Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed the first electric aircraft that flies without using fossil fuels and does not have propellers or turbines. The prototype design weighs 2.45 kilograms and has already passed several tests successfully.
The aircraft, developed by a group of researchers from MIT, does not have moving parts, so it does not need fossil fuels for its operation. Using ionic propulsion, this plane can fly.
Oriol Lizandra, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, explains that ion propulsion lies in accelerating positive ions and that Newton's law of "action and reaction" emits a force on the accelerator that captures these ions, but in the opposite direction.
The aircraft is silent, weighs only two kilograms and measures 5 meters. He has achieved 10 successful tests flying unmanned 60 meters, in an interior space and at a speed of 4.8 meters per second.
The results of these tests were published in the scientific journal "Nature" and confirm that flights in this airplane are possible.
The researchers said that until this development it was thought that electro-aerodynamics was not feasible to propel an airplane and pointed out that energy efficiency improves when the speed of the aircraft increases.
The next challenge is that it can be manned. At the moment it is not possible since the tests generated a push that allowed to mobilize a small prototype.
Steven Barret, one of the authors of the study published in Nature, expresses an optimistic position about the possibility that aircraft powered by ionic wind can be manned. He said that if possible, it could take decades to achieve it.
On the other hand, this type of vehicle has the advantage of being silent and a very important one, is the reduction of polluting elements that they produce. For these reasons it is presumed an interesting way to continue developing and researching these aircraft, to which companies such as Boeing and Airbus bet on their great potential in aviation