The Electric Airplane Takes Flight

The Electric Airplane Takes Flight by: Off The Grid News

TDC Note – Whatda think? Game changer or novelty? With all the new electric vehicles coming to market, are people going to embrace this new technology or will be forced on us? We have a long ways to go from concept of flight to the airplane pictured above.


The world’s first electric airplane is taking to the air. Remarkably, MIT researchers are testing an electric airplane with no moving parts.

Instead of a propeller or jet, an effect called ionic wind keeps the plane in the air. Notably, The Guardian reports that the electric airplane flew for 65.6 yards.

electric airplane

The airplane produces ionic wind by pumping 600 watts of electricity through wires between the craft’s wings. Ultimately, the electricity charges the air molecules near the wire and creates a stream of “neutral air molecules.”

This propels the plane with a stream of “neutral air molecules,” or an ionic wind that acts like a jet. Specifically, wires create an electric field which generates a jet of charged nitrogen ions. The charged nitrogen ions then push the plane forward. As a result, it is possible to power an airplane with nothing but electricity.

A Silent Electric Airplane

“I thought that the future looked like it should be planes that fly silently; with no moving parts, and maybe have a blue glow,” MIT aeronautics professor Steven R. H. Barret says.

It should come as no surprise that Barrett is a creator of the electric airplane. Barrett is one of the main authors of a paper that describes a test of an electric airplane at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Here we demonstrate that a solid-state propulsion system can sustain powered flight, by designing and flying an electro-aerodynamically propelled heavier-than-air airplane,” the paper states.

Consequently, it is now possible for airplanes to fly without fossil fuels. Nonetheless, the electric plane is not that big, as its wings are 5.5 yards long.

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