no moving parts…. That would make it a glider. Hehehehe

  • Peter Zurich

    Why not use the limitless energy from ambient muons. Developing Joseph Weber麓s work might allow that possibility.

  • Jerome Goodwin

    Ions move so there are moving parts.

  • Jerome Goodwin

    Also ions leaving a chamber does not produce thrust you need expansion or repulsion for thrust.

  • Kenneth Ferland

    You missed one of the HIGHEST benefits of Xenon, low ionization energy. Low ionization energy means less of the total energy input is used ionizing and more is used for acceleration.

  • Chris Van Bekkum

    Still need power!! To me sounds like an "batteries powered " plane .

  • Amberlee Baerwaldt

    so this is what the government has been up to 馃馃

  • Kody Golden

    Brilliant. However, why not have segments of wire that we can vary the voltage through and allow for difference in thrust between the left and right side of the vehicle, allowing it to be steered. For instance, if you want to vehicle to steer left, either apply less power to the left of the vehicle, or more to the right. I would assume that would just require a little more circuitry, which could add weight, but i mean, thats a bridge thatll have to be crossed eventually, anyway.

  • Yehudah Hachassid

    Technology is marching onward to newer and better ways of doing things–Ion propulsion could lead to cheap airline travel and virtually no plane crashes! First baby steps! Thank you!

  • tonytor53

    What about using a cylindrical Tocomak as a source of power? Using ferro-mercurials in a vacuum environment with pulsating sequential coils to keep accelerating the ferro-mercurial mixture, wuould eventually make a plasma circulating without friction since the magnetic field keeps it centered. A second set of coils can be used for a voltage to be induced by the ferromagnetic plasma.

    Hint: Lockheed TR3-B uses this! Look at "pictures of flying triangles often described as UFO" . .Unless Pasadena California is another planet, these are "earth-made", although the Tocomak in tese crafts are toroidal, & the radial velocity approaches near relativistic speeds, another effect is generated that works like a "standing wave, which interferes with gravity, in other words it hides the mass from gravity waves. But that is much more complicates than described, because "resonance" has to be reached with the skin oh the craft, which by the way also has very high voltage. In time all this will be released. The circle of g light in the middle of the triangle is a Tocomak with a glowing ionized plasma field

  • SWSimpson

    Always after me lucky charms

  • Aaron Seet

    Biplanes are coming back. Yay. 馃檪

  • Steeple Jack

    Power to mass converted to forward thrust has always been a rare scientific study but Derby teachers manage is every time the home bell is sounded!

  • Fred Fadungy

    Do you think, that the US Black programs havnt had this tech for many decades..?

  • Profound Damas

    So in case we find an enemy in space a dog fight is out of the question right? Or in case of a need of a sudden change in direction in case of an incoming asteroid.

  • Mike Becket

    Then how does it turn and lineup eighths landing pad

  • Paul Miazga

    Did he actually say "heighth"? Dude, wtf?! Go back to grammar school, you muppet.

  • SeenCreaTive

    Honestly imagine anything if we had better batteries….

  • ResurrectionX

    Good for long range space fairing

  • Dee Shiznittlebaum

    What kind of wizard/fuckery is this?

  • J膿muzu Otoko

    Why not use aerogel as a filler within the plane structure itself along with carbon nanotubes.

  • Michael Parker

    We have had this tech for over 20 years now. There is no profit in it.

  • Kristina Rain

    no moving parts… im a little fuzzy on how that is?
    so, youre saying to me, that there is not a solenoid, or switch or other electronically driven component that physically moves one way or another as part of its function?
    not one. its powered by a rectangle made of dreams and is 100% hollow and it makes the airframe – which also has NO moving parts. not one, not one for flaps, landing gear , or articulating control surfaces like switches and knobs or buttons and levers, bombay doors, nothing – this all happens making the airframe float through the sky on a wish and dream of HOPE, and when the threat receiver goes off it makes a sneezing snound – the all new sneezy breezy deezy… McDeluxe – Its the official Aircraft of Mister Sneezy 3D.

    No moving parts means NO moving parts. everything is completely static. not even the canopy has a hydraulic or mneumatic arm or bar to assist.

  • Stars Stripes

    ONE DAY I WILL WAKE UP TO A VIDEO ABOUT HOW I MADE A NEW PROPULSION engine for space travel and earth … ugh #growingupghetto ugh a man can dream

  • Gavigg75

    Sounds like a lighting magnet

  • TheConspiracy Realist

    Antigravitics… get a clue

  • John Doe

    They're only useful for longer term missions in space. The ion engine used also has a variable specific impulse; if you do the correct math using logarithms you find that, at maximum thrust (minimum specific impulse) it could get around 9348 m/s in change in velocity over 1133 days. It actually got 11.2, so evidently they used it's variable thrust to take advantage of the long mission time.

  • Om Patel

    Can you make complete guide of how does it work because i coudent understand it completely

  • Alexei Ershov

    Next step is a hover boards

  • Zack Flora

    Could you power it with a Tesla coil? You would lose any efficiency but no battery problems.

  • Haudiweg

    can we use that on a wing to make lift?

  • Julia Lerner

    Why can't we just genetically engineer giant eagles and ride on their backs?

  • Manuel Mena

    I'm sorry but ……. before the people of MIT, an inventor of OHIO did something superior, see it on this link , there you will also find the patent.

  • Kane Ed

    This tech is over 30 years old research aroura magneto hydro dynamo I think id the drive.this ten min video 12 years old shows it all and more ..orion conspiracy..enjoy

  • haciray

    total spherical objects pseudo scientific word soup 馃檪

  • chemmii

    Never happen in any commercial way.

  • Greg Hawkins

    Xenon is pronounced "Ksenon", since the letter X has the sound of "KS". The letter "Z" is the only one that has the "Z" sound.

  • xWHOGAFx

    Wtf I don't want to have to convert kg to lbs

  • Richard Mcginnis

    in 100 years nobody will be flying unless their machine is run on coal and since all petroleum will be gone along with most people the only other option will be solar

  • Panther15 ZodiacGods

    We are always ready to celebrate any advancements in manipulation of matter. Unfortunately, greater technology has not directly lead to greater overall human intelligence and human morality.

  • Alastair Carnegie

    This Post makes me despair! WAKE UP!.. Here is an experiment that is not difficult to construct, and conclusively proves that reaction exhaust propulsion is a waste of time and effort! How to drive a boat forward with NO mass ejected. At the stern of the boat, have a clockwise and anticlockwise pair of Pelton Wheels fixed together in the horizontal plane. Now to rub the message home with pure satire…!!!! arrange for two young lads with super-squirter water pistols to fire alternate shots at the top and bottom Pelton wheels.


  • Jason Doelker

    This propulsion system was comprised in 1967 on STAR TREK series and a working prototype engine created in 1979. with lithium battery and pulse generator. Look out here comes the Enterprise.馃榾light speed …no problem!

  • terry hendrix


  • Johnny Nuke

    This seems like it'll be incredibly difficult to build a commercial version. If you build one that can carry around 1-4 people, it's already gonna be the size of a private jet, just imagine an how big it would need to be to carry 100-200.

  • Horde News

    what we really need to be looking into is how to turn all human weight into the same weight as paper..

  • zephirus deneva

    So, a glorified mosquito zapping raquet.

  • George Costarica

    Guys I used skills hare and has the same content on yt. It's useless.

  • Jason Doelker

    hey! Guess what! A child鈥檚 super soaker….you remember that toy!?! Can propel an astronaut from earth to the moon in about three hours…. we can also propel a rocket ship from earth to mars in about one hour or less on,just compressed gas without the use of flame rocket propulsion . It seems that the fire used in rocket engines interfere with the expansion of gasses which is needed to put the rocket in motion. So in the future just let rocketry fart us to mars…just don鈥檛 light a match and we will get there in minutes and hours instead of days馃槻馃挬馃ゴ

  • Charles Young

    It's the biggest load of bullshit science I've heard of in yrs

  • CashMoney Presedent


  • Johan Einevik

    Quiet you say? Ever heard a TIE fighter? 馃槢

  • max marrero

    ion propulsion is garbage . That doesnt work in a vacuum because needs air to push agains.

  • Bonzi Buddy

    the animation of the ion engine makes me think of a vacuum tube propelling itself out of a guitar amp during a wicked solo and that makes me feel happy

  • Justa Fool

    More BS from the Zionist elite rulers to confuse us all.
    This ion drive is like a perpetual motion machine. It has a cathode and an anode, so any push gained at the anode is balanced exactly at the cathode. Newtons law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The video shows a glider propelled by a rubber band on the launch ramp, that's all, but they want your tax dollars to research it further. And all you get in return is sci-fi stories.
    This BS is exactly like the BS of Einstein, all fraud and pseudoscience.

  • 100 subs with no video?

    Imagine flying in the future and then boom! You got hit by that flying thing

  • RR67890

    One blooper they said the model plane would fly at 4.8 meters per second. That's 10.7 mph. The video shows it flying no more than 2 or 3 mph. That's gauging by eye, but it for sure isn't close to 10 mph.

  • Mike Leone

    I'm not sure if it is habit or misunderstanding what weight is in the SI Metric System. Weight = a force. It is a derived unit. It is the product of mass multiplied by acceleration (= kilogram meter per second squared called a Newton). The unit kilogram, on the other hand, is one of the 7 fundamental units that make up all the derived units like weight. You identified the ion rocket thrust as Newtons correctly then call weight kilograms. It must me drilled into you guys in so-called "metric counties" that weight is kilograms. That's true for a hand waving discussion but when doing any numerical analysis you have to convert mass (kilograms) to get a weight or force. For example, what are the units of torque in the metric system? That's right, Newton Meter not Kilogram Meter. Torque is weight or force multiplied by length (like meter). Just say mass instead of weight when using "kilograms".

  • sebastian stewart

    You know that nuclear batteries are better than lithium even lead sulphur batteries would be better.
    If you really want this to work than add in positive feedback circuits, or high voltage batteries such as the electric columns which is basically foil of copper and zinc paper foil the paper shouldn't be dried before use. Also Megatron designs would be more logical and the use of magnets for positive feedback should be added. Also nickel can be easily produced from the Russian patent of microbial transmutation of nuclear sands, so a high magnetic core can be created for the ion propulsion. Also if you are looking for effective design than a dual coil design is best with the outlet being smaller than the inlet.

  • 22emporerpenguin

    Quite amazing really. Seems like we are making significant progress. Slowly and steadily.

  • Horse Hide Rocks

    This video would be very interesting if I could understand the measurements. 90% of viewers are Americans that have no concept of newtons or kilograms and other gibberish. Just sayin. Also as a pilot I find it very strange that standard international aviation measurements are not used in this video about an ion plane. Feet, nautical miles, etc are the standard. not meters per second or whatever nonsense you're speaking about. Thanks anyway.

  • HRH Princess Rachel Kleypas-Sparrow

    I'm almost sixty and surprised ion propulsion , plasma ,electromagnetic thermonuclear fusion reactor hasn't been developed using rotating magnets that produces plasma or other propulsion getting rid of other fuels that are damaging the earth . Mankind should have never cars by now using Earth's magnetic energy and large magnets rotating against each other at a high speed would help save the Earth.

  • Chasmodius

    Related question: why don't commercial aircraft use magnetic or hydraulic accelerators to assist take-off? Are they just too unpleasant for passengers, or too rough on equipment?

  • Bill Smith

    I have looked at many comments here and surprised no one has mentioned "lifters" which uses the same propulsion system. They are noisy. And if you are not in a ventilated area they will ionize conductive objects that are not grounded giving a person a hell of a shock. I used to play with these things back in 2003 – 2004.
    With lithium batteries more readily available it was inevitable for them not to be tethered to a power supply. The power supply I used was a an old tube monitor. The one I used for a college physics demo was commercial high voltage supply.

    Do a YouTube search on "ion lifters" And check out this ion propelled blimp from 8 years ago

  • David Coleman

    0'33" "Having no moving parts is a benefit that cannot be understated" I suspect that you meant 'OVERSTATED' Apart from that small, but statistically very significant error I'm a big fan of your films. Thank you.

  • AnAceism

    you dont need batteries if you supply electricity like Tesla wanted to ,no?

  • Miljan Mandic

    Have t watched the video yet but solid file rockets on a plane

  • Adrian Putra

    8:03 *me

  • Mariusz Fidzinski

    2:45 – there is no "mechanical"=Newtonian? classic drag… (unles you're moving through the gas clouds, like after nova explosion?) and there is always a gravitational drag, even from distant bodies… not mention still muknnown properties of space/time/mass themselves… so… It's good to be an optimist, but it's much better to be a realist.

  • Mariusz Fidzinski

    3:43 – what is the point of giving Mach numbers when we're talking about space engines? There is no sound, and beside, sound speed is not a physical constant… Instead of Mind Boggling it's just another of Brain Washing docs???

  • ikkedansk

    fake! it was catapulted forward

  • Adam Galambos

    What's with airshock and flow stripping at high speed?

  • HKim0072

    Somehow I feel dumber after watching this video.

  • boboraxo

    A model launched by catapult, barely flying for a few seconds. Implying that ion prop could ever be improved for any purpose is misleading. Lots of good science though.

  • Russell St.Clair

    Just one small point, Lyman Gilmore flew first, he flew further, higher, faster, longer .

  • Big Red

    That鈥檚 0.3439 lbs/ft of airplane, at least width wise. That is quite impressive, I think.

  • Educated Manholecover by Richard Tata

    That's 99,881.4 miles per hour. Bloody heck!!

  • Marcus Campbell

    The ions are moving. Came here just to say that.

  • Levin Soh

    I think that an Embassy from Wendover productions (assuming that it's a country) would be a nuclear powered aircraft.

  • The extreme rc Dude

    Big jet=big power

  • 转讜诪专 讘专讜讬讚讗

    Great vid ,but wouldn't you need moving parts in order to steer the aircraft?

  • Ethan Krauss

    The solely ion propelled craft covered by US Patent No. 10,119,627, lifts off vertically, and can maintain that level of thrust to weight for about 2 minutes. The much later MIT craft has less than 1/10 the thrust by weight , and produces it for just a few seconds at a time. It also needs a catapult and large wings. There are 6 public videos of the much earlier way more efficient craft.

  • Izif Addag

    pointless, unpractical rubbish

  • 诪讜讟讬 砖讬讜讘讬抓

    Atoms being shot at 145 Kph… Isn't that dangerous?
    Also: Ion engines. That's badass.

  • Heinzkitz Velvet

    If the plane has no moving parts, as the video title suggests, how does the pilot steer the plane?

  • Jaleel Connelly

    4:20 lol did he say height?

  • Spruce_Goose

    The crux of what they accomplished here is power supply. The ion tech isn't anything too groundbreaking, though it's cool.
    Some 15 years ago, as a high-schooler, I built a 'lifter' (triangle) which operated on the same concept. Plans are readily found on the internet.
    That, however, was powered by a computer monitor transformer, which did not fly with the craft.


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