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 batteries act as the power supply for this current. The team conducted multiple test flights utilizing the technology, during which the five-meter wide craft flew a distance of 60 meters. Read more about the power behind the vision, and see a short film, at designboom.
Image courtesy of Christine Y He