Scientists Have Created A Star Trek-Like Plane That Flies Using “Ion Thrusters” And No Fuel

Scientists have taken a major step towards creating an aircraft of the future, one powered by an ion drive rather than using moving parts and fuel like conventional aircraft.

In a paper published today in Nature, a team led by Steven Barrett from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) described how they created a so-called electroaerodynamic-powered plane, one that uses solid-state propulsion, meaning no propellers or jet engines with expendable fuel.

“The future of flight shouldn’t be things with propellers and turbines,” Barrett says in the video below. “[It] should be more like what you see in Star Trek, with a kind of blue glow and something that silently glides through the air.”

This breakthrough has not been possible before because our technology simply wasn’t advanced enough. As far back as 1921, scientists have been unsuccessful in trying to develop something similar, once mistaken for anti-gravity technology. But now the team say that key technology advances have enabled this to happen.


 

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