World’s First Commercial Electric Plane Passes Flight Test

After pledging to become the world’s first all-electric airline in 2019, aviation company Harbour Air has made crucial steps toward achieving that goal. Their commercial electric seaplane, De Havilland Beaver, recently completed a point-to-point flight test that began at Canada’s Fraser River Terminal and ended 24 minutes and 45 miles later at Patricia Bay along Vancouver Island—with more power to spare. This success attests to …

Jet Fuel Made From Air, Sunlight and Water Vapor

Jet fuel is a large driver of climate change but finding sustainable alternatives has proven difficult since many are less efficient when it comes to long-distance aviation. This is why scientists are hopeful about a new jet fuel that uses air, sunlight and water vapor to make a solar-based, carbon-neutral kerosene (the fuel preferred in aviation). Scientists positioned 169 sun-tracking mirrors that reflect radiation into …

The Ionic Wind Aircraft Flies Without Moving Parts

A team of MIT engineers, led by Steven Barrett (an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the academic institution), have invented the Ionic Wind Aircraft—a first-of-its-kind flying vessel that employs no moving turbines or propellers. Rather, the craft’s flight is sustained by an “ionic wind” (aka electroaerodynamic thrust) produced when a current passes between thin (positively charged) and thick (negatively charged) electrodes onboard. Lithium-polymer …