The First Glider Working on the Ion Wind

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology built the world’s first non-moving airplane. He made his first flight.

Instead of propellers and turbines that require fossil fuels or rechargeable batteries, the aircraft is powered by an “ion wind“.

The phenomenon described in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology message is a “silent, but strong ion flow” taking place on the vehicle. They generate enough thrust to provide a steady flight.

“This is the first ever stable flight of an airplane without moving parts in the propulsion system,” said Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and space science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It potentially opens up new and unexplored opportunities for aircraft, which are quieter, mechanically simpler and do not emit emissions into the atmosphere,” he says.

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